Watch videos with subtitles in your language, upload your videos, create your own subtitles! Click here to learn more on "how to Dotsub"

GLS 2017 - Andy Stanley - Uniquely Better

0 (0 Likes / 0 Dislikes)
Returning for his fifth time to the Summit, we're thrilled to welcome back one of America's best leaders and beloved pastors, Andy Stanley. He is the founder and senior pastor of North Point Ministries, now comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of 30 churches around the globe, collectively serving 70,000 people weekly. He is the author of more than 20 books and he's passionate about serving both church and organizational leaders. Let's welcome back to the Summit Andy Stanley. Our churches in Atlanta this October will be 22 years old. It's real exciting - because I grew up in Southern Baptist culture - so when our church hit 21, we were finally able to start using wine in communion, which was so exciting for us. And I know we're way behind most of the rest of you, but it's a big deal. I'm just kidding. Anyway, we're about to be 22 years old in October. When we hit year 20 almost two years ago, we did some serious evaluation and so I asked our leadership team and some of our other staff this question. It kind of teases us up for what I want to talk about. I asked this question. I said, "If we had it to do all over again, what would we do all over again?" If we had it to do all over again, if we were gonna start over, based on everything we've learned in 20 years of doing this - and many of us have been in ministry longer than that - if we had it to do all over again, what would we do all over again? In other words, what really worked? Like you, we'd read the articles, read the books, got the journals, been to the conferences, back then passed around the DVDs and CDs, we're all listening to podcasts. But of all the stuff we read, off all the stuff we tried, of all the speakers that we had come in, of all the fads that we chased, what really worked? If we had it to do all over again, what would we do all over again? Essentially, we did an autopsy on our success. We've been very successful and very blessed and I'm so extremely grateful. And oftentimes as leaders we don't do an autopsy on our success, we only critique and do an autopsy on our what? Our failure, yeah. But if you do an autopsy on your success, you'll oftentimes learn how to avoid failures. If you just do an autopsy on failure, you may never discover how to be a success. So it's extraordinarily important to be able to answer the question, "Why is this working?" Because if you don't know why it's working when it's working, you will not be able to fix it when it breaks. If you don't know why it's working when it's working, it's difficult or more challenging to fix it when it breaks. So I'm like, "Things are great. We've been going 20 years, I'm with basically the same team I started with. A couple folks have gone on to do bigger and better things, but they're still a part of our network of friends and leaders." If we had it to do all over again, what would we do all over again? We narrowed it down to four things. So after that I thought I should start talking about these four things. But three of the four are kind of typical and you can probably almost guess those. So today in the time that I have allotted I only want to talk about one of those. It's not because I have a book to sell that will tell you the other three and if you wanna know the other three, you've got to buy my book. That's not it. But if you are curious about the other three, it's for free on a podcast. I have a podcast that somebody else named for me, it's called - how original - The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. I didn't name that myself. Anyway, if you'll go back to - I wrote this down - "Lessons from the First 20 Years", you just go back a couple of years. You can find all four of these. But I wanna just talk about one. And the reason is, this is a very sophisticated audience. If you're a part of this global gathering, you are somebody who really cares about leadership. You may be a non-religious person and you've dipped into this somewhat religious environment because that's how much you care about leadership. You may be a very religious person and you've dipped into this environment that has all kinds of speakers from all kinds of backgrounds and that doesn't bother you, because you have such an appetite for leadership. I decided to talk about the one of the four that's the most difficult to talk about. I don't even know if I do a very good job. But of the four things that we looked back on and said, "If we had it to do all over again, what would we do all over again?", this was the one that was most intriguing, the most difficult to talk about and the one that's not simple. And yet of the four for us I think it might actually be the most important. Let me tell you how we got to it. Part of this evaluation we did after 20 years, we asked the question, "Why did our organization grow so fast?" Because our organization grew so fast. It was like a rocket ship. And it was exhilarating, it was exciting, there was chaos, we couldn't hire enough people, couldn't create enough space on our campus. So when we asked the question in a 20-year-old evaluation - I promise, I'm gonna get to something practical in just a minute, bear with me. I am bragging but it goes somewhere. Just bear with me. When we asked the question, "Why did our organization grow so fast?" I stayed on that. Because we're not growing that fast anymore. It is not the way it used to be. But I kept asking, "But what was the thing, what was the thing?" Come on, we need to know the answer to the question because if we had it to do all over again, we would certainly want to do that all over again. So what was that? And after lots and lots of discussions we decided that the answer to the question was we had a uniquely better product. We had a uniquely better product. We had a uniquely better product. That's what I want to talk about for the next few minutes. And the fact that it's a uniquely better product is what makes it so difficult to talk about. Because finding the uniquely better product or creating a uniquely better product, as we're gonna see in a few minutes, is just about impossible. It was a uniquely better product in this sense: nobody was doing church the way that we were doing church in the Southeast United States, nobody else was doing it. The way I say this sometimes is this - if you have the only hot dog stand in town, your hot dogs don't have to be that good. So we had the only one of these kinds of churches. If you wanted this kind of church, we were the only show in town. We were the only church doing this. I realize this is an international conference, so let me put this in context. If you have the only pasta stand in town, the only sushi stand in town, the only taco stand in town, the only sticky toffee pudding stand in town, or the only ugali stand in town, your ugali doesn't have to be that good. How was that? That was my international thing. How many even know what ugali is? Right, yes. How many have eaten it before? It's something. There's all different kinds of ugali. The point being it's not that we were the best at what we were doing, but we had a uniquely better product. Let me break it down a little bit. When I say unique, I don't mean a Segway. Remember the first time you saw a Segway? Segway is not a unique thing. Segway is a one-of-a-kind thing. It's not like, "Oh, there is one of those..." It just is what it is. When I say unique, I don't mean that. When I say unique, people knew what it was, but that's a unique one. People know, "Oh, that's a church." They knew it was a church. Nobody is going like, "A church, a what?" Everybody knew it was a church but it was a unique one. So when I say "uniquely better", it is not like you're creating a category. But instead it's that, you've taken a category and you are doing something so unique with it that it gets people's attention. But unique isn't enough. There are some uniquely bad things, right? Unique isn't necessarily magnetic and unique doesn't necessarily create any momentum. But "uniquely better" - by "better" I mean this: it does what it's supposed to do better than the competition. That's what "better" means. It does what it is supposed to do, it does what it's designed to do but it does it better than the competition. When you stumble upon, or when you create, or when you discover, when you recognize uniquely better, that's a big, big deal. It can't just be unique, it can be better but if it is uniquely better, people will show up for your product. It's strange to talk about a church being a uniquely better product. Here is what I mean by that. We, thanks to the smart people around me and thanks to the inspiration that we had gotten here and - really just here, we essentially created an engaging church experience for the entire family, especially for men. That was our niche. We created an engaging church experience. Churches, especially then, weren't known for being engaging. You went to church because it's Sunday. But an engaging church experience for the whole family, that is, we segment it to family, especially for men. We were basically the only church in town that was doing it the way we were doing it and consequently people came like crazy. Here is the challenge for us and this is why I just stayed on this and stayed on this with our team. We are not unique anymore. When you go on Instagram or you go on social media, people are bragging about their churches - #Ilovemychurch, #ilmc. All of our churches look the same in the U.S., the ones that are on Instagram. You don't see anybody like, "Oh, my church is so awesome and there is a choir loft, a pulpit and a guy in a suit." A lot of churches do that. The social media world that lights up around church, all of our churches look like music venues. It is not unique anymore. We're all trying to continue to make it better and in our environment we're constantly trying to make it better. "Make It Better" is one of our staff values. We talk about it all the time. Make it better, make it better. But we're not unique anymore. Which means we're not uniquely better anymore. The question I had for our leadership team is, "What is there to learn from that?" These other three out of four things we can continue to do. We can continue to be vision-driven and have a learning organization and all the kinds of things that you constantly do to stay in the game. But what is there to learn and what is the takeaway from the fact that we grew