Archives For influence

Brand Loyalty

Eric Baumann  —  December 16, 2011 — 4 Comments

When I hear the names of certain brands there are always vivid images, emotions and stereo-types that flood my mind. Some of them negative and some positive. Why is that? What is it that makes us loyal to a brand, and what makes us throw a brand name aside to save money on a “generic brand”…which ironically is actually a brand in and of itself?

One of my “hobbies” is marketing, advertising and teaching people and churches about how to protect their personal brand. Yes, I said personal brand…because whether you want to admit it or not…all of us have a brand. When people hear your name or see your church/ministry, there are certain emotions, images and stereo-types that come to mind when they think about you and what you represent.

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tebow_believesWhat is it about belief that makes it so powerful? Last night, I watched Tim Tebow as he rallied his team to yet another come-from-behind, overtime victory and thought to myself…WOW…this guy just makes you believe. There is something about him, especially in the fourth quarter or last drive of the game, that just seems to instill belief in those that watch him and those that play alongside him. It’s almost magical.

There are some people, whose very presence, just makes you believe. Imagine if your belief in something was so strong, that you could instill hope and faith in the hearts of those around you. I’m sure you know of a few people like that, but why can’t it be you?

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I believe leadership is influence and here’s a twist – time is influence. Time spent is money in the bank. As a parent, I am learning this lesson with my kids. The longer you are with someone, the more impact you have in shaping who they are…especially if you start when they are young.

Now, the type of impact you have will vary based on your on-going interactions with that individual and the motives you have for creating influence in their lives. It can breed loyalty, followers, fans or even disciples. The outcome is based on strategy. So what can we learn from Jersey Shore (MTV) and Mickey Mouse (Disney)? They have a strategy for impacting those around them…and knowing that time is influence…they are more successful at getting the outcomes they desire if they begin influencing those individuals when they are young.

So who is “they”? What are “their” motives? How can we learn from “them”?…

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The holidays are a perfect time to begin new traditions. It gives us parents the opportunity to be a little more intentional with our kids with the extra time we get to spend with them. Whether you have vacation time that needs to be taken, or your kids are on…what do they call it now…Winter Break [if you’re wondering whatever happened to Christmas Break, that’s a topic for another time]. This time of year brings with it extra hours that can be capitalized on to strengthen relationships if we choose to be wise in how we spend it. If we choose to just slow down and stop trying to catch the next best thing [or uh gingerbread man…I had to tie in the title somehow].

Three years ago I started a tradition that with my oldest son. Every Christmas we buy one of those Gingerbread House Kits from the store, and we try our best to make the coolest and slickest house on the market. We lay out all the candy, trying hard not to eat it so there is some left for house, and we piece together the walls and roof with icing that makes it all stick. It is one of the highlights of the year…for both of us.

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When I first start started blogging, really only less than two months ago, I had set a goal of reaching 1000+ hits in my first three months. Well, thanks to you guys, yesterday I surpassed my goal. It has been my desire to write about the random things in my life and uncover life lessons that can impact and help others. YOU have made this possible. Thanks.

Blogging isn’t about just writing though and the number of visits or hits you can generate. It is about building a community and sharing life and conversation about the topics and issues that tie them together. I hope I can continue to do that and that you continue to read, visit and share. Don’t forget that you can always get updates sent to you when I post something by subscribing through RSS to my posts, or even have them emailed to ya directly. Also, follow me on Twitter for extra bytes during the week.

In celebration of this milestone in my blogging adventure…I want to challenge you to help me reach my next goal of 1000 visits a month!!! Simply choose your favorite blog post and then select to share it with someone else through Facebook, Twitter or your favorite social media site. THANKS FOR DOING LIFE WITH ME!

So, the question today I have for you is…what are the topics that matter to you most that you would love to hear about on this blog?

 

When I first start started blogging, really only less than two months ago, I had set a goal of reaching 1000+ hits in my first three months. Well, thanks to you guys, yesterday I surpassed my goal. It has been my desire to write about the random things in my life and uncover life lessons that can impact and help others. YOU have made this possible. Thanks.

Blogging isn’t about just writing though and the number of visits or hits you can generate. It is about building a community and sharing life and conversation about the topics and issues that tie them together. I hope I can continue to do that and that you continue to read, visit and share. Don’t forget that you can always get updates sent to you when I post something by subscribing through RSS to my posts, or even have them emailed to ya directly. Also, follow me on Twitter for extra bytes during the week.

In celebration of this milestone in my blogging adventure…I want to challenge you to help me reach my next goal of 1000 visits a month!!! Simply choose your favorite blog post and then select to share it with someone else through Facebook, Twitter or your favorite social media site. THANKS FOR DOING LIFE WITH ME!

So, the question today I have for you is…what are the topics that matter to you most that you would love to hear about on this blog?

 

I remember when I was in high school, I swore that when I graduated I would never read a book again, but little did I know that most of my time in college would be spent reading for an exam or class assignment [thank God for cliff notes]. It wasn’t until I was launched into ministry and leadership did I understand the benefits of reading. Maybe I like it so much now because know one is forcing me to do it…lol

Everyone has different tastes in how and what they read. Some like fiction, biographies, love stories and how-to-books. Some people read the paper, blogs, on an e-reader or through audiobooks. Personally, I like to listen to audiobooks, but will read a “book” if one is not in audio format. I have found that I prefer fiction or how-to-books in order to learn and expand my influence. I am actually a huge book-junkie and love to refer a great book or blog to people I encounter that might be looking for answers to certain life, business and ministry questions. I am also a firm believer that if you are not growing or reading…you ARE NOT going to have influence or see growth in your life. Period.

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They say that everyone loves hearing the sound of their own name. In fact, if you take any type of training on sales or read any books on how to influence others, experts will usually suggest to you to try to use the customers name as much as possible. BUT, as a parent, the one thing I love to hear more than the sound of my own name is when my kids call me “Da-Da”. I have three boys and I can remember exactly when each of them said those words for the first time…and being competitive in nature, I am pleased to announce that each one of them said my preferred name, “Da-Da”, before they learned how to say, “Ma-ma” or anything else. And…since I have all boys, their 2nd word was…of course…”ball”…sorry honey.

Rather than bore you with details of my kids’ phonetic journey, let me get to the point. A couple of days ago, my 7 month old…and last kid my wife and I will bring into this world…said “Da-Da” for the first time. After bragging about this on Twitter, I realized something sobering. This was the last time I would hear those words for the first time.

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One of the best things I can do for myself, my family and those I influence is to “Just Say No!” I know, I know…it sounds cliche…BUT when it comes to prioritizing your life and maximizing on the time and influence you have with others around you…learning to say, “No,” is crucial.

Some may argue that following this advice seems negative. It’s actually a matter of perspective. Every time you say “No” to something, you are in reality saying “Yes” to something else. Think about it…if I say “No” to a guy’s night out, I am saying “Yes” to dinner with my family. If I look at my son and say, “No” almost every time he asks me to buy him a candy bar or video game when we are at the store…I am saying “Yes” to investing that money in something he actually needs. When we say “No” to that temptation that stares us down daily or weekly, we are saying “Yes” to building character, discipline and integrity in our lives. In a world that is constantly screaming at us to say “Yes” to doing this or consuming that…I say no…and I am trying to teach my sons to do the same…BUT…they know it’s okay to say “Yes” as long as doing so is saying “No” to the right stuff. Are you confused yet?

 

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The turkey has become a universal symbol for being thankful. Even my kids know this to be true. Every time we sit down and “spread out the turkey feast” my kids know that it’s Thanksgiving and the time of year we talk about “What We’re Thankful For”…probably because it’s the only time we actually cook a whole turkey. BUT this has got me thinking…how do I teach my kids to be thankful, not just during Thanksgiving, but everyday…or at least once a week? Do I have to cook a turkey every week or feed them turkey everyday? Come to think about it, as a stay at home dad, I probably do feed them turkey sandwiches and mac and cheese almost everyday for lunch…BUT how do I instill in them an “attitude of gratitude?”

I am reminded of something I say often, “If it’s not in you [as a parent] it’s not in them…” So, the questions isn’t “how do I make my kids more thankful?”, BUT “how can I be more thankful?” Ouch…that one hurts because I think at times I fail to show how much I am thankful for the things in my life. It can be easy for me at times to take things around me for granted. Whether we like it or not, the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree, and the things that we see [or don’t see] in our kids, is really a reflection of who we are.

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