After 22 years as President/CEO of EMF
Broadcasting (K-LOVE and Air 1), I recently accepted the challenge
of entering the consulting business for a variety of secular and
Christian organizations. This new consultant role is teaching me
some interesting lessons about management; some are as basic as a
college 101 business class, while others are surprisingly complex.
Listed below are a few of my recent learning experiences.
Organizational DNA. I have begun to learn that
sometimes there is a huge disconnect between management’s idea of
the work environment and the staff’s perception. Recently, a
business associate described his organizations creed as one of
“Christian unity.” However, the staff’s perception was “a workplace
where feedback never happens and confrontation is frowned upon.” My
advice to managers, hire an outside evaluator for a reality check of
your organizations DNA.
Not everything is equally important. In
today’s hectic business/ministry environment, everything can seem to
be a priority, yet a good manager knows instinctively that cannot be
true. Increasing stress levels lead many managers to become
overwhelmed with a never ending “to do” list. Try to keep your daily
priority list to only three items (not five, not ten, but three).
Reality is a perception in the mind of the listener.
That is especially true for radio. Your stations image liners may
profess that you are the “family friendly” radio station, but your
listeners just heard a Christian divorce attorney spot.
Hello? Let’s make sure your station image is consistent across all
your platforms (announcers, music, commercials, web, features, front
desk and print).
Collaboration Works. Think about it. Each of us
grows up encountering life from a unique set of perspectives and
what becomes painfully obvious to one person from a different life
experience may not be so apparent to you. This is why collaboration
is so powerful.
Your organization’s structure, strategy and resource
allocations are likely outdated. We are now living in
extraordinary times of turbulent and cataclysmic change. From today
forward, organizations who adapt will survive and those that do not
will soon become extinct. If you need some recent examples, just
look to Wall Street.
Managers - Stop hiring clones. We all want to
surround ourselves with personality types who think and act like we
do, but experience eventually teaches us that surrounding ourselves
(and listening to) people who compliment our weaknesses is a much
Listen, listen, listen and then talk. This
principle will absolutely astound you. You will not fully comprehend
how many important details you can glean from another person, until
you allow him or her to talk for three times as long as you
previously thought prudent.
Hire more women. We are in a war for talent and
women are under-represented in our leadership ranks. Women and men
think differently and a woman’s strengths are more suited to
understanding an increasingly female Christian audience.
Everyone thinks consultants charge too much.
That’s because most everyone seem to forget the enormous amount of
time consumed flying halfway across the country to attend a meeting.
Losing a day flying out to a meeting and a day flying back cuts your
actual pay rate substantially. A $1,200 per day consulting rate is
now a $400/day rate thanks to the time spent traversing airports.
Absolute silence will initiate a really good
conversation between you and God. I challenge you to close
the door to your office, pull the blinds, turn off the music, put
the cell phone in silence mode, turn your computer screen off, hold
your calls and just sit at your desk in total silence with your eyes
closed for 10 minutes and pray. Can you hear God now?
Jenkins can be reached at