Creative Leadership

Three Thoughts for a More Successful Career

Here you go:  3 thoughts that might help you amp up your ambitions and jolt your career or calling:

1. Know your stuff.  When people reacted to Jesus, what did they say: “He spoke as one with authority.” Jesus knew what he was talking about and it connected with people. If you want to be respected and valued in your organization, then learn. Grow.

Jon Swearingen didn’t get the job as television producer for Joel Osteen because he’s clueless. From a production point of view, when you look at that program, it’s technical specs, and how it’s produced, it’s hard to find a mistake. Jon knows his stuff. If nothing else, really knowing your stuff will stop the tsunami of really bad screenplays written by Christians that pour into our office. Learn how to write. Learn how to direct. Learn how to do whatever you do better! The world respects authority.

2. Understand how people communicate.
 Two types of communicators you need to understand are people who think by talking about it, and people who think by doing. I’m a doer. Maybe it’s my ADD, but I’m not interested in details.

Matthew Phillips used to be C.O.O. at Cooke Media Group because he was a detail guy. That’s a big reason we brought him on the team. He had a white board in his office with circles, arrows, buzzwords, and other stuff – it was just filled. Matthew wants to look under the hood and rummage around in there. I just want to see the dashboard. Tell me how fast we’re going, and if we have enough gas and I’m fine. Which type is your boss? Your clients? Your team? The people you communicate with?

The point is? We are constantly frustrated because we don’t take the time to learn how people communicate. Know who you’re talking to, and make sure the message you transmit is the message that’s received.

3. Finally – As Aristotle said, “Know thyself.”  Know your strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. Lately, I’ve been confronted with enormous numbers of people in denial. People convinced they are gifted and talented, when the truth is, they’re the only people impressed with their work. Control freaks, who deny it. People with anger issues who deny it.

Know who you are in Christ. And know who you are in you. When I meet someone for the first time, the first question I usually ask is “What are you good at?” And it’s amazing how few people can answer that question. Find a niche or skill that you can be the best in the world at, and pursue it with everything you’ve got.

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One Comment

  1. "You've got to know your stuff" Is one of the most important pieces of advice you could give, Phil. I come from the old school approach that as you learn, grow and perfect your craft you will be promoted. That is not the case anymore where a new mentality has taken hold that promotes people because they're available and cheap. (This is often labeled as "faithfulness" in the church.) I call it the worker bee mentality. Get me a bunch of cheap (free) crew members, shoot, record, slap it together, throw some music underneath it – pow, we have TV. You may have TV, but is anyone watching? Is what you're producing significant? Are you making a difference? I recently came to a crossroads in my life where I had tons of experience and a long résumé, but didn't know how it all fit. A good colleague and mentor encouraged me to push further and get my Masters in Film. I was accepted into a prestigious film school and just finished. I am a better producer 3 years later because of it. My approach is fuller and I have a more rounded résumé. Education, critical thinking and talent development can make a huge difference in your ministry and career. You are an asset, how will you invest in yourself? No matter your age or situation, keep looking for workshops, classes and seminars that will help you KNOW YOUR STUFF!!! Things keep changing and moving – you need to too.

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