Benefits of Leadership by the Book

via TED
November 21st, 2019

Organizations are often run according to "the superchicken model," where value is placed on star employees who outperform others. Yet business leader Margaret Heffernan says it's social cohesion, not competition, that drives the most high-achieving teams—a principle we find throughout the Bible.

In the New Testament alone, the term "one another" occurs 59 times. Perhaps the bestknown verse is Christ's charge to His disciples in John 13:34.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Scripture's emphasis on "one another" grates against our modern perception and veneration of solo superhero leaders. The kind of one-another cooperative connection we find in the Bible applies to every sphere of life—work, church, home, you name it—because Christ is Lord of all, and doing things His way always brings benefit.

Margaret Heffernan studied five different companies and concluded:

For years we’ve thought that leaders were heroic soloists who were expected to solve complex problems all by themselves. We need to redefine leadership as an activity in which conditions are created where everyone can do their own courageous thinking.

She suggests that social cohesion—built into every coffee break and every time one team member asks another for help—leads over time to great results. It's a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because, as Heffernan points out: "Companies don't have ideas. Only people do."

Doing business by the Book is always wise.

Watch Heffernan's TEDtalk viewed by over 3M viewers here: