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

We were in the same ballpark?!?

Written by: on April 30, 2023

As I read Cascades by Greg Satell, the above 2 pictures kept coming to mind. The first one was taken January 12, 2022, and the second one was taken March 15, 2022. As Executive Director of Restore Counseling Center I meet twice a month with my Board Chairman to pray, dream, strategize, and discuss any problems that need to be addressed and solved. January 2022, my counseling center was 5 months old, and we were dreaming about how to help our community to heal from any type of severe trauma. During our meetings January through March, we decided networking would be the best way to reach our community. So, we wrote down the ministries/businesses we felt we needed to connect with for maximum impact. “To truly change the world or even just your little corner of it, you don’t need a charismatic leader or a catchy slogan. What you need is a cascade: small groups that are loosely connected but united by a common purpose.” [1]. We did this because we felt the churches in the area were struggling to connect with one another and therefore, helping people to heal from severe emotional and neurological trauma was not happening. Satell writes, “Every movement starts with a sense of grievance. Yet to succeed, you must go beyond grievance to identify an affirmative vision for what you would like to be different and then identify a single, fundamental change that will bring that vision about.” [2]. We were grieving the disconnect of churches in our area and the unhealed trauma of people from their past wounds. In 2022, we had no idea we were kind of following Satell’s book and “identifying a keystone change.” [3].

This book shows a person how to harness the power of cascades to create a revolutionary movement. His book does four major things:

1. As promised in its subtitle, it provides a roadmap for creating transformational change.
2. It grounds that roadmap in verified science of how people behave in groups, from theater companies to major corporations to entire nations, and how sudden major behavioral changes in those groups can happen in “cascades”.
3. It provides detailed stories, examples and explanations of how those cascades have occurred in well-known historical movements and prominent business situations.
4. It describes the examples in a completely engrossing way. The result of reading the book is an understanding and belief in the reality of cascades will change the way you look at the world.

Satell proved “the need to create interconnectivity and interdependence remains essential.” [4]. Cascades are, “small groups, loosely connected, but united by a common purpose.” [5]. Of course, Bill (my chairman) and I were not thinking in those exact words, but we were in the ballpark. We had both seen the danger of one man leading and calling all the shots, whether in a church or business and this was not healthy and not how we wanted to do business. Power has “shifted from the top of hierarchies to the center of networks, and that’s essential to understanding how to effect change in the modern world.” [6]. Reading these words were like drinking a cold glass of water on a humid day because inwardly I believed it but had never expressed it.

As we thought about networking, I was reminded of Walker’s words, “the people don’t know the future they are being invited to venture into, but they do know the leader.” [7]. During those early months of 2022, I thought long and hard how to invest in those who know me- the board, my counselors, and interns, which I call “leadersmithing” which is an apprentice approach to training those under me. [8].
Still, for all that, my main takeaway from the book is this. You may never be an activist in a broad social movement. You may never lead a major organizational transformation. However, once you understand the reality of cascades, you will never see the world in the same way again. Probably best of all, Satell, not only described how movements work, but he also showed the science behind why they work. That was really fascinating.

[1] Satell, Greg. Cascades: How to Create a Movement That Drives Transformational Change, (New York, McGraw Hill Education, 2019), 18.
[2] Ibid., 98.
[3] Ibid., 98.
[4] Ibid., 16.
[5] Ibid., 19.
[6] Ibid., 18.
[7] Walker, Simon. Leading out of Who You Are: Discovering the Secret of Undefended Leadership. (Carlise, CA, Piquant Editions, 2007), 6.
[8] Poole, Eve. Leadersmithing: Revealing the Trade Secrets of Leadership. (Bedford Square, London, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017).

About the Author

Todd E Henley

Todd is an avid cyclist who loves playing frisbee golf, watching NASCAR, making videos, photography, playing Madden football, and watching sport. He is addicted to reading, eating fruits and vegetables, and drinking H2O. His passion is talking about trauma, epigenetics, chromosomes, and the brain. He has been blessed with a sensationally sweet wife and four fun creative children (one of which resides in heaven). In his free time he teaches at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and is the Founder/Executive Director of Restore Counseling Center.

2 responses to “We were in the same ballpark?!?”

  1. mm Tim Clark says:

    Todd, I love that you make the connection between this book and your calling and assignment. I’m wondering if/how your vision of linking churches has or hasn’t worked? Has it turned into a movement, are you still in process, or have you given up? (No judgment, just curious).

    Todd it’s been great to learn from you in this cohort. I’m not gifted in the things that make counselors good at what they do, but I have mad respect for those who are. See you in Oxford.

  2. mm Jana Dluehosh says:

    Todd, I am so relieved there are men like you in the world responding to trauma is a way that is meaningful and maintaining joy for you and those you work with. Your vision casting is amazing. Thank you for the joy you Brought to class all year! Hope you have a great summer and see you in Oxford!

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