Andy Stanley founded North Point Ministries (NPM) more than 20 years ago. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 30 churches around the globe, collectively serving nearly 70,000 people weekly. Recently, Outreach Magazine identified Stanley as one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Pastors in America.” The author of more than 20 books, he is passionate about serving both church and organizational leaders.
- If we had it to do all over again what would we do all over again?
- What really worked?
- We did an autopsy on our success.
- Usually as leaders we only critique our failures. But if all you focus on is your failures you may never learn to repeat success.
- If you don’t know why things are going well, then when things go bad you won’t know how to help things start going well “again
- Resource: “Lessons from the first 20 years” – podcast from the Andy Stanley podcast
- Why did our organization grow so fast? Because we’re not growing that fast anymore.
- We had a uniquely better product
- Nobody was doing church the way we were doing church in the Southeast US
- If you have the only hot dog stand in town your hot dogs don’t have to be that good
- We weren’t the best at what we did, a lot of people are doing church, it wasn’t a new category. We were doing something unique in our category.
- Unique is different than one of a kind
- Unique can be bad too and unique won’t necessarily give you momentum
- Better means it does what it’s designed to do better than the competition
- We created an engaging church experience for the whole family especially for men
- We aren’t unique anymore which means we are not uniquely better anymore
- Somebody somewhere in your industry is messing with the rules to the prevailing model
- Every industry has a prevailing model so every industry has a set of specific assumptions
- Which means every industry is stuck in a certain manner
- Discovering uniquely better is virtually impossible
- Uniquely better is often the byproduct of circumstances that successful organizations are trying to avoid
- Uniquely better is often so unique that established organizations can’t imagine that as being better
- Our best hope and our responsibility as leaders is to create organizational cultures positioned to recognize rather than resist “uniquely better”
#1 Be a student not a critic
- I will never criticize something I don’t understand
- We naturally resist things that we don’t understand or we can’t control
- As a leader you must overcome that tendency
- The moment you start criticizing you stop learning and when you stop learning you stop leading and when you stop leading the leaders in your organization will leave
- “The next generation product and idea almost never comes from the previous generation” AL Reis, Focus
#2 You have to keep your eyes and mind wide open
- Listen to outsider, listen to outsiders, listen to outsiders, listen to outsiders
- Outsiders aren’t bound by our assumptions
- Closeminded leaders, close minds
- You can’t see a closed mind in the mirror
- How do you respond to staff who make suggestions based on what they’ve observed in other organizations?
- When was the last time the organizations embraced a big idea that wasn’t your idea?
- When is the last time you weren’t sure about an initiative but you gave the go ahead anyway?
- “We must pay attention to the frontiers of our ignorance” Sam Harris
- Being the leader and leading are entirely two different things.
#3 Replace How? with Wow!
- “But how?” Kills ideas.
- Wow ideas to life, don’t how them to death
- We fuel innovation or shut it down by our response
- Nothing is gained by not knowing what your people are dreaming about
- The world will put enough “hows” in front of our children…let’s just be “wow” parents.
- Your greatest contribution to the world may not be something you do but someone you raise
#4 Ask the uniquely better questions
- Is this unique?
- What would make this unique?
- Is it better?
- Is it better…really?
- If you’re constantly thinking “uniquely better” then you will see it when it comes along
Posted in Leadership