Stop Taking Meeting Notes And Start Writing Action Steps


Possibly because of a tragic final exam experience in college, I’ve become an obsessive note taker. I have a couple of note apps on my iPhone, I have two notebooks in my briefcase, and I carry small index cards and a tiny pen in my pocket everywhere except bed (but I also have a notepad and pencil on my nightstand.) After client meetings, I used to walk away with pages of notes. But a few years ago I realized

Did Christian Artists Sell-Out To Become “Family Friendly?”

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If you’ve ever spent much time in art museums – particularly in Europe – you know that much of the greatest Christian art of the past was anything BUT “family friendly.” Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath for instance. Powerful painting, raw, and violent. The most amazing thing about the piece is that it’s a self-portrait, and yet Caravaggio painted himself not as the hero, but as Goliath. As if he understood

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

The Secrets to Having More “Eureka!” Moments


Joseph Guinto, writing in the American Airlines magazine, shares the secrets to having better “aha!” moments. I’m a big believer that real, long term creativity is a matter of showing up every day and doing the work. However, there’s no question that “Eureka!” moments happen, and as Guinto says, we can create an atmosphere where they tend to happen more often.  Along with Guinto’s advice, here’s a few keys that have helped me discover more creative breakthroughs:

Creativity: Learning To Forget How Things Work


This is our granddaughter Kennady.  I spend a lot of time watching her, and obviously, since she’s only a year old, she hasn’t had much time to learn how things work. As a result, the first few times I gave her a book, she had no idea what “reading” was, so she walked on it, set it up like an A-frame house, or used it for a plate. It’s been that way with everything. Since she doesn’t yet know the way things are “supposed” to be used, she just makes it up, and has come up with some pretty remarkable uses for things like

Leaders: Be Careful Using Statistics in Your Presentations or Social Media

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Today’s post is a guest piece from media researcher Ron Sellers, from Grey Matter Research.  In his presentation “Insert Brian Williams Joke Here” he brings up a very important point for leaders to try to make an impact using “the latest research.”  Before you do something embarrassing, this is worth a read:

Why Creativity Isn’t Always Sweetness and Light


One of my favorite lines in film is when Orson Welles improvised a scene while playing Harry Lime in “The Third Man” in 1949: “In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The Cuckoo clock.”  As creatives, we work hard trying to

How “Clutter” Can Kill Your Creativity


I’ve written many times on this blog about the danger of “clutter.”  Clutter comes in all forms – from the media voices screaming for our attention, to the messy desk in front of us (where was that file again?) to the million other options that keep us from pursuing our creative calling.  Now, The Wall Street Journal reminds us how William Zinsser, author of the writing classic “On Writing Well” (1976) and who died May 12 at age 92, felt about clutter in our writing.  It’s worth the read:

Here’s What’s Keeping You From Accomplishing Your Dream Project


Why aren’t you writing your book, creating your film, starting your business, launching your ministry, or otherwise making your big idea happen? Probably because of what writer Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance” – that urge to do anything other than sit down and do what you actually need to do. I’m working on my next book, and yet every morning I have an almost uncontrollable urge to do something – anything – else: check my email, re-arrange my closet, organize my desk, take a walk, or a million other things. The idea of “Resistance” is far more powerful than we think, and unless we

Why So Many Authors & Bloggers Fail


Today I interview professional blogger and best-selling author Frank Viola. Viola has been interviewed in TIME magazine,, and many other publications. In addition to writing, blogging, and speaking on Christian topics, Viola consults authors, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. He is also one of the presenters of the popular Buzz Seminar Master Course.  I caught up with Viola to ask him some questions about writing books and blogging: