DMINLGP

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

Maybe the Video will Help…

Written by: on November 28, 2018

I think you have to watch some of Scott Galloway’s videos in order to really enjoy his book.  It helps you hear his voice and understand the tone and tempo of his writing.  Galloway, a serial entrepreneur and NYU Stern School of Business professor also runs his own “business intelligence (fancy term for research) firm that has grown to 140 people in seven years.”[1] It is called L2.

His popular Winners & LosersYouTube video series are watched by millionsof viewers around the world.  One is called The Algebra of Happinessand is worth 10 minutes of your time.  It is listed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMW6xgPgY4s

Scott Galloway can be caustic and direct, but he presents material that is meticulously researched (by his L2 associates) and comes across as authentic and honest.

In The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, Professor Galloway expounds on the themes and insights that he has been teaching, talking about and researching for years.  The main purpose of the book is to show how these top 4 global companies dominate their respective markets, and how they progressively creep into other arenas as well.

This is not the doting hagiography of a tech fan.  Nor is it a Luddite’s lament about the future of the world.  Galloway seeks to explain how these Four companies operate, to critique their overreach, but also to help readers figure out how to maneuver and live within the world as it is and as it is becoming.

One reviewer points out that, “the author isn’t afraid to question the actions of our tech deities, some of which have become increasingly questionable (if still legal).”[2]  Galloway levels direct criticism at the business practices of these Four companies, at tenured university professors, and at mediocrity in general.

Indeed, Scott Galloway is not a neutral player as he writes this book.  He almost basks in the ways that the Four have affected him personally. His first company essentially tried to imitate Apple.  It was “a brand strategy firm… helping consumer brands mimic Apple.”[3]  Another of his companies was “slowly bled to death by Amazon.”[4]

This book is not an exhaustive history of how these companies started, developed and gained their position.  Instead, it is full of analysis as well as future-casting about the affect that these Four companies will have in the future.

He writes, “the real reasons Amazon is kicking the collective asses of its competition—and its likely ascent to a trillion dollars in value—are different.  Similar to the other Four, Amazon’s rise rests on its appeal to our instincts.”[5]

He means that we should not bet against human nature, and that each of these Four essentially plays to our own basic instincts.  Whether it is to be acquisitive, knowledgeable, popular, cool, or cutting-edge.

One of Galloway’s instincts, as a business person and professor of business, is toward helping people succeed, and make money in the business world.  He writes, “I hope the reader gains insight and a competitive edge in an economy where it’s never been easier to be a billionaire, but it’s never been harder to be a millionaire.”[6]

For those readers who are not motivated by the “almighty dollar”, or by success by the world’s standards, there is still much to commend this book.  In chapter 10, he walks through advice and strategies for people who want to develop themselves in order to succeed in the marketplace.  It is striking how similar much of this material is to other recent books such as A Failure of Nerveand The Leadership Mystique.

He writes, “Excellence, grit, and empathy are timeless attributes of successful people in every field..”[7]  And then goes on to say, “Nothing is more important than emotional maturity—especially for people in their twenties, in whom this quality can vary widely.”[8]

In another echo that is heard across the genre of business/leadership books, Galloway references Daniel Goleman, “who popularized the term emotional intelligence, found measurable business results at global companies led by individuals who demonstrate self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.”[9]

It is these later chapters where he is writing for an audience of college students or people trying to make wise decisions for their lives that I resonated with most.  The focus on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills is the cross-over character building that leaders in the church and non-profit world also seek.

[1]Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 232.

[2]Phil Simon, review of The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, by Scott Galloway, Huffington Post, October 16, 2017, Book Reviews, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/book-review-the-four-by-scott-galloway_us_59e4d07ee4b02e99c583587d.

[3]Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 11.

[4]Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 11.

[5]Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 14.

[6]Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 12.

[7]Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 232.

[8]Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 233.

[9]Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden Dna of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), 234.

About the Author

Dave Watermulder

7 responses to “Maybe the Video will Help…”

  1. Great post, Dave!

    Did you find it ironic that Galloway criticized the same companies that provided him clients? As a serial entrepreneur and consultant, his goal is to aid leaders in understanding the nuance and marketing tactics of the Four; however, Galloway vacillated in his allegiance and frustration against these high-level companies.

    I did find his chapter on self-improvement and empathy thought-provoking and helpful. You mention that there is a strong comparison between Friedman and Kets De Vries. In what ways did you see them overlap and in what ways did you see them differ?

    • Dave Watermulder says:

      Thanks, Colleen,

      Yes, I thought that was really interesting too. He definitely had a critical tone at points, but also wanted people to emulate these companies and become more like them, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword.

  2. mm Dan Kreiss says:

    Dave,

    I enjoyed gaining greater understanding of Galloway through your post. It is also important to recognize how he has been impacted by these corporations both positively and negatively. He doesn’t appear to be particularly upset with them but does call each of them out and encourages them to use their power and influence for positive change.

    I’m interested to know how your parishioners might respond to this text since I assume many of them might be benefiting from one or more of these corporations.

    • Dave Watermulder says:

      Hey Dan,
      It’s a good point– he obviously admires these companies and uses them as examples of how to compete in and dominate business. I’m just saying that he also has critiques.
      As for our people here, you are exactly right, many, most, nearly all of them work for tech companies of some kind. They have a pretty nuanced view (usually). Like anybody, they get tired of their boss, or annoyed with their co-workers, or see the realities behind the glittering earning reports. But, the place where you live, the context you are in really does shape your thinking. It forms you. The longer I’m here, I can see the way it slowly creeps in around me. For better and worse.

  3. mm Jay Forseth says:

    Dave,

    I too found it interesting that Galloway mentioned “emotional intelligence.” Seems to me a couple of our authors have hit on that. And recently, just like you said.

    Your best line in my opinion was, “The focus on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills is the cross-over character building that leaders in the church and non-profit world also seek.”

    If I would have remembered that, I wouldn’t have had a main point in my Blog (grin). Well done brother man.

  4. Dave Watermulder says:

    Thanks, Jay!

  5. mm Trisha Welstad says:

    Dave, I agree the videos really brought Galloway’s text to life.

    I especially appreciated how he didn’t just knock them but also gave insight into the ways others can be successful based on his team’s research- particularly the emotional maturity. How helpful for younger readers!

    I wonder, how do you see this text connecting in your world, particularly congregational life? Do you see opportunities or threats to your community?

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