Drive + Knowledge = Unstoppable
Archives For Leadership
The White House Correspondents’ Association holds an annual dinner where the President is the guest of honor. The event is attended by heavy hitters from the media and politics. It is an evening that involves a lot of humor in an otherwise serious world with hard issues going on outside the walls of the ballroom at the Washington Hilton. It can draw criticism from some — well, those who did not get invited.
A good portion of the evening is slinging jokes at the expense of the President (among many others). The President gets involved and shows off stand-up skills, with a heavy dose of self-deprecating humor. I have been following this since the Bush II years and look forward to the YouTube videos (since my invite probably gets lost in the mail). There is something fascinating about the most powerful person in the free world laughing at himself.
Laughing at oneself is not limited to the famous. It applies to you too.
I know, I know. You are important. People know you. You are kind of a big deal. You work hard in a noble profession. You are under a lot of pressure.
Your traits are probably really hilarious (so say the people laughing when you aren’t around). Learn to laugh at yourself and along with others. You will be more satisfied with life. Apparently, you will live longer — at least that is what a scientific Google search found.
Get over yourself. You will feel better.
This past weekend, I participated in a strategic planning session for our church. We are fortunate to have a strong congregation with a fascinating past, bright outlook to the future and strong leadership. There were very smart leaders around the table. Yet, like most organized religions, including the Lutheran denomination, effective growth is always a topic of conversation. Here are some interesting Gallup poll results.
Questions that exist: What are the most effective ways to reach people? How do you get people in the door to stay? What does church membership mean in today’s culture? What are the younger generations looking for in a church home? Non-denominational churches can pack the house on Sunday — what makes them different from old school religions? All of which lead to fascinating discussions.
As I was reflecting on this planning session, it was obvious that organized religion is going through a transition much like the legal profession. Examples:
Church: Rooted in thousands of years of tradition and teachings that, to some, can seem archaic. Law: Rooted in hundreds if not thousands of years of principles and practices that, to some, can seem archaic.
Church: The institution at its core is slow to change. Law: The institution at its core is slow to change.
Church: The majority finds comfort in the way things have always been done. Law: The majority finds comfort in the way things have always been done.
Church: Technology provides different ways to reach the masses. Law: Technology is changing the delivery of services.
Church: Membership expectations are changing. Law: Client expectations are changing.
It is the last item that has the most significance and what matters for growing a business (whether a church or law firm — yes, both are businesses): Consumer expectations.
These expectations will drive significant change (and already are). Those that get what the consumer wants and can share the message in an effective way will strive long-term. This does not mean that fundamentals get thrown out the door. To the contrary, core principles will continue to guide the future, but failing to alter behavior to recognize modern trends will leave behind those huddling under the comfort of the past.