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

What’s More Deceptive than Power and Control?

Written by: on November 2, 2019

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Scott Galloway, a Professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, is a serial entrepreneur and good at his work of teaching, being named as one of the “World’s 50 best Business School Professors” by Poets & Quarts. His work in this book is outstanding and he has great understanding of business which is evident in his work. I mus say that I was initially uncomfortable with his reference to God in a casual way in his writing. How dare he even come close to comparing corporate companies or corporate founders to God, it felt almost close to the case of King Nebuchadnezzar feeling so powerful and referring to himself as God[1], in this book by Scott Galloway.[2] The book is a great read and its very insightful of the dynamics of the four horsemen of our day. That’s me, I was brought up knowing reverence for God, the sacredness of His name and in my culture and context, we are not used to the use of satire on matters God.

I must admit that I admire Galloway’s depth of understanding of business and the dynamics of the global business landscape but I was a bit uncomfortable with his use of language in reference to God. I appreciate however that through the use of his language, he clearly brings to light the level to which we idolize things and people. That said, his book is very eye opening in how the human behavior plays into the dynamics of business success and how our consumer desires and behavior are exploited in pursuit for profiteering:

Galloway unravels the relationship between business and human desires and behavior and demonstrates how understanding human psychology can give advantage to a business. He demonstrates how human behavior is primarily determined rationally by the mind, emotionally by appeal to the heart or irrationally by the sexual desire. Galloway says, “ From the Perspective of evolutionary psychology, all successful business appeal to one of three areas of the body – the brain, the heart or the genitals.”[3] While this may sound a big simplification of how to succeed in business, its interesting how Galloway starts his book by referring to the hunter and gatherer adaptation of behavior in the Paleolithic and Neolithic age of human history[4] and his assertion that the same human behavior patterns still apply today as in those ancient times. I could not help but think of the biblical reference of this psychological nature of man and how he’s influenced by sin through the lust of the fresh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life[5]. The four horsemen, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have played into their dominance of the world business stage by preying on human desires and behavior and essentially consumerism, to a point where they seem immune to prosecution or censorship for violating laws or infringing on the rights of individuals or other entities. They have amassed power and control to a point where Galloway has no choice but to satirically compare them with God. Galloway refers to instances where they have used their power and influence to break laws and indeed infringe on the rights of people and other entities with impunity, instead of using their fortune for charity and being more socially responsible, how corrupting power can be.

As a Christian leader, how should I use such knowledge of human behavior and leverage it for kingdom purposes? As the CEO of our ministry organization, I could not help but ask myself this question and put myself to task to grow the organization and positively impact more people across the world. Galloway in trying to predict the next horseman or whether any of the four will be replaced soon, refers to eight factors that are prevalent in all the four companies and believes will be instrumental to next horseman. He refers to the eight factors as the T Algorithm and include: product differentiation; visionary capital; global reach; likability; vertical integration; AI; Accelerant; and Geography[6]. All these may be true and seemingly a sure way for growth, but I’m reminded of my dependence on God, for whose glory I live and work. I believe we can trace the same algorithm in what is availed to us by Jesus, in serving Him: Product differentiation in servant-hood rather than lordship; Visionary capital in training disciples to reach all the world, starting in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria to the uttermost world; global reach in dying for all humanity; likability in growing in favor with God and with men; vertical integration in asserting that He will never leave us or forsake us as we serve him; AI in that we rely on the Holy Spirit who searches the hearts and tries the thoughts of men; Accelerant in that God empowers us by His Holy Spirit to do His work; and Geography in a different way in being close and intimate to Jesus, our proximity to Jesus makes us better and more prolific in bearing more fruits that last.

The story of the four horsemen is amazing and points to what is possible with commitment and determination but it’s a warning to me of how corrupting power and money can be. On another note, it inspires me to be committed to the course that God has set before me as a servant leader to empower others by leverage my position, opportunities, knowledge and resources to enlarge my circle of influence. This way, which I believe is the essence of leadership I can create more impact for the kingdom, as I pursue holistic empowerment of Christians in vulnerable communities, globally.

[1] Bible. Daniel 4:28-34.

[2] Scott Galloway (2018). The Four: The Hidden DNA Of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Transworld Publishers. London, UK.

[3] Ibid,…… page 163.

[4] Ibid,…….page 14

[5] Bible. I John 2:16

[6] Scott Galloway (2018). The Four: The Hidden DNA Of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Transworld Publishers. London, UK,…..page 176.

About the Author

Wallace Kamau

Wallace is a believer in Christ, Married to Mary Kamau (Founder and Executive Director of Missions of Hope International) and father to 3 Wonderful children, Imani Kamau (Graduate student at London School of Economics, UK), Victory Kamau (Undergraduate student at Portland state University, Oregon, USA) and David Kamau ( Grade student at Rosslyn Academy). Founder and Director, Missions of Hope International (www.mohiafrica.org), CPA, BAchelor of Commerce (Accounting) from University of Nairobi, Masters of Arts (Leadership) from Pan African Christian University.

3 responses to “What’s More Deceptive than Power and Control?”

  1. Tammy Dunahoo says:

    Thank you, Wallace. I appreciate you sensitivity to the honor and reverence of God. I had a similar reaction at first and as I kept reading I could see that it seemed Galloway was using satire to actually show human beings our idolatry and how we make gods of people and things including ourselves.

    Your posture toward reverence of God and desire for servant-leadership is refreshing.

  2. Thank You Tammy for pointing this to me, I guess there is an issue of culture there too in that we are not used to the use of satire in matters God. I actually read the whole book and I realized his use of satire but I really appreciate your perspective of how he actually shows our idolatry and how we make gods of people and things. I will make some quick edit of the post accordingly.

  3. Mary Mims says:

    Wallace, great post. The world looks at problems one way, but as Christians, we cannot look at things the same way. Thank you for providing a Christian perspective.

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