Leaders who Confuse Being Transparent with Being Qualified


This post occurred to me when I was reading Tim Challies review of the book “Accidental Saints” by Nadia Bolz-Weber (and it’s a excellent review). He was describing his perspective on reading about her life and ministry when he said, “Somehow she equates transparency with suitability, as if her abundance of flaws, foibles, and outright sin serve as a résumé, as if they are evidence of godliness.” The line “she equates transparency with suitability” stopped me in my tracks – especially in light of

Can You Survive In A Headline Society?


The President of Fox News, Roger Ailes, calls today’s culture a “headline society.” We now live on short, direct, and to the point soundbites. Certainly it’s not the way we’d like it to be, but the truth is, if you’re a professional communicator, giving a presentation, making a speech, or writing copy for advertising, websites, or other media, you need to think

Should I Be Careful with “Branding Experts?”


When I wrote my book “Branding Faith” in 2008, the word “branding” had hardly been uttered inside a church or other Christian organization. In fact, the amount of criticism I endured just trying to start the conversation was enormous. People just didn’t want to believe the power of perception or identity and the role it played in getting people to listen to your message, buy your product, or donate to your cause.  But since that time, things have changed, and

How to Spot the Best Leader in the Room


I’ve worked with national level leaders and creative people for a long time and sometimes I’ll be with a group I haven’t met personally. In those situations I’m always curious about who has the most experience, knowledge, wisdom, and vision, because that’s the person I want to get to know. And I’ve discovered a method that’s almost foolproof for quickly discovering that person within the group:

How To Be a Successful Event Panelist


Panels are a common event at conferences and seminars today, and yet few people really know how to maximize the opportunity to speak on a panel. The best thing about a panel is that you have to chance to hear from 3-5 experts on an issue. The worst thing is that you have those 3-5 people on the panel. In other words, with up to 5 people (and a host) featured on a typical hour panel session, with introductions and a closing figured in, each person only gets 10 minutes or less to share their expertise with the audience.  So panels can be tricky and difficult to manage.  But if you’re ever asked to speak on a conference panel, here’s a few tips that will help you maximize that opportunity:

Whatever You Want to Be: Start Acting Like It


Whatever you want to be in life – novelist, filmmaker, artist, pastor, leader, whatever – there’s one piece of advice I’d give you:  Start acting like it.  Too many people spend years waiting for their opportunity, while successful people step out and do it now. Sure you may not have funding in place, school isn’t finished, you haven’t left your day job, or haven’t picked the right project. But I’ve discovered that

Are You Willing to Stick With Something Long Enough to Be Successful?

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One of my favorite Thomas Edison quotes is: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” I can confirm that in four decades of working with leaders, the single biggest reason they fail is that they get distracted. They aren’t willing to

The Terrifying Speed of Trust


We’d like to think that when it comes to picking friends, electing political candidates, or investing in people, we’re pretty good at learning to trust. But Dan Ariely, writing in the Wall Street Journal, explodes that myth with recent research. In fact, it appears we rarely do little more than base our trust on how someone looks: