At the National Religious Broadcasters Conference a few years ago, I participated in a workshop with Rod Payne and Ginger Stache called “Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Program Right Now.” Rod is a veteran church media director at First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, and Chairman of the NRB’s TV Committee. Ginger heads up the television department for Joyce Meyer Ministries and is one of my favorite producers in the country. We each developed a list, and here’s the ten we discussed. Perhaps they can make a difference for you. Either way, I’d love to know your thoughts on these particular ten:
1) Develop Yourself Personally – This includes reading, stretching professionally, and learning. Watch great television, study movies, and find a mentor. (And become a mentor to someone else). Biology tells us that we’re either growing or dying. What are you doing?
2) Develop Your Creative Team – Stop hiring people like you, and surround yourself with people smarter than you are, and who compliment your gifts and talents. And don’t forget to share ownership of your projects with the team. As a leader, your #1 task is to develop the team. The collective brain will take the program much farther than the single brain.
3) Improve Your Program’s Directing – Directing is a real skill and art form. Stop using cuts and dissolves at random, learn to direct music, and understand the theory behind good direction and shot selection. Get good training, and don’t leaving the directing to chance.
4) Add Value to Your Pastor/Talent – Get on your pastor or ministry leader’s wavelength. Become his or her idea source, support them, and add value to your relationship. If you want more respect from the pastor, ministry leader, or on-camera talent, then become indispensable to them.
5) Understand Audience Response – Learn more about direct response and why it works (and doesn’t). Know who’s watching your program, and use research and focus groups if it helps. How can you produce a program well if you don’t know who’s watching?
6) Increase Your Leadership and Creativity – Create a more creative atmosphere at your office or studio, and share your vision for change with the entire team. Just because no one has done it before, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Stretch, grow, learn, and take your team with you. Start reading people like John Maxwell, and develop your leadership potential.
7) Look at Yourself – Know your skills and talents accurately, and have a realistic understanding of your abilities and the possibilities for helping your program. A healthy fantasy life might be nice, but not when it comes to your program or your life.
8) Improve Your People Skills – People skills are the greatest skills you’ll ever learn – no question. Guiding and leading a team doesn’t happen by chance. Understand what makes people tick, and take the time to learn what inspires and motivates them.
9) Learn How to Tell a Great Story – So you’re going to commit months and possibly years to a project, but you can’t tell from the script if it’s any good? You may not be a professional writer, but at the very least, learn how to recognize good writing. Content is king, and the people who tell the greatest stories will win.
10) Begin Somewhere – Start today. Set a goal and make a change right now. The longer you wait the more difficult it will become. Start small if necessary, but at least start.