Dave Ramsey’s book EntreLeadership is one of the more thorough books on leadership I’ve read. He covers a lot of ground! I appreciate that he does—it’s an interesting look into what has made his company grow and become successful. I am heavily biased toward learning from people who are practitioners—people who have been in the trenches, leading and making things happen. That’s where Ramsey writes from, as opposed to a theoretical perspective.
I took note of two particular lessons that he writes about. The first is that everything is sales. He says, “Customer service is sales, shipping is sales, production is sales, and quality control is sales. If customers have a wonderful total experience, they will remain customers for life and send you more customers.”
I think that’s a lesson that every church leader should grab hold of. The principle holds even if you think a church isn’t “selling” something. Every interaction a person has with our leadership, with our congregation, with our services or events, or with our website is communicating something, either positive or negative. We need to be aware of that reality. People who have a good overall experience are more likely to connect with the church, stay involved, and invite others.
I think we may avoid wanting to think of communication as sales because we link sales with manipulation, shady tactics, or high-pressure tactics. It may help to think of healthy sales, or good sales, which is all about solving problems and presenting information attractively. But Ramsey’s point is well-taken—everything we do sends a message that has an effect on people.
The second thing I appreciated was his comment that it was important to work with people you like. In the church, you have no control over who attends, and typically you have a wide variety of people who are involved. But if you are the pastor or a leader, you will probably have a team around you. It’s important that you like those people!
There are two pitfalls that Ramsey describes here that I’ve experienced. First, you don’t put people on a leadership team just because you like them. You could end up with people who are great but aren’t suited for leadership at all. We put people in place because it’s the right place for them, because it suits their abilities and gifts. But if we really don’t like them, we won’t be able to work well with them. Chemistry doesn’t qualify someone for leadership, but lack of chemistry can definitely be a disqualifier.
The other pitfall is when we get overly spiritual. We sometimes think that we shouldn’t consider things such as whether we like someone; to consider that is somehow unspiritual. If we are all Christians serving God, shouldn’t that be enough? Isn’t looking at whether we like someone fleshly or just a popularity contest? I suppose it could be, but it isn’t automatically that.
The truth is that we will work better with people we like. We will communicate better and probably have a deeper overall relationship. There will be more trust and more commitment. That’s just reality, and we are smart to pay attention to it. Ignore reality, and it will probably bite you at some point.
What do think? Agree or disagree? Was there something else that stood out to you?