LEADERS & The Difference Between Good Leaders and Great Ones #OrganixBook

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This article from Harvard Business Review illustrates what I try to communicate to my students. And that is, that “great” leadership which revolves around forceful leading in times of danger or calamity is very different from “good” leadership which often is more collaborative and utilized in times of relative harmony. I outline the differences in the book ORGANIX. Read this article to understand more of the nuanced differences.

The Difference Between Good Leaders and Great Ones

by James R. Bailey, Harvard Business Review, 9/23/16.

…That anyone can develop as a leader is not in question. What I dispute is the stubborn resolve that great and good are points along the same stream. That just isn’t so. Great leadership and good leadership have distinctly different characteristics and paths. Leadership is not one-dimensional. It can be great and good, or one but not the other, or neither.

Uses of “great” usually begin with descriptions of being unusually intense or powerful, either “to great effect” or “a great effort.” In that sense, great is a force. True, great also means “excellent,” but that is not its primary meaning. As for “good,” we usually reference morality, virtue, and ethics — “a good person” or “a good decision.” Good can refer to the quality of something — contrasted against the commonly understood opposite, bad — but in this context good refers to the direction in which behavior is compelled.

Great leadership is powerful, dominating, often overwhelming. It can sweep people along through sheer animation. Great leadership excites, energizes, and stimulates. It’s a rousing call, shocking complacency and inertia into action. It’s one of the most potent pulls in human history, and as such accounts for much of humanity’s progress, as well as its suffering. While it ignites collective action and stirs passion, its direction depends largely on those that wield its power. Great has no inherent moral compass, and thus its unpredictable potency can just as easily be put toward pugilistic and peaceful purposes.

To speak of good leadership is to speak of protecting and advancing widely accepted principles through means to ends. It denotes doing the “right” thing. There may be legitimate differences in interpretation of what’s right and wrong, but long-standing ethics, mores, and customs of conduct that have allowed individuals and collectives to survive and thrive are remarkably similar across culture and time. Good heeds the best interests and welfare of others.

Good leadership is not as arresting as great leadership. When good rules the day, it’s not so noticeable, as things are transpiring as they should. Great is dramatic, whereas good is the blended background, a values-based screen upon which great deeds unfold. This accounts for why the force of great often overshadows the direction of good.

The tug between great and good leadership is one of perpetual and dynamic coexistence. There is great — a force that is often inexplicable, occasionally irrational, and, importantly, intermittently ungovernable. Then there is good — a direction that is north-star true, providing the point of values of mutual benefit. The former moves, the latter aspires. The figure below illustrates the relationship.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2016/09/the-difference-between-good-leaders-and-great-ones

COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP & Why A Flat Organization is Better Than a Hierarchy for the Small & Midsized Org.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Most nonprofits and churches, with under 50 full time employees, work better as a “flat organization.” Read this comparison between the creativity and speed created in the flat organization vs. the typical hierarchal model. Moving to a hierarchical model when a church or nonprofit is small is one of the main factors that holds back their creativity and growth (ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, chpt. “N: Networked“).

Research: Narcissists Don’t Like Flat Organizations

by Emily Zitek and Alex Jordan, Harvard Business Review, 7/27/16.

Flat organizations are having a moment. Research has shown that reducing hierarchy can lead to more satisfied employees and speedier decision making, and some companies have concluded that flatter structures would work better. Zappos, for example, became a “holocracy” in order to empower employees to act like entrepreneurs. Similarly, Treehouse eliminated managers after noticing that “people had really great ideas but were powerless to implement them.”

But hierarchy does have its merits. It helps people learn relationships in the organization and satisfies a psychological need for order. Moreover, hierarchies perform well when the product requires coordination

We wanted to know how hierarchy might influence the type of talent organizations can attract and retain. Our forthcoming paper in Social Psychological and Personality Science shows hierarchies and flat organizations attract different kinds of workers. We conducted a series of studies to understand how narcissism—a personality trait involving exaggerated self-worth, a sense of entitlement, and a desire for authority—relates to people’s organizational preference.

In our research, people’s level of narcissism was measured by their agreement or disagreement with a series of statements such as “I will be a success” and “I think I am a special person.” Participants then answered questions about how much they would want to work in a hierarchical organization.

Our research shows that people with narcissistic traits had a stronger desire to work in a hierarchical organization, compared to less narcissistic people. Why? They believed they would perform well and thus rise to the top. However, after learning about a hierarchical organization in which none of the high ranking people would be leaving the organization anytime soon, narcissists actually wanted to work there less than non-narcissistic participants did.

