DeVon Franklin: He’s Produced by Faith
- Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Normally books about faith and career matters start with the Bible and then apply that to career. But in your case it seems to be the opposite as you’ve applied what you’ve learned in filmmaking to your faith. How did you come up with that?
You know it’s funny ‘cause a couple of years ago when I was thinking about an idea for a sermon I came up with this idea of God green-lighting our success and do we do our part in preparing. You know, faith without works is dead, but we still want God to do the work when we haven’t done our part. So he gave me this concept of green-lighting our success. And then when we went to write the book … I was like wait a minute, so I went back in my Blackberry and I found these notes. So as we started kind of developing it, it all seemed to line into place. Well why don’t we correlate/parallel what I do as an executive in the studio system and parallel that with what God does to make our faith a success? And the two just really came together seamlessly.
You’ve categorized the career story into three different acts just like a film script. What does each act stand for?
Your first act is the setup of what the story is going to be about, and you set up the issues and the challenge that the characters will face to a certain degree. And then the second act is when those issues and challenges play out, and that’s when you, traditionally in a story, find the most amount of conflict. And the third is when the conflict gets resolved and the hero gets the victory. So in anyone’s career journey, when looking at it that way, the first act is when you’re just getting started and trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do, why you’re doing it, where God is leading you and using that first act. And probably in the first act of your career you would certainly be set up in your job or career choice. And the second act is when everything starts playing out. If you’re moving up the corporate ladder, that’s when you get your challenges, that’s when your character is set, that’s when your integrity is tested. And then usually in the third act of a career, in the way that we frame it in the book, it’s more like okay once you’ve kind of gotten done with your career you’ve reached the top, and you’ve reached the pinnacle at the end of the third act. That’s retirement essentially. But obviously it’s not meant to be like a literal metaphor, but just a general idea of kind of how your career and your life would play out in three acts. And that third act is essentially the last portion of your career.
What would you say to people who feel like they’re stuck in their second act, where there’s no progress going on and they feel like they’re spinning their wheels?
Well, I would say that the second act is always the most difficult time period. In any story, in any great movie, when you look at that second act that’s when our hero faces the greatest challenge. And I would encourage them by saying do not take God’s name off your script. Let him continue to direct you into success. When you are on his purpose, when you are moving and guiding and going toward him, conflict is a necessary part of this journey. When you look at any great movie, any great character has gone through conflict. And guess what? It’s just one scene in your life. And God has the scene where you get the victory coming after it, so don’t in that moment give up. Just look at your life as a movie. Look at it as one of the greatest stories ever being told, and when you do that know that you’re not facing conflict because you’re being punished; you’re facing conflict so that it can prepare you for where God has you to go.
You also talk about using “less as more” in your career, meaning less self-promotion. But someone might say, “Wait, how am I going to get ahead if I don’t point out or highlight my accomplishments?” What do you say to that?
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