The E-Myth

e-mythI heard communication expert, Nancy Duarte, talking about this book she’d read which had been formative for her business. I got hold of a copy and have just finished reading. It’s called The E-Myth and is by Michael E. Gerber. Written in 1995 it explores why some small businesses succeed and others don’t. In terms of my interest in how these insights might be profitable for church leaders I think large parts aren’t quite relevant, but some things were very stimulating. Here are a few of the ideas and quotes:

– leaders are a combination of the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician. The entrepreneur comes up with the vision and ideas; the manager thinks about implementation and strategy; the technician gets on with doing the task in hand. The problems come when one of these personalities dominates the others. All three are necessary and must be well balanced for a vision to come to fruition.

– “key is to plan, envision, and articulate what you see in the future . . . If you don’t articulate it – I mean, write it down, clearly, so others can understand it – you don’t own it.”

– a mature company is about building a business that works not because of you but without you

– “the difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next.”

– don’t fear losing your business. Fear losing your Self.

– create an organisational chart for what your business will look like 7 years from now and start actively working it out now

– “the work we do is a reflection of who we are. If we are sloppy at it, it’s because we’re sloppy inside. If we’re late at it, it’s because we’re late inside. If we’re bored by it, it’s because we’re bored inside, with ourselves, not with the work . . . How we do our work becomes a mirror of how we are inside.”

Now, there’s lots of things there that are not easily compatible with a view of servant leadership and a sovereign God, but there are some things which I think are thought provoking. Which of those thoughts or quotes speaks most to you and your situation?


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