One way to define faithfulness is to seek to be holy. (See the “Humility Code” in Road to Character below.)
A one-word definition for leadership may be influence (see the books Entrepreneurial Leadership and Influencer below.) Ultimately, influence is grounded in integrity and intimacy.
One way to define entrepreneurship (and marketing) is to “create a customer.” (See The Practice of Management and The Four Steps to the Epiphany below).
We can all seek to be faithful entrepreneurial leaders. That too involves integrity with our gifts and calling and intimacy with God. It means a transformation of self.
“You are what you are — but that is not all you are. You are what you are, but you are not yet what you will be. I will be with you” (p. 19).
So let’s begin thinking about the life you always wanted.
Also consider all the places to go: how will you know?
But to go somewhere we have to get “out of the boat” we’re in.
God calls us to get out of the boat.
“There is a consistent pattern in Scripture of what happens in a life that God wants to use and improve:
- There is always a call….
- There is always fear….
- There is always reassurance….
- There is always a decision….
- There is always a changed life….
Those who say now are changed to. They become a little harder, a little more resistant to his calling, a little more likely to say no to the next time. Whatever the decision, it always changes a life–and it changes the world that that little life touches” (pp. 9, 10).
“Your boat is whatever represents safety and security to you apart from God himself. Your boat is whatever you are tempted to put your trust in, especially when life gets a little stormy. Your boat is whatever keeps you so comfortable that you don’t want to give it up even if it’s keeping you from joining Jesus on the waves. Your boat is whatever pulls you away from the high adventure of extreme discipleship. Want to know what your boat is? Your fear will tell you. Just ask yourself this: What is it that most produces fear in me — especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out in faith?” (p. 17).
[We abandon ourselves to the power of Jesus. Then it happens. We experience the wind] and we become afraid again (p. 19).
So let’s go! Are you ready?
With that grounding, let’s think about how we can become more faithful and entrepreneurial leaders.
To organize the rest of the best books in faithful entrepreneurial leadership and to help determine what work you will do, I have created an outline based on The Four Steps to the Epiphany. Here is a summary:
- Step 1: Customer Discovery. The goal of Customer Discovery is…”finding out who the customers for your product are and whether the problem you believe you are solving is important to them. More formally, this step involves discovering whether the problem, product and customer hypotheses in your business [model] are correct” (p. 20). This step involves numerous problem, solution, and minimum viable product (MVP) interviews, and understanding the dimensions of the problem and the features of the solution for relevant user segments.
- Step 2: Customer Validation. The goal of this step is “to build a repeatable sales road map for [the sales and marketing teams to follow later]…. In essence, Customer Discovery and Customer Validation corroborate your business model.” (p. 21). This step involves designing and testing conceptual and then rough prototypes and verifying costs and pricing.
- Step 3: Customer Creation. “Customer creation builds on the success the company has had in it initial sales [or donations, etc]. Its goal is to create end-user demand and drive that demand into a company’s sales [or donor, etc] channel.” (p. 22).
- Step 4: Company Creation. Scaling and building the structure to support it.
Click here to discover the process and philosophy of creating a sustainable start-up.
CUSTOMER (AND PERSONAL) DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION
Want to start something? Begin with what you can’t stand anymore.
How to channel your holy discontent (Faith-focused leadership isn’t only for the local church.)
Build an authentic bridge of integrity as you walk across it.
Click here to get going!
Click here for a template on how to build a start-up before running out of resources.
If you are wondering if you are an entrepreneur, click here.
Skills you need you may not learn in school.
Click here to discover the logic of expert entrepreneurs.
Click here to let God speak through your life about your calling.
Click here to explore a powerful way to envision the future.
Click here to explore integrating your Christian faith and start-up life.
Click here for new ways to think about your business’s future.
Click here if you want to understand the context of our digital age.
Click here to learn about the new industrial revolution!
Alternatively (vs effectual learning), find your blue ocean!
Click here if you want to know how to attract followers (customers, employees, investors) to your start-up — a great marketing text!
Click here to learn how to become a leader in the digital age.
Click here to keep it real.
Click here to learn more about marketing.
Click here to learn how to network the most effective way.
COMPANY CREATION (AND RECREATION)
Get happy because happiness leads to success?
Click here if you want to build a company.
Company Creation begins with asking questions.
Company Creation and Recreation require good strategy.
Here’s a great baseball book on business strategy.
Click hear to end the inevitable workplace frustrations.
If you want to read only one book on management, click here.
Click here for building and managing a non-profit organization.
Click here to understand creativity biases and helpful tensions.
Click here to avoid slow death.
Understand your own emotions and how to create resonance vs. dissonance.
Click here to understand the power of vulnerability.
Click here for a great fable and model about shedding the fears that hold us back.
Click here to understand more about the power of vulnerability.
Click here “to break down silos, encourage collaboration,” change behavior, etc.
Leadership is more covenantal than contractual.
Leadership is more tribal than scientific.
Classic Collins on company-building.
Click here to build a great social organization that lasts.
Click here for functioning teams.
To grow and stay relevant, you will need real change leaders.
Click here for the story of putting it all together.
Yes, the only way to win: with moral character strengths.
How to survive the “hairball” you just created.
Want to start something? Begin with what you can’t stand anymore.
Click here you want to think about how to seed change in the world and yourself.
What are our two Adams? Click here to explore the answer.
Do we love the idea of justice more than doing it? Click here to find out.
Click here to experience deep change from a Christian perspective.
Click here for a different perspective on leadership.
Click here to learn more about CFL.