Monday, September 06, 2010

Breakthrough Leadership Blueprint

This blog entry and the ones that follow it are excerpts
from Appendix B of my new book, 2,000 Percent Living.

Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
— Isaiah 55:4 (NKJV)

Almost everyone wants to be a leader, some because of a
desire to make improvements. More often, however,
interest in being a leader is primarily rooted in a desire
for power, influence, and the trappings of leadership.
Unfortunately, none of these wellsprings of motivation is
adequate for routinely accomplishing breakthroughs.

Some who are called to lead seek, instead, a better
motivation and approach through emulating our Lord,
Jesus Christ. His wonderful examples should always
inspire us; but even with the best of intentions our
pride, weaknesses, and failings often get in the way of
correctly following His example. Consider His service to
the disciples at the Last Supper: When was the last time
you saw a leader wash the feet of her or his subordinates
to encourage them to help their subordinates?

Most leaders are more likely to expect subordinates to
perform humbling tasks to honor the leaders and to be
thankful for the privilege of merely being near such
“exalted” persons.

For those who cannot humble themselves to be servant
leaders (leading by example in serving others), much
remains to be learned. God has many trials ahead to
improve those people so that they will choose to walk
in righteousness.

In this breakthrough leadership blueprint, I share with
you a path that leads to becoming a Christlike leader by
both drawing on His fine examples and making the best
use of human nature to attract attention to what needs
to be done and to encourage taking the necessary
righteous decisions and actions.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , ,

Step One: Get to Know the Backgrounds, Experiences, Philosophies, and Observations of Those Who Need to Provide Breakthrough Leadership

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
— Psalm 139:23 (NKJV)

Jesus knew everything about His disciples, just as He
knows everything about you. Human leaders don’t have
the advantage of omniscience and usually make a
mistake when they believe that they know their
colleagues, bosses, and subordinates well or that they
don’t need to know them any better. Although human
leaders cannot know others as well as Jesus can, they
should still attempt to learn a lot more.

Most people go to great lengths to protect parts of their
backgrounds, experiences, philosophies, and
observations from others in the organization where they
work or volunteer. Workers and volunteers play carefully
self-selected roles, much as comedians do in following
scripts of written stories and jokes, that people think will
serve their interests well.

Mitchell and Company’s clients have made breakthroughs
much more often after we helped the leadership teams to
know and understand one another better. I’m sure this
observation sounds like a self-aggrandizing statement,
and I apologize if it seems that way. I don’t mean for the
observation to be taken by you as self-promotion: I
believe that virtually any ethical outsider could have
played the same helpful role, and I will be completely
sharing what we have done so you can repeat it.
Let me explain.

If you go to a meeting or a party where most people don’t
know one another, the mingling and conversations will
mostly occur because of those who are gregarious and
those who happen to find others with similar interests,
whether of a superficial or a serious nature. Instead of
leaving it up to the guests to make the connections, the
meeting or party organizer could arrange for each guest
to receive a little advance information about the
background, interests, and expertise of each guest before
the party, and that information would lead to many more
people seeking each other out to converse about subjects
of mutual, significant interest.

Similar to the well-organized meeting or party planner
who provides advance information about the guests, our
firm has been helping leadership teams to discover
important, mutual interests that weren’t previously
known among people who thought they already knew
one another well. Our method has focused on making it
safer and more desirable for leadership team members
to share their most secret thoughts and experiences
with one another. Here are the steps our firm has
followed to facilitate those discoveries and exchanges:

• Following our recommendation, the organizational
leader (often the CEO of the organization or unit)
agrees to let trustworthy outsiders interview each
person on the leadership team for an hour on a
confidential basis (meaning that nothing said in the
interview will be revealed for attribution without that
person’s permission) as preparation for a group
meeting to improve communications scheduled to occur
within a month (the shorter the delay between the
interviews and the group meeting, the better).
• In consultation with us, the organizational leader
decides who will be interviewed and who will attend
the group meeting (usually these are the same people).
• The organizational leader alerts the participants about
the group meeting and the confidential interviews,
describes the purpose of these activities, and relates
the ground rules.
• The organizational leader coordinates setting the dates
for the group meeting and the interviews.
• The organizational leader is interviewed first by
Mitchell and Company. The other people are interviewed
in the order of their availability unless the organizational
leader expresses a preference for a certain order. After
the standard interview ends, the organizational leader is
also asked to describe her or his views of each person’s
role in and contribution to the leadership team and the
• Each person is asked the same questions in the same
way during the standard interview. If an interviewee
raises an important subject not covered by the
standard interview, that subject is explored in whatever
depth the interviewee wants to share. In the ideal
circumstances there are two interviewers so that one
can focus more on asking questions and relating to the
interviewee while the other pays more attention to
taking notes. Avoid recording devices because they
inhibit interviewees. In each step of the interview,
clarifying questions are asked by both interviewers to
be sure that the interviewee is being correctly
understood. Here is the structure of each standard

