Master of Scale

One of my favourite podcasts is Masters of Scale, where Reid Hoffman (Venture Capitalist and co-founder of Linked In) interviews entrepreneurs about how they scaled.

There’s lots of great lessons every episode, that I won’t try to recreate here – it’s worth a listen.

But it always reminds me what a BIG thinker God is.

No, for all the nations of the world
    are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
    than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
    as though it were a grain of sand.
Isaiah 40:15

Just picture that for a minute…. God picking up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand balancing on the tip of his finger….

The truth is the journey for most entrepreneurs involves growing your capacity so that things that used to seem way too big for you to handle, become so easy to handle, it’s like flicking a grain of sand off the end of your finger.

You have to stretch your mindset, exercise your faith, grow your skills, enlarge your ability to deal with finances and much more.

The area that I see first-time entrepreneurs struggle the most is with people skills. Leading a team of people ain’t easy. It just ain’t. But the way you steward people is often the most limiting factor in the scale your business grows to.

Allow your team members to be late, annoying, sick, make mistakes, lacking in talent and disappointing. Because guess what? That’s how you got here, too.

I’m really good at spotting talent. And I’m good at recruiting and developing talent. Mainly because of all the mistakes I’ve made in these areas!

One of the best techniques I’ve learnt, is to look at the other person and repeat in your mind “We need you”. And smile. We are one body. We need each other. Any other mindset is truly a deception.

Often, the reason people seem to be “more trouble than they’re worth” is because they’re not yet in the right spot. An eye is really useful when it’s helping you to see. But if you’re trying to walk on it, it will seem really painful just to be around.

Jesus knew that leaving the 99 to recover the 1 was the only way to ensure His flock would grow into a multi-generational, global flock. We need that cheeky little sheepy baa baa on board. We’re all the better for being together.

So it might be time to do a team audit. Is everyone displaying they’re worth? Are they providing value to others? If they’re not, it’s up to you to unlock their value. How? Usually, by assigning them to a new project, a new team, a new context. How do you choose that new role?

Wait for it. It will shock you. Ask THEM!

And then LISTEN to them. And give them honest appreciation and feedback.

The writer of Hebrews doesn’t say “Don’t neglect the gathering of yourselves together…” He says “Don’t neglect the assembling of yourselves together.” Hebrews 10:25

If you’re the key to growth (and you are), your role is to approach the organisation like an orchestra. You have to make sure all the violinists are sitting together so they’re not poking out the trumpet player’s eye every time they play.

Even if growth isn’t your role, if you are answering phones but you’d rather be blogging or coding a website, help yourself, your organisation, and everyone else around you, by letting them know. There maybe some timing issues, but the sooner you let your team leader know, the sooner you can become a functional part of the assembly.

Success is funny. It’s like putting together a Swiss watch. Your assembly shouldn’t have even one screw loose. You might need to use tiny tweezers and a magnifying glass. Assemble it to be a finely honed machine – not losing a second – “working like clockwork”.

That’s the irony of thinking big. Scale is about being able to handle the whole earth as if it is a tiny, delicate, detailed grain of sand. Getting the details right is what allows you to go global at staggering speed.

Jesus commissioned us to go into all the WORLD = BIG thinking….
and make disciples = SMALL doing.

On the first episode of the Masters of Scale podcast, the co-founder and CEO of global growth Godzilla AirBnB, Brian Chesky, summed it up this way “In order to scale you have to do things that don’t scale”.

 

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My Dream Thief

A thief steals but he isn’t a robber.

A robber takes something by force or threat. A robber will walk into the biggest bank in town, in broad daylight, and demand that you give him all the money he wants.

He is brazen, direct and often brutal.

He may try and disguise himself with a balaclava and arm himself with a shotgun.He doesn’t care if he is the lead story on the evening news  – it all adds to the intimidation and fear he wants to create in you. It might even make his next robbery easier.

You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’ve been robbed. If you survive the ordeal, and you have enough remaining courage, you can tell the police exactly what time you were robbed and what was taken.

Compare that with a thief. He wants to conceal the robbery, not just his identity, at least until he has made his getaway, but often much longer.

A thief aims to be so sneaky that you may never even know you’ve been robbed.

Sometimes, sadly, these thieves have not only stolen, they have also murdered and destroyed.

