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


Written by: on November 16, 2017

This book, Open Leadership, is refreshing and has an inspiring view on effective leadership. A couple of points reflected were the open mindset and loosened control.



Author Li examines the need for the leader to be open and receptive to new ideas. The social media is an asset to a company if properly utilized. He supported his view with the success history of CEOs of large companies, i.e. United Airlines, Cisco, and more. He even shared how the Democratic candidates Obama and Biden promoted the social media. For example, their campaign slogan ‘Yes You Can’ and request for donations were promoted over the social media via Facebook, Twitter, etc. He states that “Leadership requires a new approach, new mindset, and new skills.” (Adobe PDF ebook, xvi) This is similar to the views of De Vries in his book, The Leadership Mystique, where he states one must “reframe their view on complex situations…changing perception” [1] themselves. A leader needs to be open-minded and can accept changes and learn to respond differently to situations. A leader cannot control everything and must be open to others views, ideas, etc. He says, “my research shows, the biggest indicator of success has been an open mindset —the ability of leaders to let go of control at the right time, in the right place, and in the right amount. The first step is recognizing that you are not in control—your customers, employees, and partners.” (Adobe PDF ebook, 8)

Social Media is a great asset to organizations if properly approached. It is a great interaction tool. He provided examples of companies, for example: Best Buy who has their catalog online for customers to review the items available, select and order the items of their choice; The Obama/Biden campaign where supporters were excited and sparked their campaign by “setting up profiles on and asked friends and family to donate. And a few created videos as their testament to the campaign, ranging from the frivolous (like Obama Girl) and fun (‘Wassup 2008’) to the moving, as exemplified by rapper’s video, “Yes We Can,” which drew millions to the campaign.”( Adobe PDF ebook, 11) Many organizations have promoted on social media without success. My organization is one that has little success, but I realize you probably have to have a person solely promoting our organization on social media. Author Li mentioned a book that he wrote on social media called ‘Groundswell.’ It may be a good reading.

Li in this book provides details on how to be a successful leader. He provided rules to help one to be open-minded:

  1. Respect that your customers and employees have power
  2. Share constantly to build trust
  3. Nurture curiosity and humility
  4. Hold openness accountable
  5. Forgive failure

(Adobe PDF ebook, 14-15)

Li says that one should, “Have the confidence and humility to give up the need to be in control —which is why they often fail. Without the second part— while inspiring commitment from people to accomplish goals.” (Adobe PDF ebook, 18) In my organization, I am trying to let go but I either have volunteers that procrastinate, or I cannot find volunteers to help on projects. Speaking of failure, he says that we should plan for failures. We should have a plan of action because everyone will fail. Now one of Bill Gates quotes, identified in the picture above, may be true only if the person actually does the work.

Author Nohria of Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, state “The CEO having a good strategy brings clarity about what the organization will do. Goals go hand in hand.” [2]  Li expands on his open strategy theory by presenting four objectives to consider: “learn, dialog, support, and innovate.” (Adobe PDF ebook, 69) You must have a goal for how you are going to use social media in your organization. He provided strategic goal actions:

  1. Identify which strategic goal to address first
  2. Put in place learning systems to support that goal
  3. Determine which open-driven objective can help the most
  4. Gauge the need to be open
  5. Gauge your ability to be open

(Adobe PDF ebook, 72-73)

A leader must accept that it is a team effort and not an individual effort toward success. If you are on a team, you are not the sole force. As a team, the team contributed ideas that lead it its success. Be optimistic about the outcome and learn to collaborate with others to be successful.


        [1] Manfred Kets De Vries, The Leadership Mystique Leading Behavior in the Human Enterprise, New York: NY, Prentice Hall, 2006, p. 9.

        [2] Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, eds. Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice. Harvard Business Press, 2010, Kindle 5494

About the Author

Lynda Gittens

4 responses to “BE SOCIAL”

  1. mm Jennifer Dean-Hill says:

    Great quote by Bill Gates. Gives you a new appreciation for lazy people. It sounds like you could use a good book on how to motivate volunteers to do their work. That is a tough objective to accomplish, but I’m sure you’d make millions if you could create a resource that would work. Anyone who works with volunteers can empathize with you.

  2. Mary says:

    “A leader needs to be open-minded and can accept changes and learn to respond differently to situations.” Yes, leaders need to be openminded and willing to accept change. It also connects to one of Li’s character traits for leaders – humility.
    In some of our other reading we talked about keeping our ‘core values’ even while being flexible on the less important or side issues. So how far should ‘open’ leaders go in making changes?
    Good summary of the book, Lynda.
    God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving. I’m wearing my hat.

    • Lynda Gittens says:

      Hey Mary,

      One thing I believe – Jesus message is the same. The way you deliver it evolves based on the culture you are missioning to.
      Your core values are the same but how you present them may need to evolve. Now there are some core values that aren’t biblical and may need to be reviewed and adjusted. For example, women leaders.

  3. Kristin Hamilton says:

    Thank you for spelling out Li’s rules for openness. One of the greatest perks of this book is her checklists and guidance. I’ve been thinking particularly about the way she combined the encouragement of curiosity and humility. At first these seem like different areas, but I have realized that one doesn’t really dive in with curiosity without the humility to say, “I don’t really know, but I wonder…”
    How do you see this happening in church leadership?

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