like crazy because we had a uniquely better product? What is the takeaway? So that's what I want to talk about for the next few minutes. Here's why. Because somebody in your industry, somebody somewhere in your industry, somebody somewhere is messing with the rules to the prevailing model. In your industry, whether it's church industry, or the construction, whether you sell things, produce things, manufacture things, whatever you are doing - profit, not-for-profit - here is what we know for sure. You are some of those people. Somebody somewhere is messing with the rules to the prevailing model. Every industry has a prevailing model which means... You're gonna spend time with your leadership team, dig around on this. Every industry has shared assumptions. And shared assumptions get you in trouble. They're the assumptions we're aware of and the assumptions we're not aware of that drive our decisions. We think we know why we're doing what we're doing and we don't know why we're doing what we're doing. Because we've never, under certain assumptions, your industry, your organization, in fact, your specific organization, but your industry for sure, whatever you're in, has a set of specific assumptions, which means every industry is stuck. It's not broken, it's stuck. And it's not even stuck in a bad way, but it's stuck because there are shared assumptions that drive our decisions and cause us to do the same things that we do the same way over and over and oftentimes those are good things and things work, and it is not a problem to fix, so we don't try to fix it. The point is this, there's a prevailing model, there is a prevailing church model, prevailing real estate model, prevailing sales model, whatever it might be, there are shared assumptions and consequently things continue on the way they've always gone on. But somewhere somebody is messing with those assumptions. Somewhere somebody is pioneering new approaches. In fact, it's possible in your industry or in my industry, if I can think of church as an industry, it's possible that somebody has already stumbled upon uniquely better and you just don't know about it yet and I just don't know about it yet. The thing that makes this so difficult to talk about is that discovering uniquely better is virtually impossible. Discovering, being the person that discovers the aha moment, "My gosh, this is gonna revolutionize sales, it's gonna revolutionize construction, it's gonna revolutionize education..." That discovery is virtually impossible. I mean "virtually impossible" in this way just to encourage you. Odds are you are not gonna be the one that discovers uniquely better. But recognizing uniquely better is a whole another thing. The odds of you being the one that creates or discovers, or manufactures the uniquely better approach to something or the uniquely better product, the odds of that are slim. But the odds of you being able to recognize it when it comes along are much, much greater - and here is why. I'm gonna get to some practical stuff. There's so much to unpack with this, but I'll just keep moving. Uniquely better is often - this is the problem - uniquely better is often the byproduct of circumstances, uniquely better is often the byproduct of circumstances that successful organizations are trying to avoid. Let me explain this. Uniquely better is often a solution to a problem. But successful organizations that aren't having that problem aren't looking for a solution. Uniquely better is often a solution to a problem and a successful organization that's not struggling with that particular problem is not looking for that particular solution. And what makes it even more difficult for those of us in successful organizations is this. Uniquely better is often so unique that successful organizations can't imagine that it's actually better. That the uniquely better thing oftentimes is so unique, it's like, "Wow, I know what one of those is, but that's just so..." It's so unique that established organizations can't even begin to imagine, "Okay, it's unique but that can't really be better, can it?" I'll tell you a good example. You're sitting in a church that totally gets this. Multi-site is this. Because doing multi-site church for us - when we started doing multi-site church all those years ago was a solution to a problem. We had too many people and not enough seats and not enough building. What are we gonna do? So multi-site was a solution to a problem. There were many, many churches in America that were successful churches and they were able to get everybody in and they weren't dealing with the problems we were dealing with. Consequently they weren't trying to solve that problem. Now multi-site isn't a solution to a problem. Now multi-site is a church-planting strategy. But it began as a solution to a problem that only certain churches had and consequently only a handful of people were looking for the solution. It is a uniquely better approach. Again, the odds of you or your organization being the one to stumble on it are slim but you certainly have the opportunity to recognize it when it comes along. That's what I'm gonna talk about in just a few minutes. And the bad news is this. The more successful you are and the more successful your organization is, the less likely it is that when it comes along, you'll recognize it, or recognize it as better. Because it will play off different assumptions, it will play by different rules and you probably aren't necessarily going to like it. I'll tell you who could stand up here right now and talk for 30 minutes about this very point - it's Bill Hybels. Because when Willow Creek Church started, do you remember how all the churches all over America just heralded your success and they just thought you were the greatest thing in the world? Actually, no, there are still arrows in your back from those years ago because everybody knew what a church was but Willow Creek's approach to church was so unique, all the successful, all the established churches couldn't imagine that it was actually better. But it was. And eventually it became the way most of us do church. So here is the thing. "Our best hope..." I'm just gonna read this sentence to you. "Our best hope since chances are we're not gonna be the ones to manufacture or discover or pioneer the next thing, our best hope and our responsibility, I think, as leaders, regardless of what you lead, our best hope and our responsibility as leaders is to create organizational cultures positioned to recognize rather than resist uniquely better." That my responsibility in my organization, your responsibility in your organization is to create a culture - this is a culture thing, not an individual thing. It's a culture that regardless of how successful you are, the way that you are doing whatever you do the way that you're doing it now to create the culture that naturally recognizes rather than resists uniquely better. And so for the rest of my time I wanna tell you how we do that. Not how it's necessarily done. You may come up with a much better answer to the question, "How do we create a culture that recognizes rather than resists?" How do we create a culture that recognizes rather than resists? You need to have an answer to that question and your responsibility, if I were to stop talking at this point, is to make sure your culture is wide open because, again, you may not create it but you better recognize it. And the earlier you recognize it and the less you resist it, the more successful you'll be in whatever you do. By God's grace, we recognized something and we embraced it and we ran with it, and we grew like crazy. We had a uniquely better product. So, four statements. The first one and the second one sound identical but they're not. Four statements. How to create a culture that will look for it and recognize it rather than resist it when it comes along? Number one. You have to be a student, not a critic. Be a student, not a critic. I would like for all of us at all of the sites to say that out loud together in whatever language you prefer. Be a student, not a critic. One more time. Be a student, not a critic. The amazing thing - again, Bill could tell his own stories - when we started off and we were growing like crazy, growing like crazy, I would be preaching and I would look up and in the back of the room I would see pastors from other churches in our city standing. They didn't sit down. They weren't gonna stay for the whole service. They would stand in the back with their arms crossed and they were thinking, "This can't be of God. Look at all these people." I knew that's what they were thinking. "They didn't do an invitation," and they were critical. They stayed just long enough to assure themselves that this wasn't of God and it wasn't gonna work and it wasn't gonna last. And then they would leave. They wouldn't even stay for the whole service. It was unbelievable. Because they were just critics. They were critics rather than students. It's amazing. During those days of this fast-paced growth, nobody in our city - not one single pastor in our city - Bill, I bet this is the case with you as well, and many of you - nobody in our city ever called me to take me to lunch, breakfast or dinner and say, "How in the heck are you doing that?" They weren't even curious. They were just sure it could not possibly be better. It was certainly unique. But how in the world could this be better? I made a decision all those years ago that I have stuck by ever since and every once in a while emotionally I feel myself tugging in a different direction and I remind myself, so I love teaching on this. I decided all those years ago that I will never criticize something I don't understand. I will never criticize something I don't understand. And when I find my emotions going that way or when I feel like it's about to come out of my mouth, I'm gonna stop and say "no." Here is why. This is true of you and whether you've been paying attention, you should pay attention for this little nugget. This is true of you. We naturally - and "we" will be "you" - we naturally resist things that we don't understand or we can't control. We naturally resist anything that we don't immediately understand or can't control. If you don't understand it, you can't control it, your natural tendency is to resist it. As a leader you must overcome that tendency. You must decide, "I'm gonna be a student, not a critic. I will never, ever, ever criticize something I don't understand." Because the moment you start criticizing, you stop learning. And when you stop learning, eventually you stop leading. And when you