Get Your Audience to Care

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How do you get your audience to care about your latest innovation? Well, the latest issue of Fast Company has a great article on this topic. Chip and Dan Heath’s regular column digs into the practical side of this problem. The article is entitled “Selling Your Innovation: Anchor and Twist.” I highly recommend checking it out, particularly as it relates to making your idea “customer friendly” so people will relate and understand your concept.

And if you haven’t read Chip and Dan’s book Made to Stick, go out and get a copy. It is almost two years old now, but a great read. They are working on their next book that will release in 2009, and I recently received a short teaser for it. Good stuff. These guys are really smart!

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What Magazines are you reading?

Reading magazines is a great way to stay up to date on culture, trends, news, and fresh ideas. Here are five (actually six) that I recommend you subscribe to:

1. Fast Company– what I believe is the best combination of business and innovation content available. Always great articles and lots of profiles on young business leaders.

2. Paste– if you are a music fan, definitely make sure you are subscribed. Paste is headquartered here in Atlanta, and run by friends Josh Jackson and Nick Purdy.

3. Wired– technology driven magazine. Sometimes a bit too futurist, but always great articles and ideas that are fresh. 

4. GOOD– a relatively new magazine that donates all revenue from subscriptions to several different charitable organizations of your choice. Really good design, and each issue focuses on areas of “social good” in culture, and also innovative trends in grassroots networking and marketing.

5. Risen and Relevant – both considered Christian magazines, even though both take a unique approach in terms of looking at culture and faith. Risen is more interview driven around celebrities, and Relevant focuses primarily on issues for twenty somethings. 

What magazines do you recommend that aren’t on this list? 

A fun week at the Catalyst office

Spirit week here at Catalyst is wrapping up today, with our final celebration being Beach Day. Here are some pics from Spirit Week to give you a glimpse into the fun we have around here.

A few points of interest:

– The favorite day of the week for our interns (Ansley Lawhead, Lara Morris, and Sabrina Joseph) has been Beach Day, and after seeing the pic above, you can see that they were decked out from head to toe!

– On favorite team day, here were the schools represented by our team: Chad Johnson- Boston Red Sox, Dwayne Melton- Virginia Cavaliers, Ben ArmentAtlanta Falcons, Melissa Kruse- Stetson Mad Hatters, Sally Heffner- Alabama Crimson Tide, Jesse Phillips- U. of Cal Berkley, Beth Nelson- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Dustin AhkuoiNorth Carolina Tar Heels, Ansley Lawhead- Georgia Southern Eagles, Chris EdigerOklahoma Sooners, Lara Morris- St. Louis Cardinals, Sabrina Joseph- Georgia State, Brian Cole- Virginia Tech Hokies, Jason Haynes- Georgia Bulldogs, and of course the Oklahoma Sooners for me. 

– Country Day made me not want to listen to country music for at least the next six weeks. However, I did have the guitar in the office for a few country favorites (Country Boy Can Survive, Seminole Wind, Garth Brooks).

– Relay races are actually a great way to take a break during the day. Seriously. You should try them at your office. Or at least timed races. For all of the type A’s, it feeds the competitive juices for sure. 

– Dodgeball was the favorite activity. Our motto of work hard/play hard was truly demonstrated this week. 

 

Quack, Quack

So Ben Arment has been busting my chops the last couple of days during our spirit week here at Catalyst. And probably deservedly so. I wore a pretty ridiculous outfit on Monday, thanks to my father who wore the exact same outfit during the 70’s and 80’s as a football coach at Bristow High School in Oklahoma. And I must say, we used to kick some serious butt around the state on the football field.

Tuesday was favorite team day, and of course I donned the Crimson and Cream to represent my Oklahoma Sooners. And yesterday was Country Day, which required wearing wrangler jeans (in the closet), a tacky western shirt (easy), red wing boots (done), and a few extra surprises- one of which was my endless supply of duck calls throughout the day. I know, it sounds redneck, but duck hunting is one of my favorite things to do, and duck calling is a huge part of duck hunting. I have to give props to my close friend Matt Weaver, who first introduced me to duck hunting back in 1997, on a trip to Mississippi. Since then, it has become a constant passion and lasting hobby.

When it comes to duck calling, you have to understand (which you won’t) that it is both a science and an art. I an nowhere close to being a great duck caller, but figured I would give you a quick example of what my calling sounds like. I have recorded myself on my trusty MacBook Pro to give you a taste. Enjoy. 

Lunch with Roov.com founders

Yesterday had lunch with Micah Davis and Ethan Fisher, co-founders of Roov, a very cool online community that connects folks at the local community level around their shared passions and interests, including jobs, hobbies, causes, and random areas of interest. Highly impressed with Micah, Ethan, and Chris Capehart (the other co-founder). These guys are young, entrepreneurial, and very intentional about creating community for our generation- not just connecting someone online, but also making it easy for those in the same city or community to connect IN-person. As Micah stated, the online environment is the means to an end, not the end. 

Make sure to check out what they are doing, and also sign up to be part of the Roov experience. 

Greatest Leaders from the past 100 years

Ran across an interesting list from Time (from 8 years ago) on who they ranked as the greatest 100 leaders of the last century (the list came out in 2000). So thought I would attempt to put together my own top ten greatest leaders list from the last 100 years. Here you go:

1. Martin Luther King

2. Ronald Reagan

3. Winston Churchill

4. Mother Teresa 

5. Billy Graham 

6. Franklin Roosevelt

7. Nelson Mandela 

8. Walt Disney 

9. Gandhi 

10. Oprah Winfrey 

Do you agree? Who would you add or take off?

Recalculating our Leadership GPS

We had David Salyers at our office last week from Chick-fil-A. David is the VP of Marketing for the chicken sandwich giant, and a frequent speaker and consultant on leadership. He had some great points during his talk to our staff, specifically as it relates to the idea of Recalculating our leadership GPS.

– We tend to think that Leadership is mainly about leading those who are subordinates or work FOR us.

– However, 360 degree leadership is first and foremost about leading ourselves. 

– 50% of our energy should go towards leading ourselves. 20% should go towards leading across (peers), 20% towards leading up, and only 10% towards leading down (those who work for us directly). 

– With this scenario, 90% of leadership is for everybody, regardless of whether you have a team you manage or not. We tend to think that the only kind of leadership is when we have a team we are managing, but that is not accurate. 

– Most of us view leading up as “brown nosing.” Instead we need to recalibrate- leading up is not “sucking up.” Sucking up is selfish, but truly leading up is serving. 

– A self serving leader is one who is usually money motivated, while a servant leader is one who is mission motivated.

– Significance is about impact we have ON others. Success is about comparing ourselves TO others. And comparison is the thief of joy. 

– We cross the line of selfless to selfish as leaders when what we receive goes from appreciation to expectation.

(Many of his thoughts on 360 Leadership he gave credit to Bill Hybels, and a talk that Bill gave at Leadership Summit several years ago). 

You can watch the video of David speaking to our staff here.