Mark Burnett wears a vest

Couldn’t find a photo of him in his vest; so here’s Mark Burnett in his TIME100 photo. NBD.

“You don’t have to be a pastor to make a difference.” – Bill Hybels, at the outset of his interview with Mark Burnett

It sounds simple and trite, I’m sure, but it bears repeating. So many people jump so quickly in their search for meaning from here to there that they forget what can be done with some forward momentum where they are.

Burnett, who produces shows like “The Voice” and the miniseries “The Bible,” recounted a meeting with Bill that took place, inexplicably, in a castle in Britain. The conversation that they had was a turning point for Burnett in the “Bible” series–where before he had been somewhat timid and ready to give into criticism, Bill’s exhortation not to be defensive with this work was pivotal. To work from a place of defensiveness is to choose to limit yourself–and why would you want to do that?

How much leadership, Bill asked, is involved in starting and running a major TV show? Mark mentioned working in Morocco, where a group of indigenous people take their families with them down across the Atlas Mountains in the Sahara every year. “Choose your companions before you choose your road,” they told him. And he has taken that to heart–you don’t want to work with people who are energy-suckers. Unresolved emotional conflicts, he said, will drain your energy consistently. It is important to try and raise people up on a team and then, if necessary, to be willing to let people go who do not add energy to the team. It’s an idea that’s similar in many ways to what Liz Wiseman talked about earlier today with the multiplier effect and vital to the health of a team and an organization.

And we leave with Bill reminding us today: “if you’re a banker, a business person, a construction person, if you’re in advertising…do it for God. Figure out a way you can leverage what you’re good at and lead where you are.”


So let’s do that. For tonight, at least. I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

One Response to “Mark Burnett wears a vest”

  1. Aleisha Stephens August 9, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    Thanks for the coverage; wish I could be there!

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