Not long ago, I had someone come up to me at a remote and tell me, "You said something years ago and it ministered to me. I wrote it down and wrote your name next to it."
I had just recently gotten back on the air after a twelve-year-old detour into national radio promotions and communications with Focus on the Family. And I didn't think anyone would remember me...let alone remember a devotional thought that I've long since forgotten. But here was a listener who remembered, not just what was said, but the difference it made.
You've maybe heard something similar. I hope you hear it often, because it's important to know that you're making a difference in people's lives. And it's also a reminder that we are in the business of creating memorable moments for listeners.
Our role, whether an on-air jock or PD is to create moments that link our listeners to our stations and to let them know that they're part of something much bigger. We create those moments through stories, through music, and through one-on-one
So whatever you do this week, any time you get to open the mic, remember that we're in the business of creating memories. Make them good ones!
“Can you work 130 hours a week?” Yahoo CEO Melissa Mayer described her experience working for Google in its early days. In an August 4th interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Mayer answered her own question: “Could you work 10 hours a week? The answer is yes, if you're strategic about when you sleep, when you shower, and how often you go to the bathroom. The nap rooms at Google were there because it was safer to stay in the office than walk to your car at 3 a.m. For my first five years, I did at least one all-nighter a week except when I was on vacation – and the vacations are few and far between.”
Mayer compares her work ethic to the business startups who use shared office space at her husband's (Venture Capitalist Zachary Bogue) office. “...If you go in on a Saturday afternoon, I can tell you which startups will succeed ,without even knowing what they do. Being there on the weekend is a huge indicator of success. Mostly because these companies just don't happen. They happen because of really hard work.”
Mayer is correct. Hard work is essential to success. But is it the only thing that defines success? And is it an accurate measure? Michael Hyatt, in his latest ebook, “Shave 10 Hours off Your Workweek” has a different take: “In the long run, overworking drives down our productivity. Many of us have tried to push excessive hours for months and years at a time. Is it any wonder that we're burnt out?”
Hyatt says that burnout - “All this running and gunning is costing us a lot – probably more than we think.” He identifies five areas that burnout affects:
• Sanity (or “Emotional Health”)
The antidote to burnout, Hyatt says, is to add margin to our lives. To be intentional about our time, our commitments, and our choices.
Why talk about burnout and business in an article that runs in a Christian radio magazine?
Because it's easy to get wrapped up in our work and lost sight of what really matters. Because sometimes we need to add margin to our schedules so that we can be more effective in our ministries. And because sometimes we need to stop and remind ourselves to remember that God asks us to be stewards of what He's given us: Our families, our health, our relationship with Him, and our testimonies.
How do you define success? How do you model it to your team and your coworkers? Your family? Your listeners? As a Christian broadcaster, your definition of success influences how people view you – and by extension, how they view Christ.
The question, then, is not “Can your work 130 hours a week,” but “Can people see Jesus when they look at your definition of success?
Finally! Cooler weather is on the way. We're just a couple weeks away from Labor Day and the start of the fall colors.
How will your station celebrate autumn?
Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
1) Labor Day Cook-out. Can your station provide the eats for one family's final summer grill-fest? How about asking listeners to share their end-of-summer recipes?
2) World's Largest Leaf Pile. Ok...maybe not the world's largest leaf pile, but how about your town's largest leaf pile? Invite families to post photos of their leaf piles and the family with the largest leaf pile wins a station-branded leaf rake...or maybe a DJ to volunteer to use the branded leaf rake for an afternoon. Have some fun with this idea!
3) Fall Color Photographs. Invite your listeners to post photos on your Facebook/Instagram pages and share their favorite spots for capturing fall colors. Ask listeners to vote on the photo of the week.
Don't forget that we're coming up on the busiest quarter of the year. In the weeks ahead families will celebrate Patriot Day (15th anniversary of 9/11), National Grandparent's Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Take time to plan ahead for all the fun opportunities headed your way!
Here's the permission you've been looking for: take time to refuel your creativity.
• Talk to a creative friend
• Read an article you've been wanting to read
• Schedule time to listen to a new song
• Write out your plans...no matter how simple or incomplete they may seem.
• Go read a past script or show bit you've written What worked? Why did you like it?
• Watch an old comedy
• Google kids jokes and read them. Out loud.
Creativity needs to be refueled. Often. And creative thinking comes from connecting unconnected dots. So take ten minutes today and refuel the tank. It might seem like you don't have enough time...but refueling the creative tank is one of the most important things you can do. So...do it.
Unrest in Milwaukee. Historic flooding in Louisiana. Zika virus fears in Florida. What's the right response? How do we share hope with our listeners when the disaster of the day seizes our attention?
I was reminded of the old prayer from St. Francis of Assissi:
“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
“O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”
We can only become an instrument of peace when we reflect the Prince of Peace and we share His gift – a peace that “passes all understanding.”
Share the Prince of Peace this week. Share the prayer. Ask God to make you – and your words – instruments of peace.