stop leading, the leaders that are in your organization are going to go somewhere else. They would rather make less money and have more running room than to stay underneath a leader who thinks they have all the answers and they aren't open to learning anything new. You have to be a student. Thank you very much. Yeah, be a student, not a critic. I look at this next quote almost every single day of my life. This quote sits in two different places in my office, in my study. It's from Al Ries' book "Focus." Here's what he said. "The next generation product and idea almost never comes from the previous generation." "The next generation product and idea almost never comes from the previous generation." I am the previous generation. I am. And I hate to break it to you. Most of you are, too. That's why I said, "You're not gonna discover it." If uniquely better is right around the corner, maybe uniquely better is right down the street from you, uniquely better may be in your backyard, hey, you may be raising the uniquely better idea, who knows, but chances are you're not gonna come up with it, but you have to create a culture, and I have to create a culture that is designed and geared to recognizing when it comes, which means those of us who are lead pastors, and if you're a lead pastor of a church or a multi-site or whatever, you've got to pay attention to student ministry. You've got to pay attention to what's happening with middle schoolers and high schoolers. You've got to pay attention to family ministry. You've got to pay attention to college students. In other words, what's happening there is the future, and you know that, because once upon a time that was you. Once upon a time you were the middle school director. Now, you're leading a church. You're thinking how did this happen? In your middle school ministry and your high school ministry and the interns that you're hiring in your business, that is the next generation, and somebody in that next generation will come up with the next generation product. And you will have either created a culture that is conducive to those ideas or one that resists it. And your charge as a leader is to make sure that you are geared to recognize and not resist. I wrote in my notes, "I won't come up with it, but I sure better recognize it." You won't come up with it, but you sure better recognize it. Number two sounds like the same as number one, but it's a little different, and the second thing is this. You've got to keep your eyes and your mind wide open. You got to keep your eyes and your mind wide open. The way we say this in our organization is this: "Listen to outsiders. Listen to outsiders. Listen to outsiders. Listen to outsiders." That is, listen to people who aren't in our industry. Listen to people who don't know how to do what we do. And our natural tendency is when somebody starts talking with any kind of authority about what you do that they don't know anything about, the tendency is like, "They don't understand what I do. They don't understand sales. They don't understand education. They don't understand church." Listen to outsiders. Keep your eyes and your mind wide open. Outsiders - this is so important - outsiders aren't bound by our assumptions. Outsiders aren't bound. This is why, as soon as you have this thought, "That won't work, because..." - you are about to leverage an assumption. "That won't work, because..." - assumption. "That won't work, because..." - assumption based on my experience. As soon as that starts, you've got to be careful, because you may have clicked over into critic instead of being a student. Outsiders aren't bound by our assumptions. They're ignorant. And their ignorance may be your ticket to the next thing. Listen to outsiders. Close-minded leaders - come on, close minds, that's what they do. Close-minded leaders close minds. The reason you are looking for a new job, perhaps, is you work for a close-minded leader. They're smart. They've got good ethics. They've got a great marriage. They got great kids. But they are not a student. Close-minded leaders close minds. If you shut your eyes and if you shut your mind - please don't miss this - if you shut your eyes and if you shut your mind, you will close the minds and the eyes of the people around you, including your children. If you are a leader who leads with closed eyes and a closed mind - you got it all figured out, this is the way we do it here - you will close the eyes and the minds of the people around you. They will stop having new ideas. They will stop having good ideas. And when they have them, they aren't bringing them to you, because close-minded leaders close minds. Your innovators will leave and take their next generation idea with them. Your status-quo folks will stay and protect the status quo. And consequently, it'll come, and it'll go, and you'll miss it - for a while. And then, when it's a little bit too late, you'll finally wake up and realize, "You know what? That might be a better idea after all." There are several things that we can't see in the mirror. For example, greed. You can't see greed in the mirror. You've never met a person that says, "I think my problem is I'm just greedy." Greedy people say, "No, I'm careful. I'm careful. I'm a good... I live on a budget." You can't see greed in the mirror. It's hard to see jealousy in the mirror. The other thing you can't see in the mirror is a closed mind. Anybody who is listening to what I just said, you're able to track along with me, it's late in the day, and maybe this isn't even all that interesting, but I can promise you, there's nobody listening that thinks, "He is talking to me. I am one close-minded leader. Aren't I a close-minded leader?" "You are a closed mind." "I know. I'm just so closed-minded. I don't even want to listen to the rest of this." It's very difficult. Real quickly, I just want to ask you a few questions. Here's what I want you to pay attention to when I ask you these questions. I don't want you to pay attention so much to your answer. I want you to pay attention to your emotions when I ask you these questions. First one is really this: How do you respond to staff? How do you respond to staff who make suggestions based on what they've observed in other organizations? How do you respond to staff who make suggestions to you based on what they've observed in other organizations, especially when it's a competitor? How do you respond? I'll tell you how you initially respond, because you're human, so that's okay. There's something in you that's just kind of like... "Ugh, I don't even want to hear that." "They're not us. They're not us. They're not us." What does that even mean, "They're not us"? Of course they're not us. There's only one "us." "They're not us." But... As soon as... If that thing in you, that's in all of us... I mean there's pride of authorship, it's ego. Stuff that's not gonna go away. If that thing in you and that thing in me gets past about right here and then if it starts coming out of our mouth, we're critics. We begin to close minds and we begin to close hearts. So, when somebody in your organization gets back from a conference or gets back from whatever or gets back from a competitor's store or comes and says, "You got to watch this YouTube video. Look how they do it there! I think we should do it that way here." If that thing in you wants to shut that down, you just got to shut that down. Otherwise, you will be the critic that shuts down all the students, and the students will either quit learning or they'll just quit working for you and go somewhere else. A second question. When was the last time your organization embraced a big idea that wasn't your idea? When's the last time that your organization, or maybe your division, or maybe your department, maybe you're a division manager, you run a franchise, or maybe you're the student pastor, so you're not over the whole organization, but even within your immediate context, when is the last idea that your division or department embraced - a really big idea, and it wasn't your idea? Somebody came up with something, and you looked at them and said, "That is a great idea. We are going to do that." Third question, when is the last time you weren't sure about an initiative, but you gave the go-ahead anyway? Those are the three questions. And then here's one of my favorite quotes. It's from Sam Harris. Sam Harris is a neuroscientist. He's known primarily because of his books. He's one of the "new atheists." And I listen to Sam Harris podcast. And the reason I listen to Sam Harris podcast is because I want to be a student, not a critic. Thank you. Is Sam here? Is that you, Sam? Oh, okay. So, I'm listening to the Sam Harris podcast. He's brilliant! And after 9/11, he wrote this book that trashed religion. And he's brilliant. If you're trying to speak to a secular culture, these are important things to know. One day I'm listening to the Sam Harris podcast, and he made this statement - it was in the middle of a paragraph. I don't know if it's even written down anywhere. And I wrote it down. He said this, "We must pay attention to the frontiers of our ignorance." Wow! That is like the most non-Christian thing to do, because especially those of us who are Christian leaders, our temptation oftentimes is to turn our back to our ignorance and just play in the sand pile of everything that we already know and that we're already so certain about. And the minute you do that in business, the minute you do that in ministry, if you really are about changing your city or your community, it's almost lights out and game over. I love this. You must pay attention to the frontiers of your ignorance. And most of us have vast frontiers, don't we? Right? You must pay attention to the frontiers of your ignorance. Are you paying attention to the frontiers? In other words, are you willing to turn your back on everything you know, not because you don't believe it anymore, but because you are more curious about what there is yet to learn than what you already know? And the older you get and the older we get, the more difficult that is, but the more successful we are, the more difficult that is to do. Uniquely better. Uniquely better dwells on the frontier of your ignorance. That's where it is. You go, "Where it is?" It is on the frontier. You don't know what it is yet. You haven't discovered it yet. You haven't stumbled upon it yet. You haven't recognized it yet. In fact, it may not even be yet. It is on the frontiers of my ignorance and your ignorance. When we quit learning, we quit growing, and when we quit growing, we've probably quit