— Interviewers introduce themselves.
— Interviewers describe the project and repeat the
organizational leader’s instructions, including the
promise of confidentiality.
— Interviewers ask the interviewee

□ to describe his or her background from birth
through reaching the current position.
□ to describe why she or he decided to work or
volunteer for this organization.
□ to describe the best day he or she had ever
experienced at work or in volunteering.
□ to describe the best day she or he had
experienced in his or her personal life aside from
work and volunteering.
□ to describe the organization’s and organizational
unit’s missions.
□ to describe the organization’s and the organizational
unit’s top three priorities.
□ to describe what that person has to do to
accomplish the mission and top three priorities.
□ to describe the organization’s and the organizational
unit’s biggest on-going problems that have
long been unresolved and why those problems
have been unresolved.
□ to describe the organization’s and the organizational
unit’s biggest missed opportunities that
have long eluded the organization and why the
opportunities have been missed.
□ how the leadership group could function more
□ what else the organization should be doing to
become more successful and why it isn’t yet
doing what the interviewee recommends.
□ how and why he or she thought that other people
in the organization would answer any of the
questions differently than she or he did.

— Interviewers repeat the ground rules about the
anonymity of responses and ask the interviewee
which responses might be identified by other
members of the management team if they were
not paraphrased or otherwise disguised. (In many
cases, interviewees then insist, without being asked, on
giving permission to quote them for attribution when
the point is an important one.) The interviewers also
indicate they will be back in touch if they have any
further questions after reviewing their notes.

• Interviewers compare their notes and recollections to
create one set of detailed corrected notes that express
the consensus of what both interviewers heard. If the
interviewers cannot agree on a point, the interviewee
is contacted for clarification. The notes contain as many
quotes as possible.
• One of the interviewers combines the responses from
all interviewees into a tabulation that both interviewers
review to see what the major areas of leadership team
agreement, disagreement, understanding, and
misunderstanding are.
• The interviewers review the tabulation to isolate major
themes that should be the most valuable to focus on
during the group meeting. One major theme that will be
addressed is whether there is a hidden consensus among
the leadership team members about what needs to be
done and the reasons for improving.
• The interviewers review all of the quotes to find ones
to share with the group that best express the issues that
the group needs to resolve. Where necessary, these
answers are turned into paraphrases to help protect the
identity of the person who is the source and prefers to
remain anonymous.
• A written report is prepared by the two interviewers
and presented to the organizational leader in the manner
that the interviewers propose to use for the group
meeting. In addition, the interviewers discuss how the
responses and their impressions of the interviewees are
different from what the organizational leader had led
them to expect. Confidentiality is maintained in this
process; but if substantial issues about individuals have
unexpectedly arisen, those issues are presented as
things that the organizational leader needs to investigate
and potentially to resolve (such as the manufacturing
vice president who drank three pitchers of beer while
being interviewed during a brief lunch and the strategy
chief who responded to questions by staring blankly out
the window for ten minutes at a time in a way that
suggested being overmedicated with tranquilizers). The
organizational leader suggests changes to the report and
to the structure of the proposed meeting. The
interviewers recommend that the organizational chief say
as little as possible during the meeting to provide a better
opportunity to hear what others have to say in as
uninhibited a way as possible. Ideally, the organizational
leader should remain silent after making some opening
comments to encourage other members of the team to
share their thoughts and observations candidly with no
personal risk. Leaders are reminded how Jesus
remained silent when unjustly accused.
• The written report is distributed in advance of the
meeting whenever possible so that all attendees can
informally discuss its contents with one another before
the meeting if they wish.
• Meetings are scheduled away from the office and
include informal time together so that one-on-one
conversations can occur. One of the interviewers
facilitates and presents the findings at the meeting,
and both interviewers are present during the meeting
to answer any questions about the report or the
• The facilitator encourages those attending to ask any
questions they want and to comment and elaborate on
any points that were made by any respondent in the
interviews or during the group meeting. These
discussions continue until everyone seems
comfortable that they understand the information.
• The facilitator describes the portrait of the leadership
team that emerged and comments on how that portrait
is the same as or different from other leadership teams
that have gone through the same process.
• After the report is presented and commented on, the
leadership team members are asked what they want to
do differently in response to what they have just heard.
The purpose of the question is to open the floor for
interviewees to lead the group in addressing issues that
concern each person.
• The facilitator’s role shifts into encouraging everyone
to participate and to share their previously unexpressed
issues and concerns. In addition, the facilitator seeks to
determine if there is a hidden consensus among the
leadership team members about what needs to be
improved and why. In performing this role, the
facilitator is employing the leader’s authority with
permission to elicit more participation and also trying to
serve as a role model for the organizational leader to use
in future meetings.
• The group meeting usually lasts at least one day and
often continues for a full three days, especially where
the organizational leader wants to start the process of
resolving issues that have been pending too long. During
a longer meeting, there may also be time to introduce
solution tools such as learning and applying the 2,000
percent solution process. The longer the meeting lasts,
the more likely individuals are to voluntarily claim
authorship of the quotations that were sourced from
them and to use such moments to open new lines of
• Before the meeting ends, the facilitator encourages
the group to agree about what next steps are needed
to do better.
• As the meeting closes, the organizational leader praises
the leadership team for being candid and for working hard
to improve matters, to create mutual understanding, and
to enhance communications. The organizational leader
also pledges to do better in areas where the meeting has
indicated that improvements are needed and encourages
the leadership team to alert him or her whenever she or
he isn’t doing the right thing or enough of it.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , ,

Step Two: Encourage Breakthrough Leadership Practices

And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come,
and that his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem,
he consulted with his leaders and commanders to stop
the water from the springs which were outside the city;
and they helped him. Thus many people gathered
together who stopped all the springs and the brook that
ran through the land, saying, “Why should the kings of
Assyria come and find much water?”
— 2 Chronicles 32:2-4 (NKJV)

The organizational leader will probably do some significant
soulsearching after the group meeting just described, be
concerned about how to deal with the many new issues
that have been raised, and feel inadequate to improve as
a leader in all the needed ways. It is rare that an
organizational leader doesn’t feel taken down a peg or two
in this process, and confidence can be shaken. Here is
where the interviewers can be helpful mentors and
encouragers of the organizational leader.

The next step should begin about a week after the
group meeting when the interviewers sit down with the
organizational leader to discuss ways to accomplish what
needs to be done. Ideally, the interviewers have studied
in detail what occurred during the group meeting and
found what appear to be the simplest ways that the
organizational leader can accomplish her or his tasks and
for the leadership team to help the organization to make
a breakthrough.

Occasionally such mentoring and encouragement
opportunities begin to occur during the interviews. Here’s
an example of what can happen: A person being
interviewed expressed frustration with the organizational
leader for not taking action to sell the interviewee’s
business, one that the interviewee had founded and sold
to the company many years earlier. The interviewer knew
that the organizational leader wanted to sell the business
but believed that the interviewee was inalterably opposed.
The interviewer asked the interviewee if he had ever
shared this view about selling the business with the
organizational leader. The interviewee indicated that he
had frequently done so.

Alerted that there might be a serious miscommunication
between the organizational leader and the interviewee,
the interviewer asked the interviewee if he would be
willing to speak to the organizational leader right then to
share that view as a way of helping the interviewer to
understand how communications occur in the company.
The interviewee agreed, and the two strolled down to
the organizational leader’s office where the interviewee
shared the information. The organizational leader
handled it all well, gratefully thanked the interviewee
for his views, and promised to make a prompt decision.
Within a month, the organization announced that it
would be selling that business, even before the group
meeting occurred.

Both men were delighted with what occurred, and both
were quite surprised that the unresolved issue was
handled so easily and painlessly. From this experience,
the organizational leader learned to check more often
and in more candid ways on the views of his leadership
team in one-on-one meetings. It turned out that
everyone in the leadership team had been so polite in
expressing views during prior group meetings that
important messages had been lost.

In most cases, the organizational leader learns that her
or his leadership style needs changing. Let’s consider
communications. The organizational team is not made up
of mind readers, and they often mistake what the
organizational leader’s intentions are. For instance, a
casual question from the organizational leader may be
interpreted as a desire to reverse a long-standing policy.
Much as Jesus had to explain his parables in private to
the disciples before He was understood, the
organizational team members need to be encouraged to
ask for clarification when they are confused about what
the organizational leader intends or sense a lack of

Another common problem is involving too many people
in too formal a way. Many people in the leadership team
aspire to become the organization’s overall leader. If the
organizational leader involves all of the members of the
leadership team when they don’t need to be, competing
career interests will lead to some seeking personal
aggrandizement rather than getting the task done. If,
instead, people know that they are being asked to work
on something because their help is essential to success,
they usually relax and focus on the task.

