FORESIGHT (5 YEAR HORIZON) & A.I. will cause ‘significant labor-market disruption’ over next 5 years, says World Economic Forum. #LeadershipForesight #DMin #Cohort

by BRYCE BASCHUK and BLOOMBERG, Forbes Magazine, 4/30/23.

… The emergence of AI applications like ChatGPT, which uses machines to simulate human reasoning and problem solving, will have a particularly pronounced impact by displacing and automating many roles that involve reasoning, communicating and coordinating, the report said.

Some 75% of surveyed companies said they expect to adopt AI technologies over the next five years, which they predict will eliminate up to 26 million jobs in record-keeping and administrative positions — think cashiers, ticket clerks, data entry and accounting. The WEF study surveyed more than 800 companies that collectively employ 11.3 million workers across 45 economies from all over the world.

Read more at …

TEAM BUILDING & How 14 Agencies Break Down Silos To Boost Cross-Team Collaboration.

by Forbes Expert Council, Forbes Magazine, 4/10/23.

…Below, 14 Forbes Agency Councilmembers explore the measures their agencies are taking to encourage collaboration among different departments.

1. Hosting Knowledge-Sharing Lunches

“Share-and-learn” lunches between departments. – Louise Mezzina, Mojo

4. Creating An Onboarding Boot Camp

Each week, for a half day, we gathered all team members together to train on roles and responsibilities, processes and host team-building activities. – Korena Keys, KeyMedia Solutions

6. Promoting A ‘One Team’ Mentality

To break down silos, we have adopted a “one team” mentality and work daily to form integrated teams and include people from different departments to contribute to brainstorms, strategy sessions and training. We also incorporate Insights Discovery training where people learn more about their own communications preferences and how to work with opposite preferences to form the strongest teams. – Rebecca HallIdea Hall

7. Using Slack For Collaboration

Slack is a great tool to help break down silos and promote cross-team collaboration. By bringing all employees under one umbrella, it creates a feeling of unity and encourages communication. This helps foster a sense of belonging to a larger team, rather than just subteams. – Bryanne DeGoede, BLND Public Relations

8. Incorporating Checks And Balances Into Our Workflow

The major component of my agency’s cross-team collaboration mojo lies in our workflow operations—we always make sure that someone from each of our writing, editing and client relations departments puts eyes on key deliverables, whether they’re for our media partners or our clients. This acts as a system of checks and balances that allows us to both support and optimize each other’s work. – Nicole RodriguesNRPR Group, INC

9. Having Cross-Team Meetings

We have a cool weekly meeting where teams can cross-share information. We also have our “PaperStreet Day,” where teams try to work on each other’s projects and help. A better understanding of what a developer, designer, writer or marketer has to do makes the work go more smoothly in the future. – Peter BoydPaperStreet Web Design

10. Rotating Positions To Expand Skill Sets

We practice job rotation by regularly transitioning employees between different roles so they get exposure to various departments and can expand their skill sets. It works, as we have strategists manage video projects, designers take part in qualitative research and so on. I see the passion that it inspires, plus people delight in discovering they have capabilities they weren’t aware of. – Tom SilvaSilva Brand

12. Doing Weekly Joint Training Sessions

Every Wednesday, our entire team joins a joint training session. Sometimes these focus on SEO training, while other times they focus on content strategy, content development or Web design. Other times, we discuss new standardized processes. And yet other times, we share decks from conferences at which we’ve spoken. This approach to training helps to align our collective understanding and knowledge. – Tom Shapiro,Stratabeat

14. Doing A 10-Minute Daily Huddle

10Fold’s daily huddle spans across five offices, five practice groups (including digital) and our operations team. This 10-minute meeting is used to update everyone on agency news, solve persistent challenges, discuss industry events and celebrate wins and outstanding performance. Alignment comes from collaborating in the meetings and hearing the same message at the same time. – Susan Thomas, 10Fold Communications

Read more at …

FUTURE THINKING & Why LQ Matters More Than IQ In Today’s Fast-Changing World. #LeadershipForesight

by Aliza Knox, Forbes Magazine, 3/31/23.

“Tomorrow’s illiterate will not be the man who can’t read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn.“ Future Shock, 1970, by Alvin Toffler

These words, written by the late author and futurist Toffler, were eerily prescient—and they point to a type of intelligence in high demand today: LQ or “learning quotient.”

You’ve heard of IQ, maybe taken a test or two somewhere along the way. In 2005, EQ, or “emotional quotient,” became the “hot” type of intelligence to have. An idea popularized by Daniel Goleman in his bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, EQ is the ability to connect with others and “read” the room, among other things…

What is LQ? The ability to learn new skills, be open to new ways of doing things, and tackle tasks that were either outside your area of interest or simply didn’t exist in the past. Think: training teams to work with AI. A recent article in the career newsletter WorkLifedescribed learning quotient like this: “Essentially, it’s a measure of adaptability and one’s desire and ability to update our skills throughout life.”

Desire is key. As with EQ, LQ can be developed over time. We can improve our ability to learn, and continue to do so as we age. Lifelong learning is not a new idea, but it has taken on a new urgency as innovations like ChatGPT are poised to dramatically transform so many industries and careers. Indeed, lifelong learning is a key part of having a growth mindset, the belief that your talents and abilities can be further developed—and the will to actively seek new opportunities to learn.

Lengthening careers contribute to our need for LQ. As Laura Carstensen, the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, has put it, “In this era of very, very long life, learning is going to have to be continuous.” As it turns out, we have to not only learn new skills, but also unlearn old ways of doing things.

Read more, including four tips for increasing your LQ …

INNOVATION & How the “Hype Cycle” depicts why new ideas will first lead to inflated expectations, then disillusionment, but eventually to productivity if you stick with it (plus find a story).

By Shane Snow, Forbes Magazine, 3/24/23.

… The research firm Gartner has a chart that describes this exact pattern that frequently happens when new innovations hit the market. It’s called The Hype Cycle:

This is where leadership needs to step in.

In both the Inflated Expectations and Disillusionment phases of the Hype Cycle, people make up stories based on limited information. For a new innovation to take hold sustainably, an industry needs information. Data points. Case studies. Education. Experience.

Often these things simply need time. But leaders of companies involved can accelerate the path to the Enlightenment phase by, well, enlightening people with this information as it comes about.

Shane Snow

The thing preventing the latest innovation from snapping perfectly into the market is often simply that it’s new. Users lack information on how to harness it. Smart processes, standardization, coordination, or business models that match the value the innovation can deliver are nascent or don’t exist yet.

I’m basically making a case for thought leadership to help you cross the chasm during the messy middle of the innovation cycle. Buzzwords (and great books) aside, the upshot is this:

If you want to show leadership during a crazy hype cycle, find the list of things that people are “not sure” about and provide them with answers.

Read more at …

AI & Thinking of replacing staff/volunteers with ChatGPT? Read this first: Empathy And The Human Focus. #LeadershipForesight #Foresight #HowToPivot #DMin

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: as I write for (and prepare to teach) a three-year #DMin cohort on Leadership Foresight, the developing aspects of artificial intelligence are important to consider. Here’s a good article that should be read as an introduction.

Leadership In A ChatGPT World: Empathy And The Human Focus

by Wayne Elsey, Forbes Magazine, 3/22/23.

Transparency is paramount.

…Leaders should be honest about the challenges and opportunities these technologies present and work to create a clear plan for how it’ll happen.

Demonstrate empathy for your team.

… Leaders genuinely interested in their team are more likely to make the time to understand their employees’ individual experiences, feelings and goals.

Here are three strategies to promote effective team collaboration in a ChatGPT World.

The fact is that ChatGPT systems can facilitate communication between teams and leaders—but they can’t replace the human connection that strengthens relationships. Now is the time to lean into human conversations and interactions (i.e., to step away from the screen).

Here are three ideas for creating a more robust team environment in this new environment.

• Find ways to optimize traditional communication methods. In other words, encourage people to move away from the tech and talk to each other.

• Develop solid offline relationships with your team members wherever possible to remind them that you see who they are as people.

• Be available for your team members when they need you, even if that means staying late or coming in early.

Responsible human and tech integration is the only way forward.

In sum, transparency by leaders is paramount in a ChatGPT world.

Read more at …

GRIT & Persistence Makes The Biggest Difference To School Grades, Study Finds.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Well known University of Pennsylvania professor Angela Duckworth’s research has made it clear that the main distinguishing aspect of academic success, as well as career success, is persistence. She calls this the more memorable term: “grit.” See how further research supports her research in this article.

“Persistence Makes The Biggest Difference To School Grades, Study Finds” by Nick Morrison, Forbes Magazine, 2/6/23.

Persistence is the most important skill students can possess to help them get better grades, according to a new study.

Students who are determined to overcome challenges and ignore distractions get better grades in both reading and math than classmates who fall at the first hurdle.

Researchers at Rice University used data from the OECD’s survey on social and emotional skills to track the relationship between a range of skills and academic outcomes among 6,400 10 and 15-year-old students at Houston schools.

Students were asked a series of questions that then mapped onto a set of social and emotional skills, with 15 included in the study. To measure persistence, for example, students were asked to rate themselves on statements including whether they kept working on a task until it was finished and whether they hated leaving things unfinished.

The skills where students ranked themselves highest were tolerance, curiosity, creativity, co-operation and self-efficacy, the belief in their ability to achieve their goals.

But comparing these results with grades in math and reading found persistence had the strongest link with academic outcomes.

Read more at …

TRENDS & This Is What Leadership Will Be In 2030: 4 Mindsets + 5 Skills. #Forbes Magazine

by Benjamin Laker, Forbes Magazine, 11/30/22.

… Jacob Morgan (in) The Future Leader… interviewed more than 140 top CEOs from around the world at companies like Audi, Mastercard, Unilever, Oracle, SAP, Best Buy, Verizon, and many others.

Jacob asked all of these CEOs … the top skills and mindsets they believe will be most relevant for future leaders over the next decade and beyond.. Jacob put together what he calls, The Notable Nine, which is the top 4 mindsets and top 5 skills that future leaders must master.


1.Global Citizen

…means thinking globally and embracing diversity. Leaders need to understand and appreciate new cultures, actively seek diverse teams, lead employees with different backgrounds, and know-how to enter and succeed in new global markets. 

2. Servant

… The mindset of the service means that you practice humility and that you serve four groups: your leaders if you have them, your customers, your team, and yourself.

3. Chef

Like chefs balance numerous ingredients to create masterful meals, leaders must balance the two most essential ingredients of any business: humanity and technology… One side can’t succeed without the other. 


Future leaders need to be like explorers of old and embrace the unknown. They need to be open to new ideas, and change course as the world around them evolves. Just like explorers had to learn continually, leaders need to be super perpetual leaders and practice curiosity. 


1. Coach

Great coaches motivate, inspire, and engage their teams while caring about each member as an individual. Likewise, future leaders need to appreciate employees as individuals as opposed to viewing everyone as just workers. The best coaches and leaders develop their people to be more successful than them. 


Futurists make sure organizations aren’t surprised by what the future might bring. The world in which we live and work is continually changing and full of unknowns. Futurists consider multiple scenarios and think through new possibilities. They stay on top of trends and are connected to their networks. This was the #1 skill, according to the 140+ CEOs Jacob interviewed.

3.Technology Teenager

Teenagers seem to always be current on the latest technology, and future leaders must be the same way. They don’t need to be experts in the practical application, but they should embrace technology and know-how to best leverage it to serve their company. They need to be tech-savvy and digitally fluent.


Translators are master communicators. They listen to understand and do more than hear what people are saying.


But in the future, leaders need to be emotionally intelligent like Yoda and develop their empathy and self-awareness. Great communicators build connections and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. Empathy understands the feelings and perspectives of others. Self-awareness is about understanding your strengths and weaknesses and helping others understand yours as well.

Read more at …

3 STRand LEADERSHIP & Saving Management From Our Obsession With Leadership. #ForbesMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. For the past 20 years leadership articles have primarily focused on creating visionary leaders. But “administrative leaders” are actually just as critical to getting the vision accomplished. I’ve written about this numerous times citing a “strategic – tactical – relational matrix” of leadership personalities. Here’s an article that shows that unless a visionary leader partners with an administrative leader, the vision won’t usually be attained.

by Roger Trapp, Forbes Magazine, 8/31/22.

… so much emphasis is put on leadership — with all that entails in terms of vision, strategy and communication — that it is possible that we are overlooking the basics of just getting things done.

The evidence for this is all around us. Take, for example, the chaos at airports around the world as travel attempts to return to normal after the pandemic. We can all see that shortages of labour might have an impact, but management is all about dealing with constraints, so surely a well-run organisation would have — if it had not anticipated the issue — reacted to early problems and come up with a better plan for dealing with them. Or consider many aspects of the handling of the pandemic itself. From securing supplies of personal protective equipment at the outset to distributing vaccines later, the U.K.’s National Health Service and other bodies around the world were found wanting… It all smacks of putting vision and strategy before the basics of getting the job done.

The point is developed in an article just published in the MIT Sloan Management Review. In “Saving Management From Our Obsession With Leadership,” authors Jim Detert, Kevin Kniffin and Hannes Leroy write: “For decades, business thinkers and the executives who look to them for insight have elevated the visionary, inspirational leader over the useful yet pedestrian good manager. But evidence all around us suggests that we devalue management practices at our peril: What we’ve come to denigrate as mere management (done by those who are merely managers) is incredibly difficult and valuable.”

Moreover, they put the Great Resignation into context, pointing out that the people “quitting in droves haven’t done so because their company’s top executive is insufficiently visionary or inspirational. Rather, people have quit lousy jobs — jobs that lack autonomy, variety, or opportunities to grow; jobs that pay poorly and don’t reward performance fairly; jobs that aren’t clearly defined and structured; jobs that lack guardrails that prevent chronic overload and frustration.

Read more at …

MISSIONAL COACHES & How to Build Client Relationships Without Meeting Face-to-Face. #ForbesMagazine

by Martin Zwiling, Forbes Magazine, 3/4/21.

… 1. Customize and personalize every communication you can.

… a recognition and real insights into specific challenges that you know this client is facing. Couple this with a specific proposal for the next step or your solution.

3. Highlight your personal leadership values and experience.

Through frequent communication and your website, make sure clients see you as a person and a leader, rather than a robot who can do their job…

4. Make sure clients know how you manage your business.

Clients need to feel comfortable that you expect quality work from your team and technology and have metrics, modern tools, and controls in place to make it happen. Be proactive in answering potential questions about peak load scheduling, special services, and billing questions…

5. Seek out your client’s purpose, priorities, and expectations.

Nothing galvanizes a client’s loyalty and support than the feeling that you understand that their purpose is shared with yours, and goes well beyond what you can do for them…

6. Provide relevant case studies illustrating your results.

…People like to see examples of your work that they can relate to, with results, including costs and savings. Focus on proposals, rather than hourly rates.

Read more at …

MISSIONAL COACHES & How to Build Client Relationships Without Meeting Face-to-Face. #ForbesMagazine

by Martin Zwiling, Forbes Magazine, 3/4/21.

… 1. Customize and personalize every communication you can.

… a recognition and real insights into specific challenges that you know this client is facing. Couple this with a specific proposal for the next step or your solution.

3. Highlight your personal leadership values and experience.

Through frequent communication and your website, make sure clients see you as a person and a leader, rather than a robot who can do their job…

4. Make sure clients know how you manage your business.

Clients need to feel comfortable that you expect quality work from your team and technology and have metrics, modern tools, and controls in place to make it happen. Be proactive in answering potential questions about peak load scheduling, special services, and billing questions…

5. Seek out your client’s purpose, priorities, and expectations.

Nothing galvanizes a client’s loyalty and support than the feeling that you understand that their purpose is shared with yours, and goes well beyond what you can do for them…

6. Provide relevant case studies illustrating your results.

…People like to see examples of your work that they can relate to, with results, including costs and savings. Focus on proposals, rather than hourly rates.

Read more at …

COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP & 4 Reasons Why Compassion Is Better For Humanity Than Empathy

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I teach at the doctoral level “transformational leadership.” And transformational leadership is founded upon an understanding that compassionate leadership is needed, in addition to empathetic leadership. Some of the problems facing America today including our propensity toward a cancel culture are because of a confusion between compassion and empathy. Here is an expert on the differences, explaining why it’s important to practice compassionate leadership, not just the empathetic type.

by Rasmus Hougaard, Forbes Magazine, 7/8/20.

Empathy is an important, foundational emotion for human connection. It is the spark that can ignite compassion. But on its own, without compassion, empathy is a danger for leaders. As controversial as this may sound, the reasoning is simple: Empathy is the brain’s wired tendency to identify with those who are close to us – close in proximity, close in familiarity, or close in kinship. And when we empathize with those close to us, those who are not close or are different seem threatening. When unchecked, empathy can create more division than unity.