leading. I wrote in my notes: "Being the leader and leading are two entirely different things." We can talk about that someday. Number three, here's the big one. In your culture, in your organization, in your staff meetings, in your one-on-ones, number three, replace "how" with "wow." Together, I want us to just say "wow" with an exclamation mark. Ready? "Wow!" Now, this time let it be a little bit of a whisper in your voice. Let me do it first. "Wow!" Ready? Everybody, "Wow!" Yeah. Next time you go to your supervisor with a good idea, isn't that what you want to hear? You want her to lean in and go, "Wow!" Because when she leans in and goes "wow", you're gonna just keep talking. But the moment somebody says the H word, all the creative juices go away. The idea dies at the H word. "But how? How are we gonna pay for it, how are we gonna do that? How, how, how, how, how, how, how? Now, I don't live in fairy land. We have budgets, and there are limitations. But look, come on, come on, come on, come on. If somebody has an idea, how much does it cost you to lean in and to say "wow"? How much does that cost? That would be nothing. You lose nothing by saying "wow." You may lose the next generation idea by saying, "But how?" On the screen. "Wow" ideas to life, don't "how" them to death! "Wow" ideas to life, don't "how" them to death! We fuel innovation or we shut it down by our response. Don't miss this. We fuel innovation or we shut it down by our response to new, untried, expensive, unorthodox ideas. Worse, you can "how" an idea right out the door of your organization. Some of you are more prone to "wow" than "how." For some of you it's hard to even say it when I asked you to. It's like, "No, I can't say "ho...", "wow." I can't say "wow." I'm a "how" person. I'm a numbers person. I'm an accountant." Everybody needs to get used, when somebody comes with an idea, to say "wow." Nothing is gained by not knowing what your people are dreaming about. Nothing is gained by not knowing what your people are dreaming about. Nothing is gained if you don't know what your people are dreaming about. Not too long ago, I had a group of our young communicators that I meet with from time to time, and before we started our little thing, I was gonna take them through, I said, "Hey, what do you want to do?" We were gonna go around the room and I wanted to know about their future. Do they want to pastor churches, do they want to work for us? The sky's the limit. I get to Justin, and I said, "What do you want to do?" He said, "I want your job." And the guys kind of looked at me nervously. I said, "I'm so glad to know that. You're fired!" No, I said, "I'm so glad to know that. I want to know what you're dreaming about." What do I gain by not knowing the ideas and the dreams of the people around me? Nothing, I gain nothing. What do I lose by not knowing? I may lose, you may lose uniquely better. Real quickly to the married women in the room. This has nothing to do with the talk, but to the married women in the room, the married women everywhere, this is a big deal. This "wow"/ "how" thing is a big deal, because, ladies, you know this. About every week or so, your husband comes home with a new idea. Right, doesn't he? He's like, "Honey, we're gonna buy this. Honey, we're gonna move! Honey, I'm gonna build. Honey, we're gonna, I'm gonna..." And this is just... And women do this, too, but typically guys got all these ideas. And ladies, somehow you think that God put you in our lives to "how" all of our good ideas to death. He didn't! Let me explain to you. I know why. I know why. "Now, honey, how..." I know why you do that. I know why you do that. It's fear. Okay, fear not. We... Wait. Fear not. We almost never follow through with anything. Right? So, you just say... Ladies, you just say "wow." Right. And then you say, "Did you come up with that all by yourself?" Then you can say, "Would you clean out the dishwasher?" "Yes, ma'am, I'll clean out the dishwasher and take out the trash. Yeah, whatever." "You came up with that all by yourself?" And then you just hand us the remote, and we'll never think about it again. Wow, isn't that good? Yeah. You say, "I'm glad I stayed for that last session. Saved my marriage." Seriously, parents, let's be careful, okay? Let's just be careful with our kids. The world will put enough "how's" in front of them. They don't need us to do that. Let's just be "wow" parents, because who knows? Listen, listen. Your greatest contribution to the world may not be something you do but someone you raise. Your greatest contribution to the world may not be something you do but someone you raise. And you need to raise "wow" kids. And what does it cost you? It costs you nothing. But to discourage something that God maybe is stirring around in a kid's heart, even a middle school kid, a high school kid, a dream that unfortunately for you is not your will or your plan for their life, but maybe it's God's will or God's plan for their life, don't "how" that to death. Close-minded leaders close minds, and they close hearts. And that's true wherever they are. Last thing is we're trying to create a culture that recognizes rather than resists, recognize rather than resist. It's to ask the uniquely better questions. I'm gonna give these to you real quick. Before launching... And