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Quotebook: Options and Differentiation

I am a fan of Simon Sinek’s thinking.  Start with Why has had a great influence on my thinking in the last several years.

I tripped across this line from Sinek last week.  Think about what it means for churches that are serving up a buffet of options:

“Companies that offer lots of options are often struggling to differentiate. Differentiation comes from clarity of Why, not excess of What.” Simon Sinek

If your church offers a menu of options (as opposed to a plated meal), might it be that the struggle is to differentiate brought on by a lack of clarity of Why?

By the way, Sinek’s take here reminded me of Youngme Moon’s insightful book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd.  If you’re involved in strategy, it is a must read in my opinion.

Quotebook: The Only Thing We Have to Bring to Community

“The only thing we have to bring to community is ourselves, so the contemplative process of recovering our true selves in solitude is never selfish.  It is ultimately the best thing we can give to others.” Parker Palmer, The Active Life, p. 29

Quotebook: Never Stop Questioning

I’ve written many times about the power of a great question.  Here are two of my favorite posts: Supercharge Your Ministry Impact with These 5 Questions and Ministry in a Fog? Here are 6 Critical Questions That Create Clarity.

Here is what Albert Einstein thought about questions:

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

When was the last time you asked a great question?

Quotebook: The Key to Long-Term (Ministry) Success

You know this…but I thought this was a good quote for your notebook.  This is a very Peter Drucker/Joseph Schumpeter concept, the gist of which is that you can’t continue to succeed without being willing to abandon yesterday’s winning products or programs (in the pursuit of tomorrow’s winning products or programs).

“The key to long-term success is a willingness to disrupt your own comfort for the sake of continued growth.”  Todd Henry, Die Empty

For more on this idea, see Purposeful Abandonment: a Prerequisite to Innovation and The Innovator’s Guide to Growth.

By the way, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Everyday is a great read.  If you’re in a creative enterprise, this is a must read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Quotebook: Goal Setting

As one of the world’s preeminent advisers to CEOs and boards, Ram Charan has spent the past 35 years on the road, watching hundreds of executives deal with their toughest challenges.

Here’s his take on the greatest mistake CEOs make in setting goals:

“As a rule CEOs don’t give enough attention to setting goals. The greatest mistake they make is to look in the rearview mirror at what they did last year or at what their competition did. The brilliant decision makers look at the runway ahead.”  (Harvard Business Review, November, 2013)

When you set goals…are you looking in the rearview mirror?  Or are you looking at the runway ahead?  A brilliant insight.

By the way, I’ve greatly benefitted from the insights of Ram Charan.  He is the co-author of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (with Larry Bossidy) and Know-How: the 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Quotebook: Rationalization

Working on something that you know needs to change but just aren’t ready to pull the trigger?  I love this line from Peter Block:

“The most common rationalization for doing things we do not believe in is that what we really desire either takes too long or costs too much.”  The Answer to How Is Yes

Quotebook: The Cost of Change and the Status Quo

Stuck?  Turns out that change is a math formula.

“Here’s the formula.  Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change: C(SQ) > R(C).”  Alan Webber, Rules of Thumb.

Webber, along with Bill Taylor, was a founder of Fast Company magazine. His book, Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business without Losing Your Self is a very good read, packed with insights that will have you marking up your copy.

Quotebook: Hardwired to Connect

Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly is packed with great content that will have an impact on your work.  Here’s an early quote on being hardwired to connect:

“Connection is why we’re here.  We are hardwired to connect with others.  It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”  Daring Greatly, p. 7

Quotebook: Dallas Willard on Following Jesus

When I think about the objective of making disciples, I am reminded of Colossians 1:28: “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”  For me, a big part of my objective is to present everyone fully mature in Christ.

What would that look like?  How do I know I am accomplishing my objective?  I love this Dallas Willard line.

“Disciples of Jesus are those who are with him, learning to be like him. That is, they are learning to lead their life, their actual existence, as he would lead their life if he were they.” (Renovation of the Heart, 241)

I think it’s interesting and instructive that Willard didn’t write about knowing what Jesus knew.  Instead, he talked about learning how to live; “learning to lead their life, their actual existence, as he would lead their life if he were they.”

Quotebook: Change and Irrelevance

“If you don’t like change you’ll like irrelevance even less.” General Eric Shinseki, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Army

Great line, isn’t it?  Although it is a line that comes to my mind quite often, I’ve learned not to use it on the people who bring it to mind.  There is great wisdom in having restraint and being slow to speak.

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