Thus, narcissists like hierarchical organizations because they think they will rise to high ranks and reap status and power. Narcissists are less interested in hierarchies where there is little opportunity for upward mobility. The same goes for flatter organizations, where there are fewer high ranks to attain…

Is it good or bad to have narcissistic employees?

That depends on your company. When negotiating with a client, do you just want to make the most money, or do you also care about maintaining a good relationship? Narcissists win more in negotiations, but they are also disliked by the other party. Do you value creativity? If so, it might be good to have some narcissists (not too few and not too many) because groups generate more creative ideas this way. Are you working in an industry where seeking risk is rewarded, or one where risk aversion is more valuable? Studies of CEOs have demonstrated that more narcissistic leaders show a greater bias toward action and more aggressive pursuit of potential rewards, and they pay less attention to mitigating risk.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2016/07/research-narcissists-dont-like-flat-organizations

EVALUATION & A List of Church Growth/Health Measurements (metrics) from My Books

AN OVERVIEW of MEASUREMENT METRICS: In four of my books I have updated and modified a church measurement tool.  You will find a chapter on measurement in each of these books:

Cure for the Common Church, (Wesleyan Publishing House), chapter “Chapter 6: How Does a Church Grow Learners,” pp. 101-123.
> ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 8: Measure 4 Types of Church Growth,” pp. 139-159.
> Growth By Accident, Death By Planning (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 7: Missteps with Evaluation,” pp. 97-108/
> A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps In Your Church (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 10: Evaluate Your Success,” pp. 202-221.

I explain that church growth involves four types of congregational growth.  It is a seriously incorrect assumption to assume church growth is all about numbers.  It is only 1/4 about numbers and 3/4 about the other types of growth mentioned in Acts 2:42-47.  In the New Testament we find…

> Maturation Growth, i.e. growth in maturity,Acts 2:42-43.
> Growth in Unity: Acts 2:44-46.
> Growth in Favor, i.e. among non-Christians, Acts 2:47a.
> Growth in number of salvations, i.e. which God does according to this verse, Acts 2:47b.

For more see … https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/measurement-a-reliable-valid-tool-to-measure-church-growthhealth-organixbook/

ORGANIX & An Executive Summary of the Signs of Leadership In a Changing Church

by Jeff Lawson, Life Church, 5/12/16.

A few years ago my church sent me to Dallas, Texas to attend a Catalyst Church Conference. I remember thinking at the beginning of the week that I felt more like I was at a Spring Break party in Florida than I did at a church conference. Folks were texting all through the events. Beach Balls were bouncing around the room. Lots of interaction, even while the speakers were on the stage. I felt it was so sacrilegious.

By the end of the week my feelings had changed. I saw that these young people were worshiping Jesus in ways that were more comfortable for them. It was without a doubt genuine and I remember feeling that I wish I could understand more what I was experiencing.

I wish I had been able to read Dr Bob Whitesel’s book, Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon Press) prior to attending the event. If I had read this work, I am certain that my experience would have been much more complete.

In my opinion, Organix paints a picture for the Modern Leader to better understand tomorrow’s Millennial Leader. I would highly recommend this book to be read by all pastors and then re-read together with their leadership team.

By using an acronym with the word Organic, Whitesel teaches the reader the difference between the modern leader and the millennial leader. Early on Whitesel explains his use of the ‘x’ in Organic instead of a ‘c’. He says, “There is a millennial propensity to alter the spelling of words to create distinction with like-sounding letters.” Whitesel intrinsically breaks down the differences in a very astute way each chapter. He also begins each chapter with a brief true to life story that helps the reader dig into the important differences (which was extremely helpful for me).

O stands for ‘Others’. Whitesel says, “Among tomorrow’s leaders there is a passion not for themselves or their own accomplishments but for helping those most in need.” This spoke loudly to me. My generation is quick to write a check to make a problem go away. Tomorrow’s leaders are more ready to roll up their sleeves to help to solve the problem long term. Whitesel says, “A key to knowing the needs of others is to experience life with them.”

