We’ve got some insight and a discount for you.
First the goods: Catalyst West is coming to Orange County, Calif., April 17-19. This year’s event features Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Jim Collins, Bianca Olthoff, Charles Lee and more. Register before Feb. 14 with the discount code “CCC” and you can get in for $219 (a $40 savings from the single ticket super early bird rate).
Now for the insight: Catalyst graciously agreed to share some insights with us as well as the discount. They offered the following reprint from their blog, an insight on leading communication from Scott McClellan:
There’s no doubt Finding Forrester is one my favorite movies. It’s a film that has everything: literature, basketball, socioeconomic tension, Sean Connery’s accent and Busta Rhymes in a supporting role. I repeat, it’s a film that has everything. If you’re not familiar with the premise, it’s a story about Jamal, a 16-year-old aspiring writer from the Bronx, who finds a mentor in William, a reclusive literary icon based on J.D. Salinger.
Finding Forrester is perhaps best known for the catchphrase, “You’re the man now, dog!” but there’s another phrase I’m interested in today, one that is vitally important for leaders when it comes to communication. In the middle of one of Jamal’s notebooks filled with prose, William scrawled out a piercing question to the young man: “Where are you taking me?”
“Where are you taking me?” is the question every audience needs answered, and it’s a question every effective communicator answers in the work itself (as opposed to a Q&A after the show). Don’t get me wrong—I believe in art for art’s sake, but we’re talking about communication here. Communication means designing messages and employing mediums in order to impart information to a recipient. A destination required.
As a leader, whether you’re a gifted communicator or not, it isn’t your job to craft each and every communication piece associated with your organization. Rather, enlist passionate and talented teachers, writers, designers and filmmakers as you’re able. Help them internalize your organization’s mission and vision, as well as specific goals for a particular communication effort, and let them work. At that point, your job as a leader is simple: you’re the one who asks, “Where are you taking me?”
Your job as a leader is to be both the vanguard and rearguard of intentionality and authenticity in communications. It doesn’t matter if you can’t write or design or edit a short film yourself; it’s your job to rally your team around the question. It’s your job to ask, “Where are we taking them?”
The question—if we’re willing and able to ask it—has the potential to bring clarity to everything our organizations teach, publish, design, shoot, blog, podcast and email. The question offers our teams a more objective measuring stick for their work than stylistic or methodological preferences because the focus is not on what the leader likes. The focus is on the goal and the audience.
The gift of leadership, true leadership, is journeying with people on the road to a new place. Obviously, this is echoed in the question we’ll ask our teams—we want our communications efforts to lead people somewhere. But there’s also leadership in the very act of asking the question. In committing ourselves to intentional, thoughtful communication, we’re training our peers and the next generation to value what we value. Eventually, a personal commitment to the question can become a cultural commitment to communication on purpose. That is leadership, and your organization and community will be better for it.
So, ask your team the question over and over again, allowing it to shape the way you all communicate. “Guys, where are we taking them with this project?”
And whenever your team gets it right, whenever they really nail it, feel free to offer them a hearty, “You’re the man now, dog!”
Starbucks gift cards are good too.
Don’t forget to take advantage of that discount: Save $40 on Catalyst West by registering with the discount code “CCC”. Catalyst West is coming to Orange County, Calif., April 17-19.