I was thinking the other day about relationships I’ve had over the years and what I’ve learned. I’ve had a lot of clients, but here’s a few things worth thinking about that I walked away with from an important handful:
Joyce Meyer – Eliminate Strife. Joyce loves a good discussion and debate, but realizes strife can destroy an organization. She is relentless about eliminating unwarranted criticism, back-biting, and strife. I think it’s one of the reasons Joyce Meyer Ministries is such a great place to work. By eliminating strife, she’s unleashed confidence and creativity among employees.
Joel Osteen – Find the Right Team. The editor of a major, national business magazine called me yesterday to discuss how impressed he was with Lakewood Church and how well it operates. The world respects expertise, and Joel knows quality matters. He’s brought in an excellent team, and their work speaks for itself.
Billy Graham – Brand Equity. The official definition of brand equity is the number of people that will re-purchase your product with the least amount of advertising or selling. In other words, because they trust you from the past, they will trust you again. The Billy Graham organization could make some pretty big strategic mistakes before it hurt their credibility because of all the brand equity they’ve built up over the years. Nothing helps more during difficult times that a savings account of brand equity.
Jim Reeve – Faith Community Church. Own Your Area/Community/Region. When we started working with Jim Reeve and his son Dan a few years ago, we decided to actually cut them back in order to make them stronger. Instead of mounting a weak attempt at being a national media ministry, we decided to focus on Southern California, and as a result, millions of people in the area consider him “California’s pastor.”
Oral Roberts – Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Oral couldn’t stand yes men, and wouldn’t give them the time of day. He felt that if you really believed in something you should be willing to fight for it. As a result, Oral and I have had some pretty loud “conversations” over the years, and he taught me to stand up for my ideas.
Jack Graham – It’s all about Jesus. When we did a branding study of Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Church a couple of years ago, we discovered his story was the story of Jesus. The life and ministry of Jesus Christ consumes Jack, and it comes out in everything he does. Jack’s life reminds me that no matter how much I think it’s about culture or media – it’s really all about Jesus.
Ed Young – Creativity has a place in the church. Ed reeks of creativity. He hates doing the same thing twice, and challenges everyone around him to innovate. He knows this generation responds to creativity, and his ministry is all about the power of change.
Peter Lowe – Get Motivated – Influence Matters. When you attend a “Get Motivated” business seminar with Peter Lowe, you’ll be surrounded by military generals, brain surgeons, celebrities, business superstars, and innovators. Peter knows that teaching and motivating starts with influence, and anyone will listen to your message when it's delivered by someone they respect and admire.
Jack Hayford – Sensitivity is a Bridge. Jack used to drive me nuts because he would tip-toe around sensitive issues with audiences. I’m more direct and grew impatient. But today Jack's considered "The Protestant Pope" because so many people from so many religious perspectives respect and admire him.
Nicky Cruz – Boldness Opens Doors. I thought about this years ago when I was filming Nicky meeting with local gang leaders in an Ecuadorean nightclub at 3am. Nicky was a gang member himself, so he doesn’t scare easily, and even today his boldness and confidence gets him respect from the toughest people on the streets. Because they respect Nicky, they’ll listen to his message. Something we could all learn about communicating effectively.