Getting Naked

Picture from cover of "Getting Naked"

I am an addict of whatever Patrick Lencioni, the founder of The Table Group, writes and says. Lencioni is devoted to organizational clarity and effectiveness and I believe the church has a lot to learn from his ideas. Though the church is not a business, we do manage people, teams and ideas so principles from the business world can and should inform how we manage. We view and analyze these principles through the lens of Scripture to see which ones contain God’s truth.

Patrick Lencioni’s new book “Getting Naked” is focused on overcoming three fears that threaten customer loyalty. I love Lencioni’s method of telling a fable and weaving in his principles throughout the story. Then at the end of the story he explains these principles more in-depth. Getting Naked follows Jack Bauer (not of 24 fame, but the same name) as he studies a small consulting firm that his management consulting company, Kendrick and Black, has acquired. Jack learns that this smaller company has some interesting and mind boggling principles that fly in the face of his training and experience. He immerses himself in this acquired company and finds out that his company has a lot to learn from this smaller, yet more effective consulting firm. As Jack reports back to his company on the experience, he develops a model that explains why this acquired company retains its customers’ loyalty so much better than his own company.

Lencioni defines the three fears that get in the way of customer loyalty as the following:

  • Fear of losing business
    • “Ironically, though, this fear of losing the business actually hurts our ability to keep and increase business, because it causes us to avoid doing the difficult things that engender greater loyalty and trust with the people we’re trying to serve,” explains Lencioni.
  • Fear of being embarrassed
    • Lencioni writes, “Clients come to trust naked service providers because they know that they will not hold back their ideas, hide their mistakes, or edit themselves in order to save face.”
  • Fear of feeling inferior
    • “Naked service providers not only overcome their need to feel important in the eyes of their clients, but also purposefully put themselves in a lower position. They do whatever a client needs them to do to help them improve, even if that calls for the service provider to be overlooked or temporarily looked down on,” states Lencioni.
How does this impact the church? Do we have the same fears? I believe we do. Here are some of my brief thoughts on each of these fears in the context of the church.
  • Fear of losing business
    • How often do we hold back speaking truth into someone’s life because we are afraid they are going to leave our church? How do we “enter the danger” as Lencioni calls it and speak truth into people’s lives? How often do we fear losing a friendship so we don’t give honest feedback?
  • Fear of being embarrassed
    • One of the main points that Lencioni makes in regards to this fear of being embarrassed is that we need to celebrate our mistakes. This scares people but it is transformative if done right, especially if those admitting the mistakes are in leadership. When we admit our mistakes and overcome the fear of being exposed for who we are, that will build trust and loyalty with those around us.
  • Fear of feeling inferior
    • Lencioni explains that one of the ways to overcome this fear is to do the dirty work. For ministry leaders this can mean taking out the trash after an event, doing the details no one else wants to do or doing the overlooked, yet important tasks. Jesus modeled this when he washed his disciples’ feet. How do we wash the feet of those we serve in our church?
Here is a link to the model that is described in Getting Naked. I would highly recommend this book along with the others Lencioni has written to those in leadership or management both inside and outside the church.

About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on May 10, 2011, in Book Reviews, Church Leadership, Leadership Development and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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