Leadership Lessons From A Super Bowl Coach

New York Jets v New Engalnd Patriots

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:

Five Steps To Overcoming the “Jolts” of Life

Jolt tight shot

When disaster strikes our life, we’re often simply overwhelmed.  As we saw during the 2011 tsunami in Japan, entire towns were wiped off the map, and all these years later, we’re still seeing news reports of problems with the clean up. When a country like that is in chaos, where do we begin when problems happen? Even more important, how do we deal with the “meltdowns” we face in our lives? In my book “Jolt! Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing” I show you how to

The Most Misunderstood Role in Ministry: The Executive Pastor

Mike Buster Blue Shirt 1

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,

Four Things Influencers Should Know About Trust


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


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

How To Write Your Personal Biography For A Website, Resume, or Conference


During your career, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to write a biography about yourself for websites, social media, conference programs, membership in professional organizations and more. The problem is, too many people seize that moment to pontificate about themselves as if they’d won an Academy Award or Nobel Prize. But writing an effective bio can do more than just tout your accomplishments – it can really serve to advance your ideas and message. Now’s a good time to re-think your bio, and here’s a handful of important principles to keep in mind:

How Do I Know When To Pay For Lunch?

Two Businessmen Having Meeting In Outdoor Restaurant

Whether you’ve asked someone out for lunch to ask advice, pitch your project, network, or just get to know them, you need to know the rules about who pays. The rules used to be pretty clear, but in the last few years, I’ve seen a growing number of people that don’t seem to have a clue about who picks up the check. So whatever station in life you’re in, listen up:

Why Leadership By Threat Isn’t Leadership


The New Testament book of Mark is a powerful example of who responded to the message of Jesus and who didn’t. Chapter 12 is an especially good example. The people (Mark describes them as “throngs”) loved his message, but those who resisted where those in authority, because they saw his message as a threat. Sadly, too many leaders today attempt to use threats as

What George Washington Can Teach Us About Productivity


Biographer Ron Chernow, discussing his outstanding life of George Washington, recently mentioned how important “focus” was for our first president. Chernow said that at the beginning of his presidency, “[Washington] couldn’t seem to sit down for dinner without 20 people being there—strangers sponging off his generosity, eating his food, drinking his wine. Washington had to create barricades if he was going to be able to function as president. . . . He saw that he needed to

Why You Probably Can’t Change Your Boss


Have you ever worked for an organization you knew had a bad leader, but you thought you could change him or her? I’ve talked to countless frustrated employees who have attempted just that, and I can tell you, it doesn’t work. By the time a pastor, CEO, or other leader reaches that place in his or her career, they’ve been at it a long time and developed a routine. So for anyone to think they can turn on a dime is