3 Ways to Mature as an Effective Influencer (Part 1)

If I were to ask what the point of ministry is, what would you say?

Drawing people to Christ? Developing them as disciple-makers? Deploying them into service?

Albeit, these are all fine answers…but what if I told you we can sum up ministry in one word…


Would you agree?

Regardless, the Word is clear our ministry emerges from our influence.

Consider 2 Corinthians 5:11

Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.”

If you’re like me, you hear ‘persuade’ and immediately think ‘convince’; yet, when we dissect the Hebrew and extend it through v. 21, we find Paul is actually talking about influence.

Applying this filter, we can better understand how influence not only partners in God’s ministry of reconciliation, but matures our effectiveness as marketplace influencers.

Granted, there are many ways to broach the topic. For now, we’ll start with our usual ‘core three’ and work from there…

1. Know who you’re fearing

As mentioned, the bottom line of ministry is reconciliation achieved through influencing; however, to get there it’s important we grasp the fear of the Lord.

For while “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7), it’s also a preserver of our sincerity (Colossians 3:22) and a gateway to comfort in the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31).

Note the latter reference:

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”

This tells me two things:

  1. Godly fear multiplies wisdom and virtue in addition to faith.
  2. The evidence of influence is peace inspired by encouragement.

Therefore, when we talk about influence, we’re not talking as much about personal strength as we are the maturation of corporate morale and pointing people in the direction of Jesus (more on this in future posts).

Contrarily, it’s important we understand what influence isn’t.

‘Cause while the key to influence is the fear of the Lord, the enemy will use the opposite spirit, the fear of man, along with memories of past hurt to contrive a narrative where we’re seeking to overcome what’s already been overcome.

Thankfully, as Kingdom agents…ministers of reconciliation who can persuade through the fear of the Lord…we can rhythmically resist this mindset whiling combating the compromised systems of the world.

For as long as there is sin, enterprise will be governed by hierarchy1 where people are bound by control, manipulation, and intimidation. Yet, as for you, you can see people as God sees them (i.e. forgiven) and help them find purpose through daily influencing where they are.

After all, freedom begets freedom…and He craves it more than you do.

2. Know how you’re leading

As effective influencers2, it’s imperative we not only have the right mindset towards people, but our work as well.

For starters, we must view our work as an opportunity to show people who they are as opposed to a stage to prove our self-worth. In this way, we not only invest trust in God being the one to open eyes, but free ourselves to influence through our wiring and discover new strengths through how God uses their responses.

‘Cause truth is: When we allow God into our realm of influence, we trade the pressure of of accomplishing goals for a humility motivating others to reach them.

But Cam…what if I’m not a team leader or in a place of authority?

Again, to answer this question…we must ask ourselves why we’re asking it.

For instance…


If we’re talking about what we’ve been conditioned to believe…then authority is nothing more than the appointed person governing ‘over’ us; however, if we’re talking about absolute authority3, then we can see how a) God alone carries it…and b) what we often associate as ‘authority’ is, in fact, influence manifest through the seven motivational gifts (as outlined in Romans 12).

Again, the system…a real life Matrix if you will…runs by pecking order, production, and the Jerry Maguire mindset of ‘show me the money’, but…


…as Kingdom influencers, we can approach metrics and outcomes without agenda by combining nurturing with our competence4.

Thus, whether you’re a supervisor in crunch time or a subordinate in training, you can help hold your team accountable to achieve certain goals in your respective roles. Just remember no matter what you do to galvanize effort, make sure it stems from a desire for everyone to succeed given a true influencer always values people over goals and never risks reaching them at the cost of another’s well-being.

For when we value people and decompartmentalize our desire to impact them, we not only influence a place where encouragement and goodness abound, but also where confidence and favor are ultimately shared.

Stay tuned next time when I’m unveil my third and final step to maturing as an effective influencer in the marketplace.

‘Til then if you have any questions, thoughts, concerns, feel free to leave them below in the ‘comments’ section and I’ll return serve as soon as I can.

Peace for your week,

~ Cameron


  1. As well as the idea leadership is greater than serving (contrary to Romans 12 which tells us each gift is equal and carries status and dignity)
  2. All influencers lead, but not all leaders influence
  3. Difference between authority and authorities
  4. A simple formula for adding value to your team members in a way they’ll turn to you for guidance and feedback

Cover photo creds: Bigstock/Jakub Jirsak

3 Ways to Level ↑ Your E-mails


We all write them…but do we really know how?

I know, I know…sounds silly to ask, especially in the Information Age business world we live in.

Still, when it comes to etiquette, how we frame professional communication within pragmatic boundaries is worth discussion.

As a governmental employee, I’ve been on both sides of the decorum fence as a sender and recipient. So trust me when I say the importance of lining up what you say and what you mean is very important.

That said, here are three practical points in delivering quality e-mail content…

1. Keep it ‘short and sweet’

As a writer, I admit: I can be wordy at times.  I remember early in my career, I would often exhaust my word count fearing I’d say too little, conceal my tact, and/or give my recipient room to read between the lines.

Yet, after years of composition, I ultimately discovered my best e-mails were the ones with simple language and basic syntax (think 4th grade level as opposed to 8th 1). Granted, variance in e-mail construction hinge on the need; however, in most professional scenarios, e-mails will either answer a question or call to action.

Thus, if you want to communicate more effectively, consider a ‘short and sweet’ approach. Not only will you capture the problem more cogently, but also increase the odds of it being solved more quickly. Not to mention you limit the risk of asking unnecessary questions.

Bottom line: Coherency and conciseness go hand in hand.

After all, if you’re going to troubleshoot, why not shoot straight?

Bonus: If you’re concerned your ‘short and sweet’ e-mail is more on the short than sweet side, consider inserting a smiley emoji after the greeting or concluding sentence (informal cases only).



2. Make humility apparent

In a day-to-day grind, it’s hard to be perfect. Clearly, as long as there’s work, there’s going to be errors…and with errors, an assortment of cleanup, manipulative maneuvers2, and mountains made from molehills.

Okay, okay…maybe those last two are a tad extreme; however, as real world correction has taught me, it’s worth noting how to handle being on the wrong side of them.

‘Cause truth is: when people throw you shade, there’s always a fade3…and that, in one word, is humility.

Now I know for many humility is nothing more than a ‘kill with kindness’ or ‘fall on the sword’ strategy; however, given true humility has no agenda, it’s safe to say these approaches are flawed since they cater to what you want to say or what you think others want you to say.

From my experience, if you want to live true humility in the marketplace, the best approach is through forthright evaluation. In other words, if there’s something to own, be sincere in owning it; if there’s something to resolve, be direct in resolving it.

Remember when rectifying conflict electronically, the emphasis should always be reconciling the issue as opposed to justifying why it exists. In doing so, not only will you validate concerns, but establish value to whom and what is necessary to move the ball down the field.

Bottom line: Wrong turns happen. Why not write4 the ship by humbling yourself and letting God’s grace exalt you?


3. Proofread your tone, not just your grammar

 It’s fair to say the e-mail equivalent of ‘think before you speak‘ is ‘proof before you send’.

Need proof? Just check out your app store…

Grammarly, PerfectIt, Ginger, AutoCrit, No Red Ink, Hemingway Editor, Phrase Express, After The Deadline, EssayDot…and we’re just scratching the surface.

Yet, while most of us associate proofreading to syntax and grammar, arguably one of the most underrated elements in e-mail content construction is checking for tone.

Yes, you may be able to master subject lines, use the right words, and succinctly capture information; however, if you don’t put yourself in your recipient’s shoes before pressing ‘send’, you risk losing the message through ambiguity and misunderstanding.

Bottom line: When proofing your e-mails, dare to read them as sender and receiver.



  1. Just because you decrease the reading level, doesn’t mean you decrease the tact
  2. i.e. ‘throw under the bus’ tactics
  3. Specifically, a fade from offense
  4. Intentional misspelling

Cover photo creds: Shutterstock

3 Keys to Communicating Vision

When it comes to quality leadership, no question, one of the hardest challenges is communicating vision (i.e. important information necessary for growth and progress). From filtering content to personal interaction, the marriage of progress to relationship can be a messy process. Thankfully, where there’s a will, there’s a way, even if it doesn’t happen the way we want or when we want.

That said…here are three keys to communicating vision effectively…

  1. Say What You Need to Say

When casting vision, it’s important to remember conciseness is more valuable than eloquence. After all, a platform should never be about exposing what you know (i.e. show off), but rather what your audience needs to know (i.e. show how)…which brings me to my first point:

When communicating what an audience needs to know, start with what you need to say first.

More specifically, don’t just filter your content; break it down into lucid, bite-sized bits. That way, you can better discern what is necessary and what is footnote material before you communicate.

For instance, as a wordsmith in youth ministry, I’ve learned my best points, whether delivering a sermon or leading a team meeting, are best received when they lack syntactic ambiguity. In other words, when I use words and phrases that don’t mean different things to different people, not only do I enable my content to be coherent, but I empower my students to interpret it the way it was intended.

Bottom line: Vision doesn’t just point people in the right direction (i.e. makes it plain; see Romans 1:19), it shows them how to get there (bonus points if you include illustrations). Therefore, if you want your audience to capture the vision, make sure you say what you need to say and what your audience needs to hear, not what you want to say or what they think they want to hear.


  1. Speak the Truth in Love

Yeah, yeah…you get this in theory, but if you’re like me in the sense this doesn’t come as easy in execution, remember you may be in a time crunch, you may have a lot on your plate; however, if you’re not communicating truth in love along the way, not only do you risk a discouraged team, but a disjointed vision split from purpose.

To piggy-back off point #1: what you need to say can’t be what you need to say if love isn’t a part of it. Sure, you may be brimming with epiphanies and award-winning ideas, but if vision isn’t vision without truth and truth isn’t truth without love, then vision can’t be vision detached from best intention.

Remember vision not only seeks the best possible corporate outcome, but inspires love among its enforcers.  Thus, if you aim to love, not only will team morale enhance, but  the bond between vision and audience will tighten as well.

Bottom line: 1) Without love, vision is nothing more than a good idea. 2) Vision, in the context of love, motivates people to keep pursuing it. 3) If you know the truth, speak it in love; if you don’t, love as you pursue it. Either way, it’s a win-win.


  1. Make it Memorable

While vision, at its core, is the mergence of point #1 and #2, if it lacks conviction or captivation, chances are it’s not memorable either. Granted, truth should never be a function of marketability; however, while good vision knows its audience, great vision considers what they’ll remember.

Hence, it’s worth asking: how do you take an entire vision and frame it into something that’s easy to remember and hard to forget?

For starters, it’s always best to keep it simple and straightforward. Focus on syntax and word selection. Use correct grammar.  Be exact in meaning. Then, if necessary, add some flair and poetic license (i.e. turn it into a jingle, structure it ABC style, pose it with rhyme scheme, integrate a relatable metaphor/simile, etc.) Whatever method you apply, remember the goal is to make sure your audience can extend the vision. While making vision plain may seem contrary to making it memorable, if you consider ‘plain’ as the foundation, it will ultimately enable you to build your vision in a way people can understand and promote.

Bottom line: When vision becomes memorable, the impacts become inevitable.


Photo creds: Trendy Bloggers, Giphy

Framing the Role: A Guide to Better Workplace (Part 2)

Last week we discussed how ideal human resourcing assesses the inner man not only in hiring, but in training and development.

This week we’ll continue our downfield drive by focusing on marketplace education, specifically how employee and employer should approach deeper learning and training opportunities…

  1.  Make Deeper Learning Equal Evident

I’ve been blessed to serve under some laudable leadership over the years.

For instance, during my first summer with TDOT, my supervisor would make sure I understood concepts not only in correspondence, but also behind-the-scenes whether taking inventory at local garages or database management courses online.  Whatever the project, whatever the assignment, he wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it. As a result, not only did I feel regularly encouraged, but I felt driven to reach beyond expectation.

Unfortunately, after a season of turnover and transition, the ‘extra opportunity well’ would dry leaving certain endeavors in the dust; however, though the narrative of my role would change, I ultimately realized the emerging lack of definitive pathway didn’t have to determine my deeper learning trajectory.

Rather if I simply took the time to seek the opportunity, I would eventually be able to find and pursue it. All I needed was initiative and direction to compliment my resolve.

Perhaps some of you find yourself in a similar situation. If so, whether or not deeper learning opportunities are knocking at your door, it’s important to stay persistent and patient regardless of where you think you are.

‘Cause truth is: expecting possibilities to fall into your lap is the least effective way to advance what you know.

Should your employer have a clear guide/available resources for assistance? Absolutely. I’m not sayin’ veer clear of troubleshooting personnel; however, I am sayin’ rather than succumb to a ‘rich get richer’ mentality (like I once did), focus on devising a plan, developing a timeline, communicating intentions to your supervisor, and adjusting them according to your means.

Granted, you may be unsatisfied with your title/role, maxed out within your salary grade, or in a situation where you can’t move up unless you take out a loan to get a degree1.

Yet, when I think back on smart decisions made during my TDOT tenure, no question pursuing open doors where I could mature skillsets usable inside and outside my work arena rank towards the top.

So for those wrestling with the ASAP advantage mentality, know while the pickins aren’t guaranteed to be plenty, sometimes the best move is to invest in what will benefit you down the road as opposed as to what could benefit you right now. After all, we were made to continually advance in some form or fashion.

As for the employers, understand the bond between deeper learning and morale. While it makes sense certain classifications will feature more learning/training opportunities, when employees within each classification are aware of what they can do to heighten their intellectual ceiling, you essentially heighten your quality control ceiling at the same time. Thus, as long as learning/credentialing opportunities exist, dare to be unconditional in conveying them to those you’ve chosen to hire. In doing so, you better frame the roles you seek to define.

Bottom line: When it comes to marketplace education, one of the best ways to steward awareness and morale is through in-house learning opportunities; however, like classification, a title should never drive deeper learning opportunities. Rather, deeper learning opportunities should drive the employee.


  1. I know you can’t paint this subject with a broad brush.

Cover photo creds: Actively Learn

3 Inbox Time Savers

Whether you are managing your own inbox or a clients, the struggle of maintaining order is real. In today’s fast paced, content driven world, the need to wade through information can quickly grow from a desire for knowledge to drowning in information. It is unlikely that you can simply stop signing up for all of those webinars, periodicals or network furthering correspondence. You can, however, make your inbox work for you, rather than being a slave to it.

Here are three time savers that will help you stay afloat in the cyber sea of email.

1) Maintain a Zero Based Inbox

Easier than it sounds, I know. The quickest way to get buried under email is to let everything live in your inbox. Simply put, you wouldn’t leave all of your letters, bills and junk mail sitting in your mailbox. Apply that same diligence to your inbox.

It may take some time on the front end to get to that crisp, empty email home screen, but it is worth the investment. Say goodbye to the stress of seeing that little red badge number climbing up, up, up on your email icon and say hello to the peace that comes from dealing with emails in a timely manner.

The easiest way to do this is by utilizing filters and folders.

2) Use Filters and Folders to Gain Back Your Time

This option can seem overwhelming, but let’s explore and see just how simple it is.

There is no one size fits all. Create folders and filters that work with how you think. One person may have a folder for each property he manages and person that he corresponds with regularly and that works wonderfully for him.

Another may be great at deleting emails as they are done and a simple three folder structure of the following may work for her:

1. Needs Attention

2. Information

3. Archive

If you have someone else managing your emails, this efficient structure may suffice:

1. Needs Attention ASAP

2. To Do

3. Development/Reference

4. Accounting/Receipts

Once you have your folders set up, you can use filters to automatically send emails from certain addresses to specific folders.

3) Manage Your Subscriptions, Don’t Let Them Manage You

The quickest way to fill up your inbox is subscriptions. Content is king, but it can also clutter. A quick tool (especially if you are managing your own email is unroll.me.

This tool will search your inbox, group your subscriptions and then send you a daily digest. All of those emails from your favorite stores, blogs you follow and industry articles in one simple email. And, if you get tired of receiving them-you can unsubscribe from your dashboard rather than clicking through each email

Bonus: For those of you with your own business, your inbox can be your livelihood. If you find you are spending more time sorting through emails than doing what you do best, it may be time to consider outsourcing someone to handle that for you. A Virtual Assistant may be a great option for you, as you can hire for specific tasks or set amounts of time without the overhead attached to a full time employee.

These tips can save anyone time and stress. Just like investing in your 401(K) now will set you up to win in the future, taking a few hours to invest in bringing order to your inbox will save you days of stress in the months to come.

Cover photo creds: libreshot.com