Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Flourishing Ain’t Just Sitting Around a Campfire

Written by: on December 1, 2021

An Everyone Culture is a book about the development of people. Incorporating leadership, business, and psychology principles, authors Dr. Robert Kegan and Dr. Lisa Lahey address the importance of developing people to develop businesses. The two principles can coincide and certainly are not mutually exclusive. In fact, People Development + Business Development = the Good for All. Coining the term DDOs (deliberately developmental organizations), the authors state that if you care deeply about “people development (for the good of the company, or the good of the planet, or both), this might be the most powerful way to organize your culture – and it is possible to do so, and still run a very successful business.”[1] Having co-founded a company called Minds at Work (MAW), Kegan and Lahey are experts in the field with a distinct methodology to help individuals, teams, and organizations foster desired change.

The authors pose the question, “What is the most powerful way to develop the capabilities of people at work?”[2] As communicated above, this is a book about the development of people and human flourishing. It “includes an experience of meaning and engagement but in relation to the satisfaction of experiencing one’s own growth and unfolding, becoming more of the person one was meant to be, bringing more of oneself into the world.”[3] While the authors do not use this language, it is my interpretation that the theme of the book is captured in Ephesians 2:10, which says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”[4] As leaders motivated by faith in Jesus, our call is to develop those we lead to mature and find fulfillment in the God-ordained works that the Lord has set before them. Assuming we can lead our organizations in such a way, the author suggests that this kind of human flourishing will lead people to experience “new incomes,” which are all about “personal satisfaction, meaningfulness, and happiness.”[5]

Yet, the authors do not hold fast to a rose-colored understanding of flourishing. For one to flourish does not mean that they are free from conflict, or in the words of the authors, “We don’t define flourishing by sitting-around-the-campfire moments.” Why? Because we “ask people to do seemingly impossible things.”[6] This mindset reminds me of the cost of discipleship and leadership. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”[7] This passage and so many more make clear the true cost of following Jesus. However, it is also in this path, and only in this path, that we experience the full life God intended for us. By trying to save our life, we lose it, but in losing our life for Jesus and the gospel, we save it and partake in the abundant life (cf. Mark 8:34-36; John 10:10). With this view in mind, the authors note, “Pain + Reflection = Progress.”[8]

I found this book to be of particular interest to me both in my capacity of leading a nonprofit organization and in light of my NPO. While I am still undecided which direction I will go for my final project, two of my Big Three Ideas focus on the leadership development of residents in our low-income community. In addition to the noted observations from the text, many other concepts will further aid me in developing a curriculum to identify, invite, equip, and release leaders on a mission to seek the flourishing of all.

[1] Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization (Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press, 2016), 197.

[2] Ibid., 4.

[3] Ibid., 9.

[4] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update.

[5] Kegan and Lahey, An Everyone Culture, 8.

[6] Ibid., 35.

[7] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update.

[8] Kegan and Lahey, An Everyone Culture, 52.

About the Author


Eric Basye

Disciple, husband, and father, committed to seeking shalom.

7 responses to “Flourishing Ain’t Just Sitting Around a Campfire”

  1. mm Roy Gruber says:

    Great post, Eric! I appreciate the way you connected the material with Scripture. I can also see how this material would prove to be practical to you in your leadership role. Do you think this informs your direction for the project?

  2. Elmarie Parker says:

    Thank you, Eric, for this engaging and thoughtful post. I also appreciated your connections with scripture and ministry. What do you imagine the cost may be for residents in your community as they consider a leadership development journey?

    • mm Eric Basye says:

      Great question. As to the cost, I don’t doubt the desire or the ability of leaders from within our community. However, I do think it will require me doing a better job of bridging some cultural gaps, and likewise, these leaders will need to do the same. Part of the challenge will be remaining in relationship over a long period of time, and extending a lot of grace to one another.

  3. mm Denise Johnson says:

    Erik, I totally agree with your use of Ephesians 2:10 in connection with this book. I’m curious how you might use these thoughts within the low income community?

    • mm Eric Basye says:

      In a nutshell… every individual in my community has imago Dei and a capacity to know the One who has made them. In being called back to the Lord, they also have significant value and kingdom-works to engage, Whether they are 10 years old, or a 60-year-old felon, each person has something to partake in that the Lord has set before them.

  4. mm Nicole Richardson says:

    Eric I too see the usefulness of this book for my NPO. As you highlighted the cost of living into DDO I couldn’t help but think of Friedman’s Chapter 6 when he talks about the “relationship between risk and reality”. Nurturing these 5 aspects in the context of your work, where is there confluence with Keegan and Lahey’s premise of DDO?

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