DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

“God created black people and black people created style”

Written by: on November 2, 2016


“God created black people and black people created style,” George C. Wolfe once wrote. “African-Americans heavily influence everything, entertainment to political discourse to the culture and conversations that fuel the Internet. And yet black users on social platforms are largely ignored by the companies who build them. In an effort to drive growth, many social media companies make the mistake of exclusively courting brands and celebrities while ignoring influential black users.”



This is a review of the book Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead, written by Charlene Li (2010).

Social technologies are changing the face of business, while changing the foundation of any successful company. While traditional organizations continue to assume that businesses require vertical hierarchies and, above all, tight control, this new-order world means greater openness and transparency (Fitzgerald et al. 2014).

Unfortunately, not all managers today are able to be open and, simultaneously, have control. This book is an essential resource for anyone who wants to lead in a world where the power of social media is becoming the norm.


Open, transparent, and authentic are the new mantras of leadership even though the traditional concept of business is based on control. In this book, Li addresses this contradiction and explains how business leaders can benefit from the revolution of social technology, use social networks to be open, and maintain control (Aral, Dellarocas, and Godes, 2013).

Li illustrates her theories with clear cases of success in the workplace, starting with the famous video of a Dell computer exploding in a meeting. Li tells us that we must have confidence and humility to give up the need to control. This is achieved through three factors.

  • Strategy
  • Leadership
  • Preparation

Today it is necessary to create an open whole strategy around new technologies. We must learn to use them for the benefit of the company. Four parallel objectives define an open strategy.

  • Learn—Support
  • Dialogue—Innovation

You can learn a lot about customers with basic tools like Twitter or Facebook. Li shows examples of companies that have improved their customer and employees relationships through social networks: via conversations on Twitter, good technical support online, or asking advice on new products (Kabani, 2013).

Li teaches how a good leader, mentally open to new times, must have the confidence and humility to give up the need to control, while promoting people’s dedication to reaching the objectives. The traits that define “open” leaders are authenticity and transparency.


This important book exposes how technologies—Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, smart phones and many others—can transform communication, making business more efficient and optimizing leaders’ decision making. Li shows readers how being open requires greater rigor and control. This book exposes step by step, with cases in various sectors and in different countries, how to achieve company precision, both outward and inward, in this new open world. The author includes proposals that will help organizations establish an open strategy by measuring risks and benefits. It also includes a guide to successful procedures for implementing open leadership as a strategic plan.

According to Li, a metamorphosis must occur for true digital leaders to emerge: They must be connected automatically (as the driver of the car), and they must listen to, share with, and participate with any person in the organization using digital technologies. This metamorphosis is not easy or comfortable, but without it the leader is not really practicing digital leadership. Li raises three very revealing issues:

  • Crosscutting relationships are a fact of life in new organizational structures due to new technologies, and they are here to stay.
  • This metamorphosis in the working methods requires an adaptation of everyone, including the leader. To carry out any transformation, the leader must be the first to adapt and transform, thinking and acting in the digital world.
  • The digital world is no longer new; the new scenario has been here for a while now. One has to have the knowledge and skills to implement appropriate measures to meet strategic objectives.

Since “Open leadership is defined as having the confidence and humility to give up the need to be in control while inspiring commitment from people to accomplish goals (Li, 2010, p. 14), then how can the Openness Covenants –  part of the book that covers social media guidelines and policies,”help church leaders define the “safe area of the sandbox to play within Social  medial”?



Aral, S., C. Dellarocas, and D. Godes. 2013. “Introduction to the Special Issue—Social Media and Business Transformation: A Framework for Research.” Information Systems Research 24, no. 1: 3–13.

Fitzgerald, M., N. Kruschwitz, D. Bonnet, and M. Welch. 2014. “Embracing Digital Technology: A New Strategic Imperative.” MIT Sloan Management Review 55, no. 2: 1.

Kabani, S. 2013. The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, generate buzz, and increase revenue. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books.

Li, Charlene, 2010. Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead. San Francisco: Jossey-B

About the Author


Rose Anding

Rose Maria “Simmons McCarthy” Anding, a Visionary, Teacher,Evangelist, Biblical Counselor/ Chaplain and Author, of High Heels, Honey Lips, and White Powder. She is a widower, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great grandmother of Denver James, the greater joy of her life. She has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, and is now back on the forgiving soil of Mississippi.

