Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category



Are We Working too Hard?

“If you work too much you make yourself and your boss look bad.” That is certain not the American way! Recently I spoke with a friend whom works for an European-owned publishing company. It has taken him a while to acclimate to their working environment where more work hours doesn’t mean more credit from your supervisors. My friend was gently reminded that he was working too much, and, therefore, making his boss look bad. What?! Yes. According to the company’s thinking, if you’re working past 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m., you’re not being effective and not managing your time well. If you work too much your productivity drops and your work quality suffers. According to the French, you make yourself and your supervisor look bad–effectiveness before busy work. And, by the way, they close their offices from December 23 until January 2nd and that’s doesn’t count toward the month’s…

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The Business Generosity Principle

“Why are you being so generous with a total stranger?” asked the young entrepreneur sitting next to me on a recent flight. Once he found out I owned a similar business, his questions became very strategic and somewhat personal. After spending the best part of two hours giving him an “MBA” crash course, as the business man on the other side labeled our exchange, I gave him my information in case he had more questions. He was bewildered with my apparent generosity in sharing some of my businesses practices and lessons. The big question was still looming: why would I share business practices with a potential competitor? My response was simple but not simplistic. In all my years, I always receive more in return than I give away. It doesn’t mean I’m ready to give valuable consulting for free or undercharge for my company’s services. But every time I have…

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Churches Often Miss the New Year’s Opportunity

In our culture, a new year still means a new opportunity for change, a new opportunity for new beginnings, new relationships, and a new search for a faith community. Unfortunately, most churches miss out on the first-of-the-year window because they are not prepared for the new people who will show up in the first few weeks of the year. Typically, churches put on their big Christmas musical by the second week in December and they shut down all but life support systems until after the holidays. So as new guests begin to arrive, they are met with less-than-well-put-together services, often scaled-down music programs and, most unfortunately, a three-week stewardship series. Every church needs to teach stewardship, but we must be sensitive to the growth patterns in our culture. The first of the year is one of the top windows to reach to those outside the faith. Think Ahead Let me…

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A New Beginning Might Be What You Need

Starting a new chapter in life is one of the most exciting things to me; it presents new professional possibilities, new friendships and a way to a fresh start. Too often some of our past broken relationships and mistakes have a way of following us around like the proverbial dead albatross on our necks. A new beginning allows us to take the lessons we’ve learned with us and leave the dead albatross behind. While most of us are not likely to relocate and start a new life anytime soon, we’ll probably meet and engage someone today for the first time. That can be just the new beginning you and I need. The longer I live the more I’m convinced that the most important assets I have are relationships. As I look in my life, the most rewarding days have been the ones shared with those whom I love. We don’t…

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The Problem with the Fake Blog

“And let’s also add a blog to the new site design,” he said as if it were an afterthought, which I was sure it was. Knowing his propensity for delegating, I probed further, “That’s great. How often are you planning on blogging?” “Oh, I’m not going to write the blog myself, ” he said assuredly, “my secretary is going to take care of that.” Unfortunately, I find myself having this conversation with Pastors and business leaders more and more often. What ensues is usually a long argument about what a blog should or shouldn’t be. Here are some thoughts on the matter: Your blog should be your voice. It’s telling your story or the things you’re passionate about. No one else can do it for you. Are you sure you want your assistant speaking for you? If you have a corporate blog than, it’s a different matter. You can even…

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My Bad Parking Lot Experience: Why First Impressions Matter

It’s hard to overcome a negative first impression. Your first gut reaction about a church, a business or even a person,  will determine how you feel about that institution or individual for a long time.  A while back I visited a well-known, fast growing congregation in Florida. I was not doing a secret shopper visit or a communication audit (some might find it shocking that I attend church without getting paid for), but I felt compelled to share with a staff member some of my impressions, specifically my run in with a parking lot attendant. I was cutting it close to get to the church by 8:30 for their first Sunday morning service. As I tried to follow the serpentine of cones that led me around the back of the property and again back to the front, I realized that the cones were not there for the sake of the…

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Bad Advice from Church Board Members

I’ve been in a lot of church board meetings. A LOT. For the first 15 years of my professional career, I was on the staff side of the table. Since I valued my job and wanted to keep it, most of the time, I often just sat there quietly as people disguised bad advice in spiritual terms. Well, mostly quietly anyway. For those of you who know me, you understand that I don’t do “quiet” very well. There are a lot of great business men and women of faith in church boards that have inspired and mentored me throughout my career. And there are some who should never have been there in the first place. I’ve heard a lot of bad advice and theology dispensed by volunteer leaders cloaked in the guise of concern and spirituality. Here’s a short list of stuff I’ve heard through the years that have stuck…

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Text Messaging and Your Business

Nothing has had a greater impact on how I do business than text messaging. Not long ago, I was on a conference call with someone in Texas, someone in Sao Paulo, Brazil and I was in a car driving through New York City. The conversation sounded clear in spite of the thousands of miles and time zones separating us. However, I believe nothing has revolutionized more the face of business in the last decade since the proliferation of email than text messaging. Just a few years ago, text messaging was seeing as an annoyance designed for teens and not a serious tool for business professionals. But lately, I have seen a major shift in how my busiest clients want to communicate. Some, if not most, of my clients fit into the type A, let’s-get’em-done category. They value getting quickly to the bottom line. They prefer the succinct, and yet effective…

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Launching a Max Lucado Best Selling Book

Every Christian has a story of redemption to tell. One would be hard-pressed to find a better story-teller than author Max Lucado. Max has been a best-selling author for over two and a half decades. I remember reading my first Lucado book during my graduate school days. Chances are that if you’re a Christian, you have read some of Max’s books. I was thrilled as my company, The A Group, was chosen by Zondervan Publishers to lead in the efforts of getting Max’s latest release to the public. Our team under the leadership of Tami Heim, created a comprehensive marketing campaign that includes cover design, art direction, all traditional media, PR, social media and even a media-rich website with its own mobile app option for iPhone. Our intent is not only to market a great book, but to allow its important message to live beyond the written pages and to…

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The Opportunity During Tough Times

We fear that Wall Street is still spiraling out of control, our economic system might in total chaos and the sky  might be falling as well. While I find myself very concerned about our financial future, there’s something about a shake down in the way we do business that excites me. In my experience, difficult times for the business-as-usual approach always opens up new opportunities for creative, nimble and entrepreneurial organizations or individuals to find a break that fat, entrenched and risk-averse big business cannot or will not pursue. I started The A Group in November of 2001, a few weeks after 9/11. Most people thought I was crazy because of the overall fear and paralysis in the marketplace. “Boy, I hope you’ll be ok; these are difficult times,” I heard over and over during the early days. And they did represented the reality of the day. People were looking…

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