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:

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:

Five Ways To Score A Meeting With Someone Important

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We all want to get advice, pitch our ideas, ask for a job, or otherwise meet someone we admire. But chances are, that person is out of your orbit. So what are the secrets to scoring that important meeting? While everyone is different, and there are no guarantees, here’s five techniques that should help you make the connections you need:

The Perils and Prize of Leadership: An Interview with Dr. Sam Chand

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One of the most respected voices on church and ministry leadership today is Dr. Sam Chand.  On his website his tag line is “My Life’s Vision is Helping Others Succeed” - and he’s good at it.  Sam and I have shared a number of clients over the years and time and time again, I’ve seen him turn around struggling churches, inspire frustrated leaders, and transform the culture at failing organizations.  Recently, I did an interview with Dr. Chand because I wanted to share some of his experience,  wisdom, and insight on church and ministry leadership.  Take notes.  Share it.  This is powerful stuff:

Leadership Lessons From A Super Bowl Coach

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He took a lot of crazy heat over “Deflategate,” but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has left his mark. After six Super Bowls, he’s doing something right. And if you take the time to study his coaching techniques, you’ll find a significant number of areas that would easily transfer to leadership in any organization. Writing in the Wall Street Journal this week, Christopher Caldwell pointed out some key areas that make him a great leader:

Editing Matters to Everyone – Not Just Filmmakers

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Just a tidbit:  Since 1981, movies that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture often also won the award for Best Editing.  No matter how well a scene is shot, acted, or directed; without editing, it won’t amount to much. Editing determines the rhythm and pacing of a scene. How music will engage the story. The impact of a particular line of dialogue. It keeps a scene moving. The truth is,

The Most Misunderstood Role in Ministry: The Executive Pastor

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After decades working with churches around the world, I’ve discovered one of the most difficult challenges pastors face is finding the right “Executive Pastor.”  Smaller churches don’t usually need one, but as churches grow, a leader in that role becomes more and more important.  But in a significant number of cases, local pastors don’t really understand the job. In my opinion, one of the best XP’s in the country is Mike Buster, Executive Pastor at Prestonwood Church in Plano, Texas. He’s worked with Pastor Jack Graham for 28 years, and they’ve become a remarkable team. In fact, in my opinion,

Be Careful Before Starting a Lawsuit Over a Social Media Post

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I’ve spent time on this blog warning social media users about inappropriate posts.  But should a church, nonprofit, or company start a lawsuit over a critical social media post?  According to recent news reports, employers are experiencing real challenges when they try to sue employees – even when those employees are critical of the companies they work for.  Even when people Facebook or Twitter bad news about

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:

What Were People Searching For in 2014?

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Our friends at Google have posted the subjects people searched for the most in 2014.  It’s set up by category so you can browse through the different areas and drill down to more specifics.  There’s enormous information here for articles, blog posts, sermons, and essays.  Scientific American also posted some interesting insights as well as trending subjects that were searched on Google.  But remember, “Search” isn’t everything.  As Leon Wieseltier recently wrote in a brilliant piece in The New York Times: