An INNER VIEW with Acclaimed Concert Performer, Transformative Speaker and Houston Influence Women Chapter Director, Jade Simmons

An INNER VIEW with Acclaimed Concert Performer, Transformative Speaker and Houston Influence Women Chapter Director, Jade Simmons

BIO

Jade Simmons is an internationally acclaimed creator of transformational experiences designed to activate audiences into becoming the biggest boldest version of themselves possible. The world-class concert artist is also the CEO of Jade Media Global, a revolutionary live experience and global content distribution company specializing in 360 degrees of personal development and strategic transformation. Nicknamed “Classical Music’s #1 Maverick” and named one of the Best Keynote Speakers year after year, her electrifying, genre-bending concert adventures span Beethoven all the way to rap and include virtuoso storytelling, uncommon insights, and boundless inspiration. Her musical career has seen her performing in recitals and with orchestras in renowned concert halls, including the hallowed ones of the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, Jade’s experience not only delights concert audiences, but her dazzling, high-impact presentations are fast becoming the go to fuel for the world’s superlative brands and organizations from financial services to biotech, to entertainment, education, energy, and beyond. Companies such as Nationwide, Hershey’s, NBC Universal, Zillow, QuickBooks, and Raytheon bring Jade in to power up their most important resource…their people.

Jade is an ordained minister, creator of a dynamic coaching communiverse for visionary women of faith called Designer Growth Club, and the author of Audacious Prayers for World Changers and Purpose the Remix. She took her most audacious turn in 2020 as the founder of Operation Restoration, which powered her run as an Independent candidate for President of the United States.

 

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: People often think artist careers just take off like rockets. Has it been for you, and what have you learned about a successful career?

Jade Simmons: Don’t wait around to be discovered. Discover yourself instead. God has front-loaded us with purpose, mystery, surprise, delight, and ever-evolving identity. We get to go through life on a perennial scavenger hunt to find out more about who we are in Him. I’ve learned that if we are not careful over time, we start allowing our goals to define us. We might let other people’s achievements change our direction, or we wait on others (as well as jobs, titles, and roles) to tell us who we should be. I personally like to spend time taking Revelation Walks, where I simply ask God, “Who am I in this season?” and “What do you want me to know now?”. You can ask these questions in relation to your art, your talent, your productions, and your projects. I’m never disappointed and always blown away by the discovery!

Kathleen: A life as an artist is one of constant uncertainty. How have you broken through that fear?

Jade: In a conversation about my tendency to leap fast when I sense the voice of God, my sister said to me: “You’re not just a leaper, you’re a free-faller in faith!” The biggest smile came across my face because I am so proud of that part of my identity. Today, I teach other visionary women how to get a little quicker with their jumps, leaps, and free falls where faith is concerned. I’ve learned that God rarely spells out the whole plan at the beginning, so you might as well take the first step so you can get on with the next one. And, it never fails that when I simply pick my foot up in the new direction, He begins to reveal more about what’s coming next. Secondly, I expect the things that are being revealed in my quiet time to start appearing in reality. So, when they do, I trust I can say yes to what’s being presented. Lastly, I also trust that if I make a wrong move, God will show me and help me make a new move or extract myself if need be.

Kathleen: Today, our identity is being attacked like never before. What has God taught you about embracing your identity in Him?

Jade: I truly believe God has created us to be extraordinarily unique beings made in His inimitable image. Nevertheless, we live in a society that prizes conformity on many levels. Especially in the case of survival (personally, professionally, physically, financially, and emotionally), conformity proves safest. Ultimately, those of us determined to get down to what I call our “Factor of 1” are in for a lifestyle of risk-taking. Impactful uniqueness looks like harnessing all of our gifts, skills, personality, and abilities to be used in the direction of purpose, for the good of many, often in ways that are different than what the world has seen previously. In doing so, we will likely buck against the status quo, move opposite the crowd at some point, and combine things that were once thought not to go together. More scarily, we will not be guaranteed of the outcome on this side of the action! But, when we risk moving like a maverick and we see the impact we have on an expanded and unlikely audience BECAUSE we took the risk, it gets a little easier the next time…and the next. My own career is one of lots of Divine detours, zagging when others were zigging, and daring to bring seemingly disparate concepts (music, businesses, or even people) together. When we look back on our lives and careers, we see that what was really happening was that we were not just doing new things or living through new situations. Instead, we were becoming more of our fullest selves in the process, our most unique identities.

Kathleen: Finally, our culture is driven to be influential today. What’s the one thing you’ve learned about being an influence?

Jade: Influence is happening whether we intend it to or not…so we might as well be intentional with it. I believe we each have a unique type of influence and a unique way of being able to influence. It’s pointless to imitate other influencers unless, of course, we are talking about Jesus, a worthy model. Remarkably, He was committed to His mission and His ministry, but He did not obsess over whether or not people were following! He was not constantly looking back to see if he was becoming popular! He simply focused on being who He was called to be, doing what He was called to do. His fruit created the following. As a highly ambitious person who can devolve into hyper-competitive thinking and overanalyze analytics, Jesus’s example of influence is the best reminder of the posture we should take.

Learn more about Jade’s audacious journey at jadesimmons.com as she takes the baton as the new Influence Women Chapter Director in Houston, Texas. Join her as she and the outstanding Houston IW team grow and create a “transformative experience” at each event.

Transmitting Faith

Transmitting Faith

8 seconds. That’s all it takes. Recent research says that we will decide within 8 seconds of meeting someone whether we want to continue to engage with them or not based on what they are transmitting non-verbally. Researcher Albert Mehrabian, professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA and famous for the 7%-38%-55% rule on verbal and nonverbal cues, says body language is powerful and often discounted by most people. Nonverbal communication accounts for 55% of the information we transmit overall during interpersonal interactions. 38% is attributed to the tone of one’s voice, while only 7% is conveyed through our actual words. Knowing this can be a powerful tool in how we share our work and our faith.

Everything communicates.

As a young actor in school, I’d spend class after class staring at another actor doing an acting exercise to learn how to interpret what was really being communicated by the subtle nuances and facial expressions of the other actor. It wasn’t the words we were taught to pay attention to but what was really being conveyed through body language and the tone of the other actor’s voice. Great actors know that the communication and story told by the actor’s character choices are often more important than even the words written in the script. Actors must play each moment in a scene. It’s why live theater is so fun and compelling to not only act in but to also watch.

Former FBI agent and body expert Joe Navarro said when he interviews a suspect, “It really is looking at an individual and asking, ‘What are they transmitting?’ We communicate by the clothes and shoes we wear, the hairstyle we choose, the kinds of foods we eat or don’t eat, and even how we eat and with our quirky habits and personal routines.

Each part of our body talks.

When you pitch a project, conduct business, audition, or work on a production or artistic endeavor, your body language is being read. As Christians often working in mainstream places, we’re called to lead with our talent and skills and not just be good at what we do, but be excellent. How we conduct ourselves with grace, kindness, integrity, and respect for others shows. It’s watched and judged in 8 seconds. Our faith and what we believe is observed, and no words may ever be spoken. Yet people sense that we possess something different and special that they, too, want.

Walk the walk and don’t talk the talk.

Be the lamp of God’s light for others to see. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” In today’s instant, opinionated, and depressed world, you only have 8 seconds. Whether you’re in an office, on a production set, or just standing in line or waiting for something, how you react when the pressure is on, and the kind of body language you use is noticed. You are communicating God’s light. It only takes seconds, but it may make a difference in someone’s eternity.

When you walk out the door each day, say a prayer to transmit light.

An INNER VIEW with Beth Townsend

An INNER VIEW with Beth Townsend

How can you wisely discern what to give your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to? It can feel like a tightrope of expectations and motivations, but Baton Rouge Chapter Director and award-winning television show host Beth Townsend makes it simple. Read this month’s INNER VIEW as she dives into what it means to find your purpose!

BIO

Beth is an author, speaker, award-winning TV show host, and purpose coach. On her own at 17 years old, Beth had no choice but to go to work. Starting as a property manager in Virginia, she climbed the corporate ladder and became a young executive working as VP of Operations for a real estate company in Atlanta. Beth kept asking one question, “How did you know your purpose?” The depth of the question led her on a spiritual journey which led her to becoming a purpose life coach, writing an award-winning book, Life on Purpose, and her award-winning TV show, Life on Purpose. “Purpose is a mindset where passion lives, faith thrives, and God’s will is accomplished in the life of every Believer.”

Beth is excited to be leading Influence Women Baton Rouge as the chapter director, which launches on January 27th. You can find out more about Beth at bethtownsend.com, where she is changing the world one story at a time!

INNER VIEW 

Kathleen Cooke: We are thrilled that you will be leading Influence Women Baton Rouge’s chapter group. Your driving focus in your life is for women to know their purpose. What’s the one thing that you want to tell women about finding their purpose?

Beth Townsend: To ask and answer this question: Who Are You? We are human beings, not human doings. If you know who you are, you’ll always know what to do. Learning to have a strong sense of identity is a learned skill based on the knowledge of who God says we are, not who we ‘feel’ we are or who others say we are. Once we dig deep into our sense of who God created us to be apart from the roles and relationships, we learn that a better me means a better we. The me affects all the we’s! A life of purpose is the result of a strong sense of self. Do you like yourself? Are you for you? God has a plan and a purpose for your life.

Kathleen: You’re constantly juggling speaking, writing, and hosting your TV show. What have you learned about prioritizing your time to make it all happen?

Beth: One of the purpose principles that I live by is to ‘know my “nots.” Many people do a little bit of a lot of things, mostly in the pursuit of trying to ‘find’ purpose, and they are afraid that they will miss that one big thing. This leads to confusion as opposed to clarity. “Where are you, God?” We will often have to say no to people to say yes to God. “No, thank you” is a complete sentence. Colossians 3:23 is quick to clear up confusion. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Before we say yes to anything, we need to honestly ask ourselves, “Will I do this for the Lord?” And with excellence? Give it all I’ve got? Otherwise, it’s a not. We are not called to mediocrity ever. Your commitments must reflect that commitment to the Lord. He gets only our best.

Kathleen: We are living more and more in a world of uncertainty. How have you learned to break through the fear and go for it?

Beth: Better voices lead to better choices. If I’m not hearing from God, I’m listening to the wrong voices. Certainly, others can add wisdom and offer encouragement. God just used to be one of the opinions that factored into my decisions, and I was about running in circles. Been there, done that, and didn’t like it. We live in a loud and noisy world where everyone has an opinion. Don’t fall for the noise. God planted within us all we need to be us. We seek Him, and then others can add. He made us and knows us, and He must be allowed to lead us. “Seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” Matthew 6:33. If we don’t put our firsts first, what follows will be frustration and a lack of understanding of who God is and, therefore, who we are.

Kathleen: God tells us to go and be an influence in the world. Why is this important?

Beth: I’ve been interviewing people since 2001, many well-known. Athletes, politicians, celebrities, and ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. Not one of them ever asked for anything in return; they simply wanted to share their story for God’s glory. We can change the world, one story at a time, but we must be willing to share that story. To do that effectively in today’s soundbite world, we plan and prepare for that magical moment. How? We do what movie producers and book editors do: we edit and edit some more! Start with a defining moment, and fill in the blanks. Sharing your story starts with preparing your story. I once heard a professional editor say, “No one wants to hear your life story.” That is true, but I’ve since learned a valuable lesson on timing. “While no one wants to hear your life story, everyone wants to hear how your life story can help their life story right now today.” With the advancement of technology, we are all influencers! Be ready. Share your story for God’s glory, but take time to do so with excellence.

An Inner View with Dr. Donna Marie Hunter

An Inner View with Dr. Donna Marie Hunter

Do you hold onto offense easily? How do you navigate relationships when it seems like the brokenness in others (or yourself) continues to get in the way? Dr. Donna Marie Hunter addresses this important topic that we all face. Find out how you can set healthy boundaries, navigating your way to healthier relationships with others and deeper intimacy with God.

 

BIO

Dr. Donna Marie Hunter is an engaging TV show host on her show, Grace & Space, arousing honest conversations that encourages viewers to continue dreaming by building healthy habits and genuine relationships. She has co-authored two #1 International Best-selling books, Women Who Rise and Women Who Empower. Dr. Donna received her BS degree at Pepperdine University and her Master’s in Educational Leadership; she has a Counseling Credential and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University.

She is an intuitive coach for personal and professional growth, a knowledgeable consultant in education and leadership, and an inspiring champion for equity, access, and inclusion for individuals with disabilities. With over twenty years of awarded leadership as a counselor and administrator, Donna is a well-respected expert in public education. Her mission is to educate, enlighten and empower individuals with knowledge that transforms thinking and leads to actionable steps toward positive change.

 

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: One of the biggest challenges today is having meaningful deep relationships with those with differing world views without offending each other. What has God taught you recently about standing for what you believe and yet being “gentle as doves?”

Dr. Donna Marie Hunter: Being unoffended is one of the most freeing dispositions to hold. My ministry, Grace and Space, has been my focal point and banner even before hosting a Television Show. I intentionally focus on forgiveness or grace, which lowers the tendency toward being easily offended and judgmental. Giving space allows for time and distance and to gain perspective, enabling us to see our predispositions and biases more clearly toward people, places, and things. God continues to teach me lessons on being unoffended, which produces the “peaceable fruit of righteousness” Hebrews 12:11 invites. Growing closer to God and letting people off the hook has helped me love my brother and sister as myself. It allows me to esteem the individual while recognizing the imperfection of our humanity; it has freed my soul. When we rise above being offended, it elevates our ability to impact and influence others positively. We become light in the shadows when darkness appears. We take on a righteousness that is not of our own and are able to suspend our ranking and judgment of someone else’s motives, intentions, and actions.

Kathleen: How can we choose right relationships? What’s the one thing we should consider in choosing a meaningful relationship?

Dr. Donna: Relationships are God’s chosen method to heal. We are broken in relationships, and we are healed in relationships. Isolation is usually an invitation to offense, creating barriers. Barring times of consecration when God is setting us apart for intentional growth and ministry, we need one another for our health and healing. When choosing to enter a relationship with someone, it’s imperative to hold the mirror up to ourselves and acknowledge our imperfections. Then, we’re more open to connecting with flawed individuals we choose to be in a relationship with. Appreciating the uniqueness of an individual while simultaneously offering grace and holding true to your boundaries (giving space) is the sweet spot of loving thy neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:39). I’m not sure it’s possible to be in a healthy relationship unless we honor the Spirit of God within ourselves. God’s love flows through us first and then to others, touching us first and extending out.

Kathleen: Relationships are also about drawing boundaries. How can we decide where we need to draw them?

Dr. Donna: Boundaries are the language of love. I love you, and I love me; thus, I want the best for both of us. Understanding my limits and limitations allows me to fully love and express unbridled care for another. Boundary setting starts from a place of honesty and authenticity within, recognizing our brokenness and need for a holy God heal and save our souls. Our propensity toward sin, selfishness, and neediness has the potential to invite extremes and may cloud our ability to communicate authentically and avoid unhealthy situations and people. It is both loving and honest to say, “thank you, however, that does not work for me right now.” We offer grace and space by communicating our portion of the wrongdoing, taking responsibility for the mishap, asking for forgiveness, communicating an ending, and giving space or time for God to heal.

Kathleen: Our influence impacts our relationships, and relationships impact our influence. They work in tandem. What have you learned about how we can influence others?

Dr. Donna: Influence, both intentional and unintentional, is a weighty gift. Hence, my goal is to be intentional in loving and purpose-filled in my impact in the communities where I serve and inspirational in sharing my faith and the message of hope that fuels my passion. Influence is the telltale seeds we’ve sown over our lifespan, the fruit that remains after we have passed by, passed through, and passed on. It bears witness to the gravity of our impact. The legacy we desire to leave in this world is a direct result of our influence and interactions with family, friends, and foes. My favorite hashtag is #MyHopesAreUp. These words are indicative of a life, legacy, and influence I desire to intentionally leave upon the earth.

 

Connect with Dr. Donna:

Website: www.DrDonnaMarieHunter.com
Grace & Space Season 1: https://rvntelevision.com/tv-show/grace-space/
Facebook & YouTube: @drdonnamariehunter
Instagram/Twitter: @drdmhunter

Netflix “Sweet Magnolias” Showrunner Helps Kick Off New Influence Lab Atlanta Women’s Chapter

Netflix “Sweet Magnolias” Showrunner Helps Kick Off New Influence Lab Atlanta Women’s Chapter

Based in Los Angeles, The Influence Lab kicked off its new Influence Lab Atlanta Women’s chapter with a meeting featuring Netflix showrunner Sheryl J. Anderson of the hit series “Sweet Magnolias.” 

Los Angeles, CA (June 16, 2022) – Cofounded by media executives Phil and Kathleen Cooke with a vision to transform culture through media, the Los Angeles-based The Influence Lab extended its impact this past week with the inaugural meeting of the Influence Lab Atlanta Women’s chapter. The in-person June event featured Sheryl J. Anderson, creator and showrunner of the Netflix hit series, “Sweet Magnolias.”

Called the “Hollywood of the South,” Atlanta is a growing hub of film and television production with tax incentives drawing in major Hollywood productions and new studios. With the growing film crew base comes a need for community, which was one of the compelling reasons to launch the new Influence Lab Atlanta Women’s chapter. Anderson’s Netflix show is filming in Atlanta and presented an opportunity to have the seasoned showrunner speak at the event.

“Remember we are living on God’s schedule,” Sheryl encouraged the attending female actors, producers, directors and crew members based in Atlanta. “Figure out your path in this industry and it will come to pass in God’s time.” In an industry that can be prone to “people-pleasing” to advance your career, she admonished the women, “You can never please others at the expense of yourself or your work.”

Flying in from Los Angeles for the event, Kathleen Cooke was accompanied by Influence Lab Women Events director Ayanna Anene. Anna Oakley, the Influence Lab Atlanta Women coordinator and representatives of the Hollywood Prayer Network in Atlanta opened the evening in prayer.

“We heard thank you’s over and over again,” shared Kathleen Cooke after the gathering. “There’s a growing community of women who want to align their faith as they work in the new Atlanta ‘Hollywood South’ industry.”

Watch for the replay of the Atlanta meeting at https://influencelab.com  For more information about the Atlanta Influence Lab Women’s chapter or the Hollywood Influence Lab Women’s base, contact info@influencelab.com.