Influence = Money – The Ugly World of Speaker Fees

I’m shell-shocked!

Have you ever followed someone so closely that you feel like you really know them?  I mean, you allowed them to speak into your life, you invested in their materials, you bought it all hook, line, and sinker.  Only to later realize that the person you looked up to isn’t that person after all?

I recently contacted the John Maxwell group to look into bringing John to a local teacher conference.  I had a substantial amount of money to work with.  However, I was shocked to learn that what I could offer wasn’t even one-third of what it took to get John to show up for a one to a two-hour session!  How much would it cost?  $75,000 big ones!

In the world of public educators, only very few make over $75,000 a year.  How could a school district justify paying someone that for 1-2 hours?  They couldn’t!  There are only certain organizations and big businesses that can do that!

Now, I’m not against someone getting paid what they are worth.  I’m not against someone making money.  I think the thing that bothers me the most here is that I know that John came from the world of ministry (which I’m very familiar with) and I know his message of “influence.”

What better way for someone to “give back” and influence hundreds of teachers and potentially thousands of students than to pour into the lives of educators?  Surely The Maxwell Group could find one day where John could come and do that?  Surely someone in John’s position would take a day out of his busy schedule, take less money, all for the benefit of education.

Somewhere he forgot where he came from.  Somewhere he forgot the days when he was preaching to a handful of congregants and would have willingly done that for very little pay.

Maybe it isn’t John.  Maybe it is his organization.  Maybe he doesn’t even know how much they charge to get him to a venue to share his leadership insights.  If that is the case, then that is sad and ultimately John’s leadership fault.  Because “everything rises and falls on leadership.”

I’ve been sitting on this for a while.  Like I said before, I’m shocked.  I have many John Maxwell books, attended many of his conferences, and even still have the CD’s from his monthly subscription.  But I can’t lose the bad taste in my mouth that someone would pass up the opportunity to pour into the lives of educators because of an exorbitant money fee.

I consider myself a lifelong learner.  I learned in this exchange that Leadership is Money, nothing more, nothing less.

I also learned that the world of speaker fees is outrageous!  Again, I’m not against someone getting paid well for what they know, teach and do.  But come on! 

Many reading this will pass this off that I’m bitter.  You’re wrong.  I’m truly shocked.  But think what you will. Someone that I held in high esteem proved to me that money is more important than the message.  That when you make it, you forget the little people.  And that influence is for the elite.

I’ll honestly never look at Key Note Speakers the same.  I’ll always be asking myself, “Would they even care enough to be here if they weren’t paid?”  



Lifelong Learning – The Wrong Question!


Are you a lifelong learner?  That is the wrong question to ask yourself.  What?!?  Blasphemy!

Instead, the question to ask yourself is “What are you doing with your learning?”

You see, if you are learning and not doing anything with it, then you’re just a filing cabinet.

You see, if you are learning and not doing anything with it, then you're just a filing cabinet. Click To Tweet

A true lifelong learner is applying what they’re learning, making changes to their behavior, adjusting their lives to become better!

Don’t be a filing cabinet!  The world has plenty of those!

What are you doing with your learning?



After All These Years We Still Need – 4 Keys to Staying on Mission!

4 Keys to Staying on Mission

After all of these years, it still boils down to communicating and staying on mission!

Before I entered the education field, I spent quite a bit of time in ministry (I’m still a bi-vocational minister). Ministers attend conferences and training just like educators do.  I remember attending a lot of conferences and workshops on the topic of creating a compelling mission and vision statement for myself and my church.

This topic was so drilled in my head that I just assumed everyone realized they needed a shared mission statement to drive what they do and a vision for where they were headed.  I found that this isn’t true!  This isn’t true in education, in most businesses or organizations and even still in ministry.  We might have a mission statement.  It might be nice and compact and easy to remember.  We might have it displayed in a cool graphic form.  But we don’t truly own it.  It is one of those things that we are supposed to do!

The Big Need

If you don’t know what your purpose is or what you’re supposed to be “doing,” then what are you actually accomplishing?  You’re shooting in the dark!  You’re hoping and praying.

Now, hoping and praying isn’t a bad thing. Don’t forget I’m a bi-vocational minister.  The point is that you don’t have to!   When you have a job to do, responsibilities to handle and you are trying to be a person or organization that is making a difference in the world, you can operate from your mission!  You don’t want to leave all your efforts up to happenstance.

No!  If you are part of an organization, there needs to be a driving and compelling mission for you to stay focused on! The employees and the people your organization serves are counting on it!

Who’s Responsible?

You are responsible!  If you’re part of an organization, you are responsible for promoting and pursuing the mission of the organization.  You are not completely responsible, but you are responsible!  Let me say that again…you are responsible for the mission of your organization! Is that clear?

With this said, let me share…

If you’re part of an organization, you are responsible for promoting and pursuing the #mission of the organization. Click To Tweet

4 Keys to Staying on Mission!

The Mission Needs to Be Communicated from the Top!

Although everyone is responsible for the mission, if it is not taken seriously from the top, it won’t filter down the organization, it won’t become the “main thing!”  The “boss” needs to be the keeper of the mission, communicating it in everything he/she does.  This is not an option!  The boss needs to stay on point!

The Mission Needs to Be Easy to Remember!

I have seen some mission statements that are half a page long!  I became bored about halfway through it! The mission needs to be easy to remember so that everyone in the organization can recite it and apply it!

The Mission Needs to Be General/Specific!

The mission of the organization needs to be specific enough so that everyone knows what the purpose and direction of the organization is, but it also needs to be generic enough that each department, regardless of its size, can apply it to whatever their specific role is!

The Mission Needs to Be Evaluated!

The mission doesn’t usually change.  But from time to time, the organization needs to reflect on their mission and if they are being successful.  If they are not, they need to figure out why.  If they are successful, is there something that can be tweaked in the mission to make the organization even better?

Action Steps:

Can you recite your mission statement?  If not, go find it, print it out and set it up in a prominent place where you will see it on a daily basis.

Start using the word mission in what you’re doing to build a culture that embraces the stated mission.  For example, “This project really aligns with the mission of our organization.”

Ask your direct supervisor about the mission of the company and how often it comes up in their meetings.

Can you recite your mission statement? If not, go find it, print it out and set it up in a prominent place where you will see it on a daily basis. Click To Tweet



Personal Growth is Not An Accident

“Personal growth is not an accident!”

Recently I wrote an article entitled, The Educator’s Imperative: Three Ways to Stay Fresh and Invest in Yourself!  In that post, I mentioned that I use podcasts as an intentional part of my personal growth and learning.

Recently, I listened to a podcast that I wanted to pass along to you.  John Maxwell, the leadership guru, was recently on the EntreLeadership Podcast to talk about personal growth.  You can visit the podcast page by CLICKING HERE

There are many gems in this podcast like, “Who do you know that I should know?”

Who do you know that I should know? #leadership #growth #PLN #education Click To Tweet

Podcasts are free and many pack a ton of insight for us to help us grow into the leader we want to become.