this comes down to creating the habit within your organization of thinking uniquely better, uniquely better. Here's why. If you are in the habit or should I say, if you are pursuing, if you are actively pursuing at whatever level - this doesn't have to be the macro level, this could be something small - as long as you're thinking, "I'm on the lookout for uniquely better, uniquely better," it will predispose you toward recognizing it, even if you don't discover it. So, these uniquely better questions are questions you can be, again, asking immediately about what you're currently doing. And here they are. First one is this. Is this unique? In other words, next time you launch a new environment, the next time you launch a new program, the next time you look at a new design, at least stop and ask the question, not "Will it work?", not "Does it work?", not "Have we done this before", but "Is this unique?" Everybody already knows what one of these is, but is there anything unique about this? "Well, no, we did this last year, and people came. " Okay, yeah, okay. And then the second question is this. What would make this unique? What does it cost to ask this question? Nothing. And you may just need to go ahead with the plans as they've been designed. But at least stop and ask the question, "Okay, is this unique? Is there something that we could do to make this unique?" Because unique attracts attention. Unique is unique, and people like unique. Is there something we could do to make this unique? You're not trying to create a new category. You're just trying to take something you're already familiar with, something you already do, and you're just asking, "How do we and is there a way to make this unique?" It's so interesting that Apple Computers did not create portable music. Do you know who created portable music? I bet you know. Who created portable music for the most part? Sony, yeah. You know what Apple came along and did? They took something that was already a category, and they made it unique, and they stole it. It wasn't their idea, but they just ran off with this extraordinary thing of portable music, because they did something unique with it. Is it unique? What could we do to make it unique? And then the third question is this - is it better? "Is this better?" "No. It's kind of what we did last year." "Is this better?" "No. We've been making it this way since I got here." Is this better? Is this better than what we've normally done? Fourth question, is it better, really? You know why I say that? "Oh, it's better, it's better. Oh, it's better." "Okay, let's do it. " No, no, come on. Is it better, really? Is it really better? It's not really better. Why are these questions important? Here's why. Because you, as a leader, I as a leader, in your industry, whatever it is, we're on the hunt. We're on the search. We're looking, looking, looking. We are wide open, and we're busy Monday through Friday, or to Monday, or to... I don't know when you work - whether you're Monday through Friday, Tuesday through Sunday, whatever it is, we're busy people. We're raising kids. We got grandkids. We got stuff going on. But if in our day-to-day, if in the rhythm of our organization, if in the rhythm of our critique, if in the rhythm of our evaluation we're at least thinking "uniquely better, uniquely better, uniquely better", then we will be more prone to see it when it comes along, and it will keep us from creating an organization that closes hearts and minds, because our hearts and minds are so closed. So, here's the questions or here's the four things. Be a student, not a critic. Keep your eyes and minds wide open. Replace "how" with "wow." And ask the uniquely better questions. Somebody out there somewhere is already working on it. It may be your organization or it may be someone in your organization. And whether we discover it first or whether we pioneer it first is not really the issue, so much as it is will we be positioned to recognize it. And you will, if you keep your eyes, and your heart, and your mind, and your hands wide open. I'm a pastor, and like Bill, I just so love the local church. And I pray all the time. I do. I pray all the time. "God, I don't know what you have for me, and I don't know if we're gonna be a part of the next iteration of whatever You decide to do in the world, wherever You decide to do it in the world, and as much as I love my churches and as much as I love the way that we do what we do, God, I want to be, if nothing else, I would like to think that we could be wind in somebody else's sails. When some 25-year-old, or 35-year-old, or 75-year-old stumbles upon, discovers, and creates whatever that uniquely better thing is that's gonna draw people to Your kingdom." And if you're a Christian, I know you feel the very same way. So, let's be people of "wow" rather than "how", and let's keep our eyes wide open for that thing that God may be willing to do, that God may have already started doing, and by His grace, perhaps we can be a part of it. Thank you so very much.

Video Details

Duration: 44 minutes and 10 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 1,657
Posted by: 1lmedia on Sep 6, 2018

GLS 2017 - Andy Stanley - Uniquely Better

Caption and Translate

    Sign In/Register for Dotsub above to caption this video.