How To Increase Your Influence

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Influence isn’t about ego or celebrity. Too often we dismiss the idea, assuming only raging ego-maniacs are interested in influence. But the truth is, if you want to share your message, get your creativity known, or impact the world, you need to have influence. It’s the key to getting your work, vision, and ideas into the marketplace. So the question becomes, how do you increase your influence? Here’s some ideas that will make a dramatic difference:

Mr. Spock And The Joy Of Working With Real Stars

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Years ago, I produced and directed a documentary film and hired Leonard Nimoy to narrate the project. At the time he was at the peak of his career and had done the Star Trek TV series and released a number of Star Trek movies as well. As a result, his agent put me through the grinder – after all, the agency didn’t want their star client dealing with a novice. But after working through the details of the fee and contract, we all showed up at the studio to record the project. During the process,

Are Creative People More Easily Distracted Than Everyone Else?

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Over the last year, more and more books are being published that deal with how creative people handle the distractions of modern living in a hi-tech age. Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings recently reviewed the book “The Creative Brain: The Science of Genius” by neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen. Toward the end of the review she mentions the relationship between creative people and distraction:

Stop Believing Talent Is Something You’re Born (Or Not Born) With

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Far too often, we give up projects and even careers because we’re convinced we just don’t have the talent. “I wasn’t born with the gift of writing.” “I’m not a good public speaker and never will be.” “I not a born leader.” But recent research has dramatically disproven the idea that talent is innate. A new study in the journal Science by Sarah-Jane Leslie, a philosopher at Princeton University, and Andrei Cimpian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois was focused on why fewer women and African-Americans were successful in certain fields. The results of the study indicate that

The Power of Using Action Words

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Action words inspire. Action words motivate. Action words get things done. So why don’t we use them more? Long ago I discovered the power of using action words in my email correspondence, meeting notes, to-do lists, and more, and it’s not only made me more productive, it’s streamlined my life. Here’s a few places where you should consider inserting action words into your daily routine:

Creatives: Do You Struggle With The Question: “So, What Do YOU Do?”

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At parties or other social events you get the question all the time:  “So, what do YOU do?”  If you’re an struggling actor, producer, director, or other media professional, it’s an awkward moment.  Even after decades of making TV programs, documentary films, online media, and consulting with large organizations, it’s still tough for me.  It’s called “Status Anxiety.”  It comes from discomfort or fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves being judged or evaluated by others.  If you’ve struggled in your career, and have trouble with the “So what do YOU do?” question, you need to watch this video:

Your Ability To Influence Depends On Your Personal Style

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The truth is, change happens because of influence.  My wife Kathleen and I created The Influence Lab because if we’re going to change the culture, we need to influence it in a positive way. That’s why I was intrigued when I discovered that in 2009 and 2010, Discovery Learning, Inc. and Innovative Pathways conducted research to identify and measure styles of influencers. They created five categories. See which one is your style:

Four Things Influencers Should Know About Trust

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When it comes to leadership and influence, we rarely talk about trust. When we do, it’s usually in terms of honesty and integrity. Questions like: “Can I trust you to honor your word?” or “Can you be trusted with finances?” usually come to mind. Those questions are important, but the truth is, trust is a far deeper issue, and when it comes to your team, employees, congregation, or followers, trust may be the single most important connection you can build. To achieve that connection, here’s four principles every leader and influencer should know:

The 5 Keys To A Successful Relationship with a Creative Consultant or Vendor

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I am often a “vendor.” That means our company, Cooke Pictures is hired by churches, ministry organizations, and nonprofits to consult with them on issues related to creativity, media, and engaging their communities. We advise them on a wide range of issues, from video and short film production, social media, book publishing, the Internet and more. Essentially we help organizations

4 Secrets to Help You Manage Multiple Creative Projects

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Writer’s block, boredom, hitting a wall – all are terms creative people use when they run out of ideas. One of the best ways to overcome those moments of terror is to work on multiple projects at once. In fact, multiple projects may be the best remedy for creative block. Plus, I’ve discovered that if you actually want to make a living with your creative profession, managing multiple projects becomes a necessity. But if you struggle with simultaneous creative efforts, here’s 4 keys that should help: