Crossover King [Interview with Joel Osteen]

Reaching people around the world through his television ministry, Joel Osteen embraces even more— including nonbelievers—with his powerful personal-development message.

I am sitting in the coveted front row of what used to be the Compaq Center, former home of the Houston Rockets. The stage is brilliant with multicolored lights. Guitarists, a bass player and other musicians in jeans are warming up. Three singers take the stage and the crowd of nearly 16,000 cheers as the group begins to sing along with a backup choir.

No, I’m not watching Lady Antebellum, the country-pop crossover band. I am, however, about to see one of the greatest crossover successes of our generation: Joel Osteen.

As the praise music concludes, Osteen’s wife and co-pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Victoria Osteen, takes the stage. She welcomes everyone and then tells the story of a trip to Italy she and Joel took when they were newly married. They wanted to get Joel’s father,...

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Defend Your Boundaries to Take Back Control

Learn how and when to draw the line after someone asks too much of you. 

One summer, I was struggling with feelings of resentment toward a family member. Let’s call her Carol. I loved Carol very much, but every time I saw her number on the caller ID, I  got a sick, overwhelmed feeling. I started avoiding her calls. I realized, thanks to a candid chat with a friend, that I was steering clear of Carol because she always wanted something from me. And I always said yes. I was so invested in having Carol think well of me, that no matter what she needed or wanted, I figured out a way to make it happen and ended up creating chaos in my life as a result.

A friend suggested I write NO in big letters on a notecard and set it on my coffee table. Then each time Carol called, I  was to sit down and stare at that notecard until I got the gumption to just say no.

Boundaries are tricky—we don’t always realize that we’re unhappy or unproductive because of a...

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How to Be the Nicest Guy in Hollywood [Interview with Ron Howard]

Ron Howard's 50 years in the movie business have taught him how to handle actors, studios and, of course, a little drama.

Most of us have heard Ron Howard’s laugh. Think back to just about any episode of "Happy Days" when the Fonz says something embarrassing to Howard’s character, teenage Richie Cunningham, who shuffles his feet and laughs with a breathy, nervous naiveté. Or recall the old black-and-white episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show," when Howard played Sheriff Andy Taylor’s enthusiastic son Opie, throwing his auburn head back in laughter at the fumbling Don Knotts.

Ron Howard’s laugh is familiar; it’s easy, uninhibited, and even a little bit self-effacing; it makes us laugh right along with him. Today, as an Oscar-winning director and co-chairman of Imagine Entertainment, Howard directs movies that stick in the public’s imagination just as much as his infectious smile. He credits his directing approach, and much of the joy he still...

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The Day George Foreman Almost Made Me Throw Up

Have you ever been so scared you lost your lunch?

After serving as managing editor of SUCCESS magazine for about a month, I got my first big interview opportunity: legendary boxer and entrepreneur George Foreman.

I was beside myself with joy--I was a big fan. After pulling tons of research, sketching out my interview questions, and arranging to work from home on the day of the interview so no one would see how incredibly nervous I knew I would be, I felt ready.

Until about thirty minutes before he was scheduled to call.

The audio recorder and phone were on the table, and I was pacing the living room, shaking my hands out at the wrists in utter terror.

I had never spoken to someone with this level of distinction before. I hadn’t yet held one-on-one conversations with celebrities and uber-successful business owners. The intimidation I felt that day was alternately driving me into fits and paralyzing me in a ball on the sofa.

Then my stomach lurched. It was five...

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Usher's Heart Work [Interview with Usher Raymond]

The pop superstar hands down a lesson of mentoring and gives struggling kids a new outlook.

Usher Raymond IV carries a small silver humidor filled with the finest cigars. He owns a pair of every Air Jordan shoes released.

He has a stable of luxury cars, owns homes on multi-acre properties and can’t show his face in public without inciting rabid, screaming fans. Over a nearly 20-year career, he has earned pop superstardom.

But in the late ’80s, in a room full of rowdy kids at the Boys & Girls Club in Chattanooga, Tenn., 11-year-old Usher was just hanging out, shooting hoops, and learning how to be a leader rather than another statistic from his impoverished neighborhood. The young man, destined to become a multi-platinum recording artist, actor and businessman, needed the safe haven of that after-school club to keep him off the streets and away from potential dangers: drugs, gangs, violence.

“At a young age, I found a great influence in being in places like the...

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Kenneth Cole's Bold Branding [Interview with Kenneth Cole]

How the clothing and shoe designer continues to raise eyebrows--and consciousness.

The offices of Kenneth Cole Productions are decorated with shoes. Antique lace-up boots, old metal roller skates, long brown Oxfords that have seen one too many sidewalks. The shoes sit on coffee tables, in display cases and on window sills overlooking Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen. And they serve as a constant reminder of the connection between present and past, between success and the journey it took to get there. Kenneth Cole has made that journey, as an entrepreneur, as a designer and as a man with a message.

“Do you like this tie… or this one?” he asks, holding up an alternative to the necktie he already wears. He says, “Thanks,” and folds the alternative neatly into his jacket pocket. Yes, his jacket pocket.

He’s outfitted head to toe in his own designs. His company, Kenneth Cole Productions, has been making shoes, clothes and accessories for almost...

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