Empathy and compassion are very different. They are represented in different areas of the brain. With empathy, we join the suffering of others who suffer, but stop short of actually helping. With compassion, we take a step away from the emotion of empathy and ask ourselves ‘how can we help?’. For leaders, recognizing the differences between empathy and compassion is critical for inspiring and managing others effectively. Remember these four main points in responding to your people with compassion instead of empathy.

1. Empathy is impulsive. Compassion is deliberate…

2. Empathy is divisive. Compassion is unifying…

3. Empathy is inert. Compassion is active…

4. Empathy is draining. Compassion is regenerative..,

Read more at …

INNOVATION & Creativity Conquers Uncertainty. Here’s How To Hire For It

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: years ago when I began my PhD work I began by finding and analyzing churches that are creatively sharing the Good News. One of the most important factors is hiring creative people. But hiring committees often err on the side of the safe bet. Here is an excerpt from a new research-based book that explains how do you spot someone that’s creative and get them on your team.

by Chaka Booker, Forbes Magazine, 6/1/20.

…According to an annual global study conducted by IBM, 80% of CEOs anticipate this increase in complexity, but only 49% believe their organizations are prepared to deal with it. The same research shows that creative thinking has become a prerequisite for success. Clearly, organizations need talent that see things differently than others. They need creative thinkers who can help move organizations in unanticipated and ultimately successful directions.

Interviewing for creativity

Determining if someone is creative isn’t easy. Even when asked to describe their own creativity, people find it difficult to do so. Steve Jobs echoed this sentiment during an interview for Wired magazine in 1996, “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

Most interview questions don’t acknowledge this reality and instead ask candidates to give examples of creative solutions they’ve generated in their work experience. These types of questions focus primarily on ideas and results, not on the process. Assessing ideas and results, however, requires understanding the candidate’s context. A candidate may describe something that was creative within their context, but to you it may seem lackluster. Or, vice versa, it may seem creative but was par for the course.

This is a problem you cannot solve. Regardless of your understanding of the candidate’s context, your opening question still needs to be a traditional one. Start by asking any of the following standard creativity questions: 

  • Have you had a project which required you to think “outside the box”? If so, what ideas did you generate and what was the result?
  • Have you come up with an innovative idea or solution recently at work If so, what resulted from the idea?
  • Have you faced a problem at work that you solved in a unique way? If so, what was the outcome?

Asking one or two of these questions is still valuable because it sets the foundation for addressing the challenge that Steve Jobs identified. Next you need to ask questions that specifically help you understand the candidate’s mental process.

The link between artistic and professional creativity

Creativity is hard to assess because it is a mind state that people enter to generate results. It is often more recognizable when examined via the artistic creativity exhibited by musicians, poets, dancers, or other artists. For this reason, a considerable amount of research on creative mental processes has been done with artists. Fortunately, artistic creativity and the creativity needed in the working world are related. Studies have shown that whether a person is a chief operating officer or a sculptor, a similar mental shift occurs when they think creatively. Dr. Joel Lopata, a Professor of Psychology and Creativity at The Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, found that, “When artists—or people in general—work across domains…they are in what can be called a distinct creative mental space, which is distinct and different from a rational, logical, and analytical state.”

Read more at …

STAFF & How Respecting Others’ Time Results In Better Performance For Everyone #ForbesMagazine

by John Hall, Forbes Magazine, 3/8/20.

Entrepreneurs are said to have egos. That’s a fair assessment — I don’t know a single founder who doesn’t have a need to be seen, to leave a mark on the world. But the entrepreneurs I know need something far more important than that: respect. They want people to understand how valuable their time is. The problem is that many of them fail to extend that same respect when it comes to their team members’ time.

As noted in a previous Forbes article, respect is the third most important thing employees look for when seeking a new job. While that may not be top of mind for you, it certainly is for others. Eighty percent of employees surveyed in a study cited in the Memphis Business Journal said that “lack of respect is a serious problem in the workplace” — and that it was getting worse. Another study found that 63% of those who don’t feel respected intend to leave their present job within two years.

