The best quote from a conference I was at this week came via Linda Cannell. She cites Mark Yudof, president of the University of California:
Continue reading “The Technical Term for No Change”
No doubt publishing is difficult these days. But whatever challenges you and I may face, they are not very significant compared to what Lasantha Wickrematunge faced in the violence-filled country of Sri Lanka over the last fifteen years. There he was a crusading journalist who was not afraid to expose corruption and scandal both in the government and in the opposition. On January 8 he died for his efforts.
He left behind, however, a last editorial to be published on his death. It is a testament to integrity, to humanity, to doing what is right and to looking to the welfare of others before looking out for ourselves. It is publishing with courage.
A friend was asking about our office culture. Corporate? Family? Other?
While we’ve never been a family-owned business, we’ve always had a family feel. Probably that’s because we started small and have grown slowly and steadily over the years. So changes in corporate culture did not come in wrenching jerks and jolts that can occur with fast growth or sudden downsizing. But as my friend and I talked, one change came into focus.
Continue reading “Culture Shift”
Bob Harvey, my former pastor, told the congregation in a sermon about the time he was on vacation at a lake, sitting in a giant inner tube when suddenly and unexpectedly he lost his balance and found himself upside down in the water, still stuck in the tube. As a man with a few extra pounds on his frame, he was unable to get out and right himself. While he was underwater trying to figure out what to do, he told us, he thought, You know, this will make a good sermon illustration.
Continue reading “Stories Are the Point”
Some years ago we promised an author that if he signed his book contract with us that we would advertise the book in several key magazines. So he signed the contract, completed the manuscript and sent it in. It was a strong piece, and we were happy to publish it. However, we also discovered that it did not come to us very well targeted for the particular audiences of the magazines in which we had promised to advertise the book. As we discussed the audience for his book and possible revisions with the author, he was not inclined to make any significant changes.
Continue reading “Keeping Promises”
“Dad, what would you say is your calling in life?”
The question seemed to come out of the blue from my college-age daughter. As we stood in the kitchen, inwardly I was a bit taken aback. It was totally legitimate to ask, but it got so quickly to the core of things that I felt momentarily stunned. Did I have a calling? Had I thought about it much? What was I good at and motivated to do? What was my purpose for being on this planet?
Continue reading “What Are You Passionate About?”
As I wrote in a previous blog entry, First, Break All the Rules is the best management book I’ve read. One of most useful concepts that Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman offer is that of distinguishing talent (p. 71) from skill and knowledge (p. 83). Talent is “a recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied.” Talents are “the driving force behind an individual’s job performance.” They are “the four-lane highways in your mind.”
Continue reading “Nothing Beats Talent”
First, Break All the Rules is without a doubt the best management book I’ve ever read. All I can say is read it and do likewise.
Well, actually, I can say more. Why is it good? The way it was put together. It’s not just some management consultants giving you their dog and pony show. Two Gallup Organization leaders, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, took the results of surveys and interviews with eighty thousand managers in over four hundred companies, summarizing what the best actually do best and how they do it.
Here’s a sampling of the management myths they bust.
Continue reading “The Best Management Book I’ve Read”
For years people have been telling me that The Art of Pastoring by David Hansen is a great book. They said it really isn’t just for pastors but for any Christian who seeks to minister to others. They said it was not superficial but full of deep insights. They said the author, David Hansen, told great stories.
Even though InterVarsity Press published it a baker’s dozen years ago, I had never read it. Until now. What I have discovered is that everyone was right.
Continue reading “The Art of Pastoring”
Joe Klein wrote in his book Politics Lost that maybe the reason Al Gore lost the 2000 election is that he listened to political handlers too much. They massaged and homogenized his message so much that it felt flabby. Gore was passionate about the environment but the polling said the public was not. So, don’t talk about global warming, Al.
Continue reading “Integrity and Mission”