11 responses to ““God created black people and black people created style””

  1. Hi Rose. I have the same question that you asked at the end of your blog. The quote that open leadership involves confidence and humility is key for me. Often when I go through a humbling experience that grows humility in me the first thing to leave is my confidence. Conversely, when I am feeling confident, humility seems to be on vacation. I think good leadership is making confidence and humility a both/and and not an either/or. I need the grace to do this.

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Aaron P. Great comments!
      However, in reference to your statement about good leadership which says, “I think good leadership is making confidence and humility a both/and not an either/or. I need the grace to do this”. I do believe they are both necessary in the process of becoming a great leader.”
      We agree, but must understand the frustrations of being a beginner at anything can make the desire to be confident urgent. When you haven’t built up skill, the failures can be ego-bruising and painful. The response to this is the desire for more confidence. But, I believe this desire is often misguided, because humility leads to faster improvement. More importantly, staying humble allows the temporary frustrations to fall off. Trying to maintain a false confidence often may build temporary successes, but it makes every failure harder to recover from.

      Confidence without skill is nothing. Skill without humility is stagnant. Skill with humility creates to confidence, therefore it is a quality in making good leadership. The one thing that help me in building confidence is praying for courage and reading scripture to build up my confidence.

      . (1) “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward for you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised,” (Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV).

      (2) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go,” ( Joshua 1:9 ESV).

      Thanks for sharing, I am praying that you have both confidence and humility, because you are growing into a great leader. Rose Maria

  2. Claire Appiah says:

    Thanks for including other voices to bring clarity to Li’s book. To address your questions, It appears to me that most churches I have been a part of are content with operating primarily from a system of hierarchical control. Do you see a trend in which contemporary Christianity is moving toward open leadership and in need of a sandbox covenant?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Claire,
      yes there seem to be a trend in which contemporary Christianity is moving toward open leadership, because crosscutting relationships are a fact of life in new organizational structures due to new technologies, and they are here to stay. But the Openness Covenants – must be explores further.
      Thanks for sharing Rose Maria

  3. mm Marc Andresen says:


    You wrote, “Open, transparent, and authentic are the new mantras of leadership even though the traditional concept of business is based on control.”

    What advice would you give “Christian” television personalities/preachers? This question is based, in part, on the perception I hear from non-Christians regarding televangelists, in the wake of Baker/Swaggart, and with the presence of Joel Osteen.

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Marc,
      when we focus on “Open, transparent, and authentic of leadership, it is wise to remember Church leaders are not expected to be perfect – but they are expected to be living in daily repentance and faith. The problem for them comes when the daily battle against sin is abandoned, when it remains unconfessed to God, and when sin makes it impossible for them to discharge the duties of their ministry or brings the gospel into public disgrace.

      I would only speak to how leaders must rethink their misguided thoughts considering material wealth as being equated with sin. We must drive out our subconsciously rooted thoughts of poverty, condemnation and despair. Sometimes, on the other hand, ministers are brought down by untrue accusations – or the misdeeds of others. Again, Paul wrote of experiencing “glory and dishonor, bad report and good report” and of his mission team being “genuine, yet regarded as impostors,” (2 Corinthians 6:7-9). Therefore he without sin must cast the first stone.
      Thanks for sharing . Rose Maria

  4. Aaron Cole says:


    Great blog, the most attention grabbing title! You went on to state that although African-Americans heavily influence culture they are often ignored by social media. Why do you think that is reality?


    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Aaron C,
      I think you know the answer to the question,but anyone who’s been on Twitter for more than a minute has heard of “Black Twitter” or at the very least felt its effects. African-Americans drive a large share of the conversation on the platform. The early years of Twitter were characterized by hashtags, memes and conversations centered on black culture.
      Thanks for sharing Rose Maria

  5. Pablo Morales says:

    Rose, in light of the Open Leadership Assessment of pages 179-182, what kind of leader are you?


    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Hi Pablo!
      Thanks for asking, but my Open Leadership Self Assessment test score shows that I am a very optimistic and I am collaborative which mean I am know as a “Realist Optimist”. I will study the test further to learn more about myself. How was your test result?
      Thanks for sharing Rose maria

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