You may think you don’t “waste” anyone’s time. Intentional or not, here are some common ways we’ve all done it:

  • Scheduling unnecessary or last-minute meetings
  • Going over the allotted time for a meeting 
  • Tardiness, such as arriving late or missing deadlines
  • Not respecting boundaries, such as calling a colleague at 11 p.m. or emailing at 6 a.m. on a Saturday 
  • Interrupting people when they’re speaking or clearly focused on their work — cues like wearing headphones or closing their office door signify interruptions aren’t welcome
  • Assigning or delegating a task to someone at the last second or when he’s already working at full capacity
  • Filling a person’s inbox with messages that have no real value
  • Not responding to important messages or keeping people updated on your progress
  • Breaking promises, such as having a reputation for canceling meetings at the last minute
  • Being unprepared, like arriving at a meeting without having reviewed the agenda

Not only are these actions disrespectful, but they’re also impacting others’ performance. 

Read more at …

TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP & 12 Phrases Transformational Leaders Use To Get Amazing Results.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I designed and launched a doctor of ministry degree in “transformational leadership,” because transformational leadership is becoming the most precise and effective way to describe a Christian leader who believes in sanctification. The transformational leader allows her or himself to be changed, as they change the organization and encourage change in others. Here’s a helpful overview of the mindset of a transformational leader.

By Terina Allen, Forbes Magazine, 1/4/20.

Here are 12 simple phrases that transformational leaders use to get amazing results by connecting more deeply with employees. 

1. I need your help.

Many so-called leaders view asking for help as some sort of weakness. This is flawed thinking, and they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, asking for help is one of the greatest things you can do to show leadership strength…

2. May I help you? – or – How can I help you?

Be intentional about asking these questions. Leaders and supervisors shouldn’t assume that staff will just up and come to you when and if they need help. You need to make it clear that you really want to help and that you don’t view others as weaker or less competent for seeking out help in the first place…

3. I understand that… – or – I understand you…

When you engage in a conversation with one or more people and follow up with a phrase like “I understand that [fill in the blank with points of the conversation that you understood],” you are demonstrating that you indeed heard and received the message…

4. I respect you for… – or – I respect the way…

Most, if not all of us, want to be respected. And though you can do these very specific things to garner more respect from your colleagues, it’s critically important that you also demonstrate respect for them as well. Transformational leaders understand that showing respect requires more than lip service, but sometimes the words actually help too…

5. I trust that you can… – or – I trust that you will…

If you are a micromanager, force yourself to use this phrase at least once a week…

Employees want to use their talents and make contributions to goal accomplishments, and in order to do so, they need space to be creative, to think of options and to make the plays that will lead to the desired results. Tell your team members what the goals are. Share an outline of what the end should look like and then get out of the way and let them shine! Your staff will come to see that you actually do trust them, and they will become more invested and engaged in the process.

6. You are right. – or – I was wrong.

Leaders don’t always have the answers. Encourage your team to have respectful debate with you and with one another. Teams are formed when members feel comfortable with conflict and safe to disagree with one another and with the boss. Show your strength and courage as a leader by being willing to admit that someone else was right on something or that you were wrong. Allow some of your vulnerability to come through; it builds relationships.

Read more at …

TRENDS & 6 Pop Culture Examples That Show Faith Isn’t Taboo Anymore.

by Paul Jankowski, Forbes Magazine, 1/2/19.

..,I’ve been studying the role faith plays in marketing to the New Heartland for over a decade. As one of the three core values this cohort, which makes up 60% of the country, prioritizes in their decision-making process, it’s important to explore its relevance in today’s society. 

…Get to a place where you understand the role faith plays.

Lately, entertainment and faith have been intersecting in ways that reflect a New Heartland state of mind. 

Faith and its connection to pop culture is gaining ground with both New Heartland and non-New Heartland personalities leading the way. 

… Here are 6 examples from 2019 of pop culture heavyweights leaning into faith, not away from it…

2. Eric Church Faces Monsters with Prayer 

2019 was the year of embracing faith in country music. Some notable songs featuring faith include Matt Stell’s “Prayed For You,” Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country” and Little Big Town’s“The Daughters,” fans were introduced to “Monsters” by Eric Church at the end of the summer. Church sings about the power of prayer when faced with difficult times. Since his first EP, “Sinners Like Me,” Church has danced with faith in his lyrics to much success. 