R stands for the Rx in ‘Prescription’. Whitesel says, “An R with a slash through the right leg is a Latin abbreviation for ‘recipe,’ which has come to indicate a recipe or prescription for health.” This is a bit of a twist on the idea that healthy organizations produce healthy people to the idea that when you have healthy people, you will find a healthy organization. The shuffling of words is subtle, yet true. The first idea is true sometimes, but more times than not, the second option is more reliable. This chapter talks about small groups. Whitesel introduces the idea of MissionalNets which are a gathering of two to five small groups that can produce quicker and easier results when one small group tries to tackle a mission alone. It also encourages fellowship among the different small groups in a church.

G stands for ‘Graffiti’. Whitesel says, “While modern leadership often disciplines itself to keep colors and lines in their place, millennial leaders create a leadership collage of colors, symbols, and statements.” He opens the chapter early by a profound statement that I have found true, “Millennial leadership is not for the fainthearted or the small-minded.” I laughed out loud at the statement with my previous experience with the Catalyst Conference mentioned earlier. It doesn’t always make sense, but we must ask ourselves, does it always have to make sense? After all, God says, “Your thoughts and ways are not like my thoughts and ways.” We must get over ourselves and embrace the idea that we don’t always have to be in control of everything we experience.

A stands for ‘Recycle’ with their triangle symbol. This in my opinion was the most creative and thought provoking chapter. Whitesel helps the reader to see that we are not only to be concerned with recycling precious natural resources, we must also be mindful of people and that they are just as precious as a resource. Many people have been cast away as useless because of a past mistake, but with a quick glimpse of the Bible we can see that God regularly used murders, prostitutes, thieves, and adulterers, to name a few. This does not mean that we are to gloss over sin, but it does not show that sin means that you must be doomed to everlasting ministry purgatory.

N stands for ‘Networks’. With the popularity and growing use for the internet, networks are growing by the thousands. In my own life, I have dozens of people who are close friends who I have never met face-to-face, but because of our work together online, we have daily contact and interaction. 30 years ago prayer requests could take up to a week to go from the mission’sfield to the local church, now it happens instantly.

I stands for ‘Incarnate’. Whitesel describes it this way, “Incarnation describes how God sent His Son, Jesus to earth in the flesh and in person in lieu of sending a surrogate or just speaking through a prophet as He had done in Old Testament times.” This chapter shows the idea of tomorrow’s leaders as not depending on someone else to send, to teach, or to minister, but to take matters into your own hands and jump in and be involved. There is much power in being present and able to witness face-to-face.

X stands for ‘Measure’. Whitesel says that the ‘X’ is the Jerusalem cross and “Represents four types of measurement observed in Jerusalem which at their core point to Christ’s work on the cross.” This chapter helps the reader to better understand how tomorrow’s leaders measure spiritual growth and its relationship to effective leadership. It is not close to accurate to measure a church’s health by empty chairs on Sunday morning. There are so many other factors involved.

Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church answers so many questions. It is a book that I will refer to again and again. I am very thankful for the insight that I gained from reading it.

MANAGEMENT & 3 Management Styles That Belong In The Past

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Research cited in this article describes facts I utilized to write the book “ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church” (Abingdon Press). For more about how leaders must apply management differently today with younger people, see excerpts from “ORGANIX” on this .wiki after reading the article.

MANAGEMENT & These 3 Management Styles Belong In The Past

by Paolo Gallo, Forbes Magazine, 2/3/16.

What assumptions am I making, that I’m not aware I am making, that give me what I see?

This powerful question, taken from Benjamin Zander’s book, The Art of Possibility, has been stuck in my mind for a while. Traditional management thinking is based around three fundamental assumptions.

  1. First, that organizations need a top-down approach to strategy and objective setting;
  2. Second, that the role of management and human resources is to measure/control what is being done to achieve objectives and to provide the corresponding incentives for performance or non-performance; and
  3. Third, that monetary incentives motivate people.

Accepting these assumptions, grounded in a dogmatic approach,

  1. means that CEOs and executives decide on behalf of people,
  2. managers control and HR professionals develop complex systems to measure performance,
  3. incentives and consequences.

Sounds like the same old story of carrot and sticks.

Beyond Carrots And Sticks

Yet scientific evidence has proven that what motivates knowledge workers is not longer carrots and sticks.

Take for example Daniel H. Pink’s book, Drive, which makes the case that autonomy, a sense of purpose and mastery are the real motivating factors, in addition – in my view – to a sense of fairness and trust.

Despite such breakthroughs in understanding human behavior, most organizations have still not changed their management systems or thinking accordingly. The problem is that we are using the management tools of the first industrial revolution, while we are entering the fourth industrial revolution. It’s the equivalent of still using a gramophone to listen to music. I suppose it is easier to change a smart phone than a mental model.

