MARKETING & Successful Leaders Who Started with Paper Routes and 5 Key Lessons Learned

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “The key lesson from these successful leaders is that it is important to show people how your message adds value to their lives. So rather than telling people you have the area’s best church program or the most exciting worship, tell them about how Christ and knowing Him will add more spiritual and physical value to their lives.”

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MULTIPLICATION & 40 Business Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read Before Setting up a Startup #BusinessNewsDaily

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Having coached many, many church plants, I’ve discovered their mistakes were often made due to a lack of basic business and management skills. This list of business books will provide the business foundation that ministry entrepreneurs need. Business News Daily put together this list of 40 books after asking management professionals what every entrepreneur should read. You will find many of these are recommended readings for my Doctor of Ministry cohorts.”

Read the list at …

CHURCH PLANTERS & What Do We Give Up When We Become Freedom-Seeking Entrepreneurs & Church Planters? A Lot, Actually.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald in their classic research paper titled ‘What Makes an Entrepreneur?,’ discovered that: ‘The probability of self-employment depends positively upon whether the individual ever received an inheritance or gift.’ This research needs to be applied to church planters, but seems to forecast that successful church planters may have a member of the family that is gainfully employed and able to support the family so the church planter does not have to. For more details see the link to Blanchflower and Oswald’s paper as well as this overview in the New York Times.”

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INNOVATION & 15 Incredible ‘Aha!’ Moments #InfoGraphic

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “How does creativity come about? Usually it comes when someone looks closely and recognizes a problem. For instance, Nick Woodman went surfing and could not take pictures of himself, and soon he founded GoPro cameras. Let your creativity be stoked when you fine out how 14 more inventors experienced their ‘Aha!’ moments in an infographic in Inc. Magazine.”

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP & Isn’t It at an All-Time High? Nope. Not Even Close

by Erik Sherman, Inc. Magazine, 5/8/14.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Before 2008 there were more businesses started than were closed. However in 2008 the reverse became true, and more businesses were closed than launched. This would be interesting research to apply to church multiplication. Are more church plants being planted today than are closing? And how does the multi-site and multi-venue church affect this? The researchers insinuate that entrepreneurship is still alive but that entrepreneurs are seeking the stability and economy of scale of large companies. In other words entrepreneurs are staying within their companies and not creating independent start ups. Might this be the reason for the rise of the multi-site church? And could the multi-venue church be another example of this? Read this article and ask yourself if it doesn’t demand we keep better track of the longevity of our church multiplication efforts. (This research article compares the number of businesses that start with the number of businesses that close. Businesses that start are called business entries. When a business closes it’s called a business exit. This has been tracked for more than 30 years. 30 years ago there were more businesses being started than there were folding. But in 2008 the numbers converged. At that time the same number of businesses were started, as there were businesses closed.)

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INNOVATION & 3 Ways to Measure Bold Ideas

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Deciding to implement a new idea based upon its financial bottom-line is shown to usually undercut innovation as well as long-term organizational health.”

3 Ways to Measure Success by Ilan Mochari, Inc. Magazine, 4/24/14

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EVALUATION & Behaviors from 360-reviews that Define Successful Leaders

The Behaviors that Define A-Players
by Jack Zenger, Harvard Business Review

“To see what separates the competent from the exceptional individual performers, we collected 50,286 360-degree evaluations conducted over the last five years on 4,158 individual contributors…

Set stretch goals and adopt high standards for themselves. This was the single most powerful differentiator…

Work collaboratively… “the ability to work collaboratively and foster teamwork.”  And this trait did distinguish the great from the merely competent…

Volunteer to represent the group. The best individual contributors were highly effective at representing their groups to other departments or units within the organization. If you want to stand out, have the courage to raise your hand and offer to take on the extra work of representing your group. In this way you will gain recognition, networking opportunities, and valuable learning experiences…

Embrace change, rather than resisting It...Change is difficult for everyone, but is necessary for organizational survival.  The best individual contributors are quick to embrace change in both tactics and strategy.”  Read more at …

DIVERSITY & The 500+ Unreached People Groups in US

All Nations” and Church Planting

by Ed Stetzer, The Exchange, 3/26/14

How does church planting relate to the Great Commission and Jesus’ call to reach the nations?

"All Nations" and Church Planting

“In research released last year by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, missiologist Todd M. Johnson and his team found that nearly twenty percent of non-Christians in North America do not personally know a Christian. More than seventy-five percent of the Sikhs, Hindus, and Jains living in the U.S. do not know a Christian. The same is true for more than sixty-five percent of Buddhists, Shintoists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, and practitioners of Chinese folk religion. Even forty-two percent of Muslims acknowledge that they have no close Christian contacts. They need new church plants.

In the U.S. alone, there are more than five hundred unengaged, unreached people groups.

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GROUP EXIT & Preventing Group Exit During Change

FIGURE Staying Power Process Model p. 177The 6-Stages & 5-Triggers That Prevent Group Exit

by Bob Whitesel, excerpted from Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change What You Can Do About It (Abingdon Press, 2003).

Stage 1: Church is relatively harmonious

Trigger 1: A new idea is introduced by members who think it will help the church.

Stage 2: The idea spreads through like minded change proponents in the church.

Here the routes diverge toward either group exit (route “A”) or group retention (route “B”) based upon if the leader makes Trigger 2 a negative legitimizing event or a positive one.

Trigger 2 (hint – do the positive one):

  • Negative Legitimizing Event.  The leader says…
    • “good idea” or something similarly innocent,
    • but the change proponents push too fast and don’t dialogue with the status quo.
  • Positive Legitimizing Event. This action will keep the groups intact:
    • Instead the leader slows down the change proponents,
    • Telling them they must go through the proper channels and seek permission from the right committees.
    • The leader then gets the change proponents to talk directly to the people who might be affected by the new idea and get their input before the change begins.  We will call them the “status quo.”
    • This helps the status quo feel they are part of the process and their concerns have been heard.

PreparingChange_Reaction_MdStage-3 Change to Stage-4 Resistance still occur, but group exit is avoided when the leader handles correctly one more trigger:

  • Trigger-4, Harmonizing Event: Though the inevitable Alarm Event occurs, the leader on route “B” towards harmony creates a “Harmonizing Event.”
    • This is an event where the leader gives everyone in the church a sense that they can do more together, than apart.
    • The church is seen as a “partnership of groups” where different groups partner for the good of the whole.
    • The overall church’s identity is emphasized and the sub-groups are downplayed.

For more see these books and articles:

This research is based on the work of management scholars Bruno Dyck and Frederick A. Starke, who, as laymen themselves, investigated how churches polarize over change. Their groundbreaking research uncovered  six stages and five triggers of church change. See Bruno Dyck and Frederick A. Starke, “The Formation of Breakaway Organizations: Observations and a Process Model,” Administrative Science Quarterly (1999), 44:792–822.

In addition, I have written a book that illustrates the six stages and five triggers of Dyck and Starke with accounts of actual churches: Bob Whitesel, Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change and What You Can Do About It (Nashville: Abingdon, 2003).

(The two last paragraphs are footnotes from Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change to Your Church, by Bob Whitesel 2010.  And the figure above is from Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change What You Can Do About It, Abingdon Press, 2003, p. 177).

Speaking hashtags: #BetterTogether #BreakForth16 #ReclaimedLeader #Reclaimed #CLIOrlando2018


Will Your Entrepreneurial Personality Sink Your Start-Up?

The personality traits that draw people into starting their own companies can lead to negative workplace behaviors that cause the start-up to fail, according to a study of more than 2,000 managers by Adrian Furnham of University College London and two colleagues.”