3. Chance the Rapper Gets Inspiration from Above 

Since Chance the Rapper declared himself as a Christian rapper in 2018, he has lived out the lifestyle very publicly. He uses Jesus’ name on network TV, volunteers for Kids of the Kingdom in his hometown of Chicago, and shares his message of faith through his music. His 2018 single, “Blessings,” opens with the line “I’m gon’ praise Him, praise Him ’til I’m gone. When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” 

  • 4. Dolly Parton Takes Traditional Values to a Non-Traditional Genre

    Swedish DJs Galantis and Dutch singer Mr. Probz approached Parton with a proposal to sing on their EDM remake of John Hiatt’s 80s hit, “Faith.” Many of her country songs have been re purposed as party mixes, but this is the first time she collaborated on a venture of this type outside of her bluegrass roots. Her collaborations following 18 years away from the stage are predominantly faith-focused. In addition to “Faith,” Parton joined forces with For King and Country earlier in 2019 on their song “God Only Knows.” 

    Read more at …

    COACHING & 15 Essential Questions To Ask Your Mentor Or Coach

    Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In my coaching of church leaders, pastors and denominational leaders I ask them to look over the following questions and ask me one at each coaching session.

    By Forbes Magazine Coaching Panel, 11/25/19.

    1. Can you help me identify my blind spots?

    2. Where are my areas of opportunity?

    3. What is holding me back from my next level?

    4. How can I make better decisions?

    5. Which skill should I focus on?

    6. How can I help you?

    7. What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?

    8. Who else should I speak to?

    9. What are my end goals?

    10. When I look in the mirror, how should I react to myself?

    11. Who coaches or mentors you?

    12. What might not work in our coaching relationship?

    13. What would you do if you were me?

    14. What are you noticing about me?

    15. Ask them your most ‘burning’ question.

    Read more at …

    ECONOMICS & Five Charts That Will Change The Way You Think About Racial Inequality

    by Mark Travers, Forbes Magazine, 10/10/19.

    Perhaps the best way to correct people’s misguided assumptions regarding racial economic inequality in America is to simply present them with the numbers. And, in this case, a picture might be worth more than a thousand words. 

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the average white family in the United States has $100. In those terms, how much money do you think a comparable black family has?

    …The answer is less than $10. Most Americans guess upwards of $80. This is the crux of a new article appearing in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Specifically, a team of psychologists led by Michael Kraus of Yale University examined the extent to which people underestimate the degree of racial economic inequality in the United States. Their results are alarming, to say the least. 

    Key findings from their research are summarized in the five charts below. 

    Race inequality

    Figure 1. The chart above illustrates the extent to which Americans underestimate the racial wealth gap in the United States. (Data was collected using a nationally representative sample of 1,008 American adults.) Perceptions of black wealth when white wealth is set to $100 are shown by the diamonds within error bars. The actual ratio of black to white wealth is depicted by the diamonds toward the bottom of the chart. It is easy to see the arrant disconnect between perception and reality. It is also the case that most Americans think the racial wealth gap is decreasing over time when, in reality, it has remained relatively stable, and exceptionally unequal, for decades.

    Figure 2. The graph above depicts perception (diamonds with error bars) and reality (diamonds) of the racial wealth divide for people of varying levels of education. In both cases, the wealth gap decreases as education level increases. Still, the degree of overestimation is enormous. For instance, most Americans assume that the wealth gap between white and black families with post-graduate educations is virtually negligible. The truth is that black families with post-graduate degrees are still only worth about 30 cents to every white families’ dollar.

    Race and income

    Figure 4. The chart above includes perceptions of income inequality for Latinx and Asian racial groups, as well as for blacks. Comparing perceptions (diamonds with error bars) to reality (diamonds), most Americans underestimate wealth inequality for all groups, but the misperception is largest for the black and Latinx groups.

    Figure 5. What might cause the gross underestimation of racial economic inequality in the United States? While there are undoubtedly many factors at play, the researchers suggest that personal beliefs regarding the nature of success may contribute to the misperception. The chart above shows that people who believe in a “just world” (i.e., that people generally get what they deserve in life) are more likely overestimate the degree of economic equality between blacks and whites.

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    PERSONALITY & Why Self-Compassion Beats Self-Esteem

    by Carley Sime, Forbes Magazine, 4/30/19.

    Firstly a definition of self-compassion. This is taken directly from a paper written by Kristin Neff, a hugely influential researcher in the field of self-compassion: 

    “Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding towards oneself when encountering suffering, inadequacy or failure, rather than ignoring one’s pain or flagellating oneself with self-criticism. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism. When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional equanimity is experienced”

    Through her research, Neff has found that individuals who are self-compassionate often benefit in several ways. They tend to have better psychological health and also greater resilience when compared to those with lower levels of self-compassion. Neff also found that self-compassion is positively associated with life-satisfaction, emotional intelligence and social connectedness. What is it negatively associated with? Depression, anxiety, rumination, thought suppression and perfectionism. This means that individuals who are self-compassionate are less likely to experience these things. 