Even the fabled “20% time” granted by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other Silicon Valley giants – originally designed to give knowledge workers greater job satisfaction, allowing them to use company time to tinker around with new ideas – is only change at the margins. In Google’s case it is now being discontinued, with others possibly following suite.

Overwhelmingly, even in the most innovative industries with the most “knowledge workers,” we tend to manage using the same methods that were put in place to keep tabs on factory workers during the industrial revolution.

Overcoming Resistance To Change

I would like to share a story which illustrates how we can move beyond our old, hopelessly out-of-date assumptions.

In 2012, when Professor Klaus Schwab, who founded the World Economic Forum some 41 years earlier, had the idea of disrupting his organization with a new model of community management, better suited for the Millennial generation, he met the same reaction from management that every leader faces when implementing change: resistance.

Like others who walked the road of change management before him, he set up a “skunk works,” an isolated team under his leadership, to make change happen.

Professor Schwab’s premise was simple: with half of the world’s population under the age of 27, we need a new and different way of engaging young people with decision-makers to shape their common future.

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/worldeconomicforum/2016/02/03/these-3-management-styles-belong-in-the-past/#d2b49913707b

ORGANIX & A Chapter-by-chapter Summary of the Abingdon Press Book

Executive Summary by Cheri Wellman (1/26/16) of “ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church,” Abingdon Press.

ORGANIX differentiates between two prevalent leadership styles, modern and millennial. The differences that exist between these two styles is significant because it impacts the way in which leaders approach various aspects of leading. This book describes eight attributes of an organic church and how the two leadership styles impact the Church’s ability to engage in the mission Dei.

Organix_final.aiIn reading and understanding my own leadership style I am better equipped to further engage in the millennial leadership in which I am a part. Additionally, by understanding the modern leaders I am able to understand the responses, road blocks and gaps in methodologies that have created challenges over the past several years.

​Each of the eight chapters addresses its own aspect of an organic church.

CHAPTER 1: The first chapter focuses on the how each leadership style considers others. Others are viewed by the modern leader as resources to be managed, led primarily by the leader’s vision and in regards to how the volume of others measure leadership success. In contrast the millennial leader is driven by the needs of others, sees others as souls to be nurtured and leads focused on integrity. Millennial leaders have a need to be among the people and seek out their needs as a driving position for ministry direction.

CHAPTER 2:  ​The next chapter contrasts the two leadership styles in respect to their perception of how God interacts or supports the leader. The millennial leader recognizes that God strengthens the leader for the work, that God’s presence is a result of the leader’s need of God, and that God is the one who examines the leader’s participation in God’s mission. The modern leader however looks to God to make the work easier due to leadership faithfulness, presumes that God’s presence is a result of His pleasure with the leadership, and that God celebrates the leader’s involvement in the mission Dei.

CHAPTER 3:  ​The chapter of prescription was helped me see some areas where the district’s church health and fitness team are missing the mark. The model that is established is working in a modern leadership style and assuming a healthy church will produce healthy churches. This view has been a challenge for me and now I understand why. I have been very concerned for the health of the pastors and the leadership specifically, but the methodologies ignored their poor health and focused on methods to create a healthy church which included increasing volunteerism. Millennial leaders see the health of the people as the driver for a healthy church. It is their focus on the health of the individual that cares for them through use of small groups where people are cared for and nurtured.

CHAPTER 4:  This chapter addresses risk and the type of church the leadership style develops. The modern leader avoids risk, is concerned about white male privilege, and grows museum churches. The millennial leader embraces risk, practices methods of reconciliation and grows mosaic churches. I resonated personally best with this chapter. “Anger is necessary or things won’t change” (p.69). This chapter also describes both the diversity and the partnership that is needed through sub congregations.

CHAPTER 5:  ​The concept of recycling whether it be people, resources, or worship is addressed in chapter five. Rather than recycle, the modern leader moves out the old in to a new purpose rather than recycling it for its original intended purpose like the millennials do. One significant point in this chapter is how each leadership style approaches those who have failed. Millennial leaders address the failure and make a path toward reconciliation and restoration toward one’s original purpose, but modern leaders are likely to move the failure out and use them as an example and warning for others. The other point I found helpful was the thinking of the millennials and their ancient-future elements to honor those who have gone before them.

