Two weeks ago, we briefly described four core values that act like guardrails to guide us in building missional enterprises. We have already looked at the values of Abiding in Christ and Building Triple Bottom Line Enterprises.
This week we turn to the importance of Allying with One Another, featuring a re-post of a previous edition of M3 Weekly from February 2022.
The Lone Wolf Myth
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges to allying with others for current and aspiring leaders of missional enterprises is what you could call the “Myth of the Lone Wolf Entrepreneur” – the idea that business leaders have succeeded by possessing unique characteristics enabling them to “go it alone,” and that we should try to do the same.
Neither assumption is accurate.
Even entrepreneurs commonly thought of as successful “Lone Rangers,” like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, had dynamic and complementary teammates from early on, and testified to the power of groups of people in starting a business.
Richard Branson, British entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, said it this way:
Many people think that an entrepreneur is someone who operates alone, overcoming challenges and bringing his idea to market through sheer force of personality. This is completely inaccurate. Few entrepreneurs — scratch that: almost no one — ever achieved anything worthwhile without help. To be successful in business, you need to connect and collaborate and delegate.
A team of researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Amsterdam found that, if anything, entrepreneurs are more inclined toward teamwork than average. They concluded:
Our findings . . . provide no support for the ‘lone wolf’ hypothesis that entrepreneurs have a particular taste for individual work.
Of course, as members of the body of Christ, none of this should surprise us, and we should pursue opportunities to connect and collaborate. Business-As-Mission (BAM) author C. Neal Johnson, shared the following thoughts about the importance of peers in the missional enterprise journey:
I think that BAMers need to come together and start meeting on a regular basis among their peers to share experiences and best practices, offer encouragement, provide mentoring, talk about real business problems and collectively seek Christ-centered, Bible-based alternatives for dealing with those problems.
One of the ways we at Navigators Missional Enterprise ally together is through M3 Cohorts, groups of current and aspiring leaders of missional enterprises, who meet monthly for encouragement, inspiration, and advice.
If you or someone you know might be interested in an opportunity to develop in a community like this, use the email link below to get them connected to us.
Verse(s) of the Week:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor: Ecclesiastes 4:9
Let’s allow the wisdom of this familiar verse to sink in and ask God to guide us to new ways to ally together in building missional enterprises.