I recently received a copy of The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller to review.
I was completely intrigued by the title – who doesn’t want a leadership secret?!
But, I’ll admit that when I seek out books on leading women I am a little hesitant to read a book written by a man. Anyone else willing to admit to the same?
Sometimes leadership books can bit a bit cut and dried, filled with lists of things to do and not do. Thankfully, with The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do that was not the case! The book is written in an unexpected and very effective manner – in story format. As the main character struggles and grows, leadership truths are uncovered and learned. You will find much to apply to your own leadership growth as well as gain ideas you can use right now with your Women’s Ministry team.
For now enjoy these words from author Mark Miller on “relevance” – a must for every women’s ministry team!
This post originally published Monday, March 24, 2014 at www.greatleadersserve. org
HERE TODAY – GONE TOMORROW?
I had two experiences Saturday that reminded me of a little discussed responsibility of leaders – maintain relevance. We must not only work to stay relevant ourselves, we must help the brands and organizations we serve maintain relevance in a changing world.
I stopped by our local Honey Baked Ham store to pick up some smoked turkey for sandwiches. When I arrived, I noticed three employees and no customers. I made a comment about the long line the last time I visited. The man behind the counter said, “It must have been during the holidays.” Then he went on to say, “However the holidays weren’t really that busy either.” When I asked why, he said, “Our customers are dying, and young people don’t eat with us.” Wow!
Within 10 minutes, I was on the phone with my wife talking about what I might pick up for lunch. She suggested a fantastic local restaurant; I thought it was a great idea. However, I couldn’t go there – they don’t take credit cards — bizarre behavior in 2014. Since I had neither cash nor check, I went somewhere else.
I don’t know if you think these stories are connected or not. They are for me. Both raise questions of relevance. The first is certainly infinitely harder to solve than the second – to challenge and change the eating habits of a generation is not the same as making the decision to accept credit cards. However, the leadership in both these businesses needs to crack the relevance code or get left behind.
Brands and organizations that stand the test of time do many things well. Chief among them, they maintain relevance. How do they do it? It’s complicated. Here are a few of the essential ingredients.
- Are you surprised? Brands and organizations don’t drift towards relevance, they drift towards irrelevance. Leaders put relevance on the agenda and lead the charge.
- I don’t know how any organization can stay relevant without listening. Proactive, intentional, systematic, active listening is required. Customers, vendors, competitors and the industry can provide clues to relevance if we’re really listening.
- I love the idea that learning hasn’t taken place until behavior changes. If we listen well and don’t act on what we’ve heard, have we really learned anything? I say we haven’t.
- If we listen well and discover something we need to change to gain relevance and aren’t willing to change it, we’ve learned nothing, nor have we made any progress. To make the changes needed to maintain relevance will require courage – the courage to break with tradition, the courage to try something new, the courage to take a risk.
I’m not sure when I’ll go back to the Honey Baked Ham store – I hope they’ll still be there at Thanksgiving.
How relevant is your ministry?
*Please note this post contains affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you. Should you chose to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.
Mark Miller, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness for Chick-fil-A, believes that leadership is not something that’s exclusive; within the grasp of an elite few, but beyond the reach of everyone else. In the tenth anniversary edition of The Secret, Miller reminds readers of a seemingly contradictory concept: to lead is to serve. With more than 600,000 books in print, Mark has been surprised by the response and delighted to serve leaders through his writing.
The 10th anniversary edition of The Secret was released on September 2, 2014.
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