    If that hasn’t sold you on self-compassion then keep reading. Neff and colleagues also found that self-compassion was associated with greater wisdom, curiosity, exploration, happiness, optimism and positive affect. They also found a link between self-compassion and personal initiative, defined as a desire to grow and change in ways that lead to living a more productive and fulfilling life. They suggest that this finding is particularly important as it demonstrates how self-compassion leads to personal growth rather than self-indulgence

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    PREACHING & 7 Golden Tips To Make People Engage During Your Presentation

    by Paloma Cantero-Gomez, Forbes Magazine, 5/9/19.

    “…there are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” (Mark Twain).

    However, there are also thousands of different tips that can help you to rock it and even enjoy it. 

    1. Start with a shocking fact

    Such as a personal story from someone you know (or not) or an astonishing data that make everybody open wide their eyes. Beginning your presentation with something sharp and memorable will immediately get everyone’s attention and predispose the audience to believe this will be something worthy to listen to.

    2. Introduce your project/product by comparing to other more successful projects/products

    … A straightforward and impactful way to make the object or subject of your presentation seems incredibly important is to place it at the end of a list of memorable and successful things or hits. Showing the evolution from a historical perspective and proving your stuff to be the one step forward will may people prone to listen carefully.

    3. Make it interactive

    Ask your audience to stop you at any point. Make it a two-way experience getting your audience to feel that they are part of the process or the solution…

    4. Make the slide visual. Avoid text

    Put an important word in the center of every slide. Or even better. Put an icon or image that make your audience think about this word. White text over a dark background is always a catchy combination…

    5. Ask for questions. Praise people’s questions. Answer questions

    Get audience feedback in real-time… Many different tools can be used for this purpose. DirectPoll let you create quick polls that your audience can access and vote on from their mobile device while showing results in real time. 

    Praise people’s questions. This would make them believe they are smart and they got a good point. Everybody likes to feel intelligent.  Answer every question. Even if you do not have a very clear response. ’I am not sure but let me consult it and come back to you’ is always better than making people feel ignored. 

    Ask them if it is okay to move on. This will absolutely help all those undecided souls with a shy question in mind to finally formulate it!

    6. Take notes of people’s inputs

    …Writing down peoples’ comments and inputs provide them with this feeling of belonging. This is a very simple way to make them genuinely think that what they are saying really make a difference and it is taken into consideration as part of the solution.  

     7. Ask the audience for takeaways

    Every excellent presentation ends with a neat list of key takeaways. Engaging speakers do not provide them for free but work together with the audience, so actually, it is the audience who came up with the main findings…

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    SPEAKING & Your Audience Tunes Out After 10 Minutes. Here’s How To Keep Their Attention.

    by Carmine Gallo, Forbes Magazine, 2/28/19.

    Cognitive scientists have a reasonably good idea of when audiences will stop listening to a presentation. It occurs at the 10-minute mark...Neuroscientists have found that the best way to re-engage a person’s attention when it begins to wane is to change up the format of the content.

    1. Introduce Characters

    There aren’t too many commercially successful one-person plays. Few people can pull it off…. include members of the team. Hand off a portion of the presentation…

    2. Show Videos

    If you can’t bring someone else along, do the next big thing and show a video… Apple does this with nearly every keynote when they show a video of chief designer, Jony Ive, describing the features of a particular product…

    3. Use Props 

    Steve Jobs was a master at using props. In 1984, Jobs didn’t have to pull the first Macintosh out of a black bag like a magician. But he did. In 2001, Jobs didn’t have to pull the first iPod out of the pocket of his jeans. But he did. In 2008, Jobs didn’t have to pull the first MacBook Air from a manila envelope. But he did. Props are unexpected. They get attention.

    4. Give Demos

    Former Apple evangelist and venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki, says demonstrations should start with “shock and awe.” In other words, don’t build up to a crescendo. Show off the coolest thing about your product in the first sixty seconds…

    5. Invite Questions

    A presentation shouldn’t be about you. It’s about your audience and how your product or service will improve their lives… Change it up by pausing and inviting questions before you move on to the next section.

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