CHAPTER 6:  Chapter six focuses on networks and networking. The modern leader relies on historical networks and controlling and restricting network access. The author points to how this modern thinking addresses outward behavior more than inward transformation. Millennials see networks as a tool and resource that should be freely available to everyone. They view personal networks important as they do the organizational networks. This chapter outlines the variety of benefits to online networks.

CHAPTER 7:  Second to the chapter on Graffiti, this chapter on incarnation was my favorite. Modern leaders send others, teach at others, and create gatherings as an attractional event. Millennials however go in person, teach and are willing to be taught, and gather with the goal of a supernatural encounter. The John Perkin’s principles shared in this book are the foundation for how I view ministry both locally and globally. The section that addresses the supernatural encounter goal of the millennial leader where they spend a significant time seeking God’s leading through prayer, fasting, silence and meditation is something I have witnessed and appreciated in other younger leaders.

CHAPTER 8:  The last chapter on measurement is encouraging, but likely still a long way from where the denominations are going to be measuring for a while. The challenges of measuring in the traditional modern methods of attendance and conversions is that these are tangible numbers theoretically. The methods of measure for millennials are more subjective as they look to measure maturity, unity, favor, and conversion. The short surveys provided in this chapter are useful tools in beginning to address and measure these areas.

My only question, does this book come in Spanish? I’d love to work through this book with my Colombian brothers and talk through the concepts with them.

MISSIO DEI & A Holistic Definition

The missio Dei is God’s mission to reintroduce himself and restore fellowship with his wayward offspring. – Whitesel

by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 2011.

Because the millennial leader is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the need as well as the multifaceted challenges of leadership … the millennial leader knows she or he needs help beyond what humans can provide. The emerging leader seeks divine stamina, insight, power, travel companions and even miracles to accomplish the task. But what exactly is this divine and enormous task? It can be summed up in the Latin: missio Dei, the mission of God.[i]

The missio Dei is God’s mission to reintroduce himself and restore fellowship with his wayward offspring. It emphasizes that “mission is not primarily an activity of the church, but an attribute of God. God is a missionary God.”[ii] John Flett explains, “the Father sent his Son and Spirit into the word, and this act reveals his ‘sending’ being. He remains active today in reconciling the world to himself and sends his community to participate in the mission.”[iii] William Willimon concludes,

“It is the nature of this God to reach out … A chief defining content of this good news of God (1 Thess. 2:1, 8, 9; Rom. 1:1) is this sort of relentless reach. This God has a gregarious determination to draw all things unto God’s self (John 12:23) … The church exists not for itself, but rather to sign, signal , and embody God’s intentions for the whole world. God is going to get back what belongs to God. God’s primary means of accomplishing this is through the church.”[iv]

Specifically because the missio Dei is God’s work, it is presumptuous and incorrect to say humans have this mission. Only God has such a grand mission, because only he can accomplish it. Yet he enlists human participation in the task, as Jesus emphasizes, “My food … is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34). Thus, it is best to say humans “participate” in the missio Dei, assisting God as he calls and equips us for his extraordinary task.

Therefore, because of the magnitude of the mission and because of whose mission it is (God’s), a “theta” (Q) will be this chapter’s icon. Q is the first letter of the Greek word for God (theos) and can be created by adding a “dash” to the middle of the “O.” Though subsequent chapters will have only one meaning each, this chapter’s symbol (Q) is a completion of the Chapter 1 icon: “O.” This is because an understanding and solidarity with the needs of others will drive a person to God, for only God can supply the strength needed for the task. Millennial leaders are recognizing that without divine intervention, she or he will be able to meet tomorrow’s burgeoning needs. This is not to say that humans create God to help them with their needs, but rather that God has placed in his creation a divine spark of compassion, and when that spark begins to grow the leader recognizes that only in their creator will they find the source and power behind that flame.

[i] Missio Dei was first used in this sense by missiologist Karl Hartenstein to describe God’s mission in contrast to Karl Barth’s emphasis upon God’s action (the actio Dei). For an overview of these terms, their history and their implication for the millennial leader see John Flett’s The Witness of God: The Trinity, Missio Dei, Karl Barth, and the Nature of Christian Community (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2010).

[ii] David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in the Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 19910, p. 390.

[iii] John G. Flett, The Witness of God: The Trinity, Missio Dei, Karl Barth, and the Nature of Christian Community, p. 5.

[iv] William H. Willimon, Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002), pp. 239-240.

Excerpted from ©Bob Whitesel, ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, Abingdon Press, 2011), pp. 9-10.

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