When I help people with their finances, I often find that there is a hidden thief at work, and they have no idea.

Sometimes, they are even co-operating with the thieves.

Sometimes, they didn’t notice anything was missing because the thief has replaced the real thing with a fake. The stolen goods may not even be financial, but are still very precious; hope, laughter, peace, love, relaxation, friendship, innocence, romance, confidence, trust, integrity.

I know too many people who get to a certain age and realise their dreams have been stolen, killed, destroyed. And they have no idea when or how it happened. When I was young, I used to dream of standing in front of an audience of people who loved what I had to say. In fact, I didn’t just dream about it, I did it. If someone gave me a doll, I wouldn’t play with the doll, I would add the doll to my audience. But pets and pot plants were just as good 🙂

If I had to explain to myself as a child that I didn’t speak to audiences anymore, because no one invited me, or no one paid me, no one supported me, or no one thought I was any good, child-Shaz wouldn’t understand. Because child-Shaz knew she did it for the pure joy of just doing it.

For many years, my pay packet was actually the fake thing that stopped me from realising I’d been stolen from. I ignored the desires of my heart in exchange for mere money. My bank account was prospering, but my soul certainly wasn’t. Money was my master, my dream thief.

It took me a long time to realise that my job is not my life; my life is my job. Now, I’m following my dreams (yes, Mum, even when I don’t get paid).

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Jesus only mentioned one enemy of an abundant life.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

The work of a thief is hidden. Judas was not a robber, he was a thief. The mask he chose was not a balaclava, that would’ve been far too obvious; Judas was devious.

He looked like He was supporting Jesus, but when no one was looking, Judas was stealing from Him. While Judas was kissing Jesus, he was betraying him. He seemed one thing on the outside, but on the inside, he was the exact opposite. He looked like he was raising funds, but he was depleting them.

Judas had control of the money box “and he used to take what was put in it” (John 12:6).

Judas not only took money from Jesus, he also got the thirty pieces of silver from the priests. But in the end, he realised the money was a horrible substitute for life. (He tried to give back the thirty pieces of silver, before he hanged himself – Matthew 27:3-5).

Some of the things and people that may have supported you at one time, may now be sneaky thieves robbing from you.

  • Distraction can rob you of time, it kills focus.
  • Debt can destroy freedom, it often brings slavery.
  • Fear can kill faith, it often brings containment.
  • Criticism can steal joy, it often brings shame.
  • Procrastination can rob you of productivity, it often brings barrenness.

I encourage you to take an inventory, actually write a list of things that have been stolen. Check out if everything you have now is genuine, or have you accepted a poor imitation of the real thing? Are you living your dreams, or has someone or something stolen, killed and destroyed the abundant life that Christ came to give you?

My night with Boy George

Wednesday night was one of the coldest night’s in Perth for five years. I was miserable. It was hump day.

And I was going to a Culture Club concert at HBF Stadium.

There was so much I should love about it – I love live music, I love doing something different, I love going out with friends… but I was cold.

And I hate being cold.

Also I had the sniffles – my nose was like a snot tap that had blown a washer so you couldn’t turn it off you just had to try and use tissues like a cork to plug it up every now and again.

The opening act was Kids in the Kitchen. Aussie band. From the 80s.

So much to like – I love anything Aussie, I loved the 80s, I love bands.

They were woeful.

But they served as a valuable reference point.

Because when Culture Club took the stage, I realised that Kids in the Kitchen had the same venue, the same crowd, the same sound system and lighting and …. it was only the lack of talent that was holding them back.

Boy George (I feel like since we’ve both been around since before the 80s, I should call him Man George now) entered to a standing ovation.

Yes, that’s right. Before he was even on stage, he commanded more applause than Kids in the Kitchen had for their finale.

I won’t tell you all the things that happened after that.

But it was strangely spiritual. And I was no longer cold. So I’ll give you the bit that’s like the warm weather between spring and autumn.

#summary

Mind blown.

After my review was published, the owner of Culture Club’s PR company was so impressed, she showed it to Boy George himself.

I’m always amazed about where my words end up. So I should know better. And I do regret my comments about his green eye-shadow.

But here’s my review for Primo Life magazine (Pic credit: Primo Life)

My Night with Boy George

 

boy george review