NOTE: Karisa McInnis graduated from LCU with an intercultural studies degree in May 2014. She also took presentation design, marketing, and human resource management classes with me, and business ethics my colleague, Eric Teoro. Karisa and fellow LCU graduate Ashlan Rose are completing a one-year residency at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Phoenix, Arizona. Karisa took a few minutes at the beginning of September to send me the message below.
Hello Mr. Gowin,
I hope you are doing well. I can’t seem to get used to calling you Michael yet, so it’s still Mr. Gowin! I have something neat to share with you!
This past weekend all the CCV residents went to Las Vegas to visit churches. We met with Perry Rogers, a multimillionaire who used to manage Andre Agassi and now manages other athletes like Shaquille O’Neal. He also co-owns a restaurant called The Sugar Factory on the Las Vegas strip. He is a Christian and a master at negotiation (at age 26 he negotiated the biggest ever contract at that time with Nike for $100+ million for himself and Andre). So he is kind of a big deal is what I am saying!
The whole time he talked to us and when we asked him questions, my mind kept thinking back to what you taught us in marketing. As we asked him about the secrets to selling ideas, he kept saying that the most important attribute to negotiation is empathy. He said most people spend their time in a negotiation process thinking “How am I coming across?” when they should really thinking “What do they need? How do they feel? What are they afraid of? How can I meet them in what they are feeling?” Rogers also stressed the importance of humility and making things personal, because it’s always about humans not numbers. It all comes down to connecting on an emotional level with your prospect, which is similar to Dan Pink’s principle of attunement. (Side note: I feel like I need to re-read all my marketing books because they are so relevant to what we do in ministry.)
All this is to say, the stuff you taught me is really sticking and I am applying it to how I serve The Lord every day. I could go on to tell you how thankful I am for such a great foundation—learning from you and Mr. Teoro has set me up for success in the Leadership Institute. Thankful for you Mr. Gowin, and I hope your students appreciate and know that what they are learning is the real deal. Feel free to share this with them.
Thank you, Karisa, for paying attention and doing good work. I’m confident you’re doing the same now, and will for years to come.