While it’s good to develop members of the leadership
team to prepare them to become organizational leaders,
a better way to do so is to encourage them to instead
play advisory roles for organizational subunits that aren’t
part of the organizational leader’s authority or for
volunteer organizations. Jesus accomplished a similar
result in developing his leadership team by sending out
the disciples two-by-two to witness in different towns.

The mentoring will probably require continuing contact
between the interviewers and the organizational leader.
Ideally, these conversations will occur before an issue
arises rather than focus on trying to fix mistakes that
have been heedlessly made. Brief telephone chats are
often enough to help the organizational leader become
more effective, but some face-to-face discussions will
also be necessary.

The confidential one-on-one interview process will need
to be repeated from time to time with the leadership
team. Generally, it shouldn’t be needed again for at least
another six months. Normally, the interviews and group
meeting will need to be repeated at least once a year so
that the leadership team perceives that the
organizational leader is serious about creating more
breakthroughs and improving leadership effectiveness.
At some point, it will be helpful for this feedback process
to be internalized (typically through the human
resources staff) so that the external interviewers no
longer need to be involved. Whenever the organizational
leader finds a mentor or consultant who can be more
helpful than the interviewers, the organizational leader
should shift to working with that person.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , ,

Step Three: Build More Consensus among the Leadership Team to Increase and to Encourage Breakthrough Leadership

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth
concerning anything that they ask,
it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
— Matthew 18:19 (NKJV)

In many organizations, the overall leader is the person
who knows the least about what the problems are, what
the potential solutions are, and how to implement the
best of those solutions. As a result, it’s easy for a leader
to direct the organization to focus on minutiae that
won’t make much difference while believing that a
breakthrough will follow.

How can such potential misdirections be corrected?
Jesus taught His followers that faith and agreement
were essential to accomplishing mighty deeds that
would glorify God. By concentrating on God, the Lord
Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Scriptures, faith can be
increased so that magnificent changes occur as a result
of prayer and personal activity. By working closely
together, two or more people can learn to understand
what it was that they each sought and then make an
agreement to take to God in prayer and to act on.
Some human leaders can also rely on Christian faith to
develop agreement to accomplish breakthroughs
through prayer and action.

Those who are fortunate to lead Christian organizations
are blessed by being able to follow His example in this
exact way. Most organizations, however, are secular
ones, and there has been no attempt to employ only
workers and volunteers who are born-again Christians.
What, then, can be done that draws on faith and
agreement in such a secular organization?

The information gathered in Step One of this blueprint
provides many helpful perspectives, beginning with
identifying the hidden consensus (if it exists) and
extending through the agreement that was developed
at the end of the first group meeting. A Christian leader
will be wise to ask the faithful to pray that the agreement
will be accomplished. At this point, the organizational
leader should have two faithful sources to correct
misdirections: God and colleagues.

Organizational leaders should think of their leadership
team’s hidden consensus as a sound foundation for
identifying opportunities for breakthroughs and
accomplishing them. Any breakthrough initiatives need
to be explicitly aligned with the hidden consensus.
With that alignment, those who need to take action will
have greater insight into what the purpose of action is
and will feel more interested and excited about
achieving the intended results.

Let me give you an example of a hidden consensus to
help you appreciate what’s involved. A client company
was a major government contractor. During the
interviews, it became clear that engineering excellence
was an important value within the leadership team. In
addition, every member of the team described the
happiest day experienced at work as the same one:
when a difficult government project with humanitarian
implications had succeeded and been hailed by their
peers in other companies.

During the interviews, I asked each person if he had any
similar experiences since then involving other projects.
They all replied in the negative. During the group
meeting, I asked the leadership team members if they
would like to shift the type of work that they did for the
government so that they would do more work with
positive humanitarian implications that required
outstanding engineering. The excitement grew in the
room, and commitment to that new direction was made.

Decades later the organizational focus had almost totally
shifted into these different types of projects, and the
organization grew greatly from making this shift.
Astonishing benefits followed for all of the organization’s

One of the most notable breakthroughs came almost
exactly two decades after the group meeting: The
organization made another astonishing achievement in
an area closely related to the project area that had
originally epitomized the hidden consensus. Even
though this accomplishment came in an area that was
now a tiny part of the company, the new program had
received the very best the organization could provide.
Consequently, the results exceeded the government’s
expectations by several hundred times. What a great

Isn’t it wonderful what a hidden consensus can do when
it’s encouraged, strengthened, and expanded?

The hidden consensus can be expanded beyond its
initial dimensions by redefining the organization’s
purpose to include aspects closely related to and
consistent with the hidden consensus. The
organization’s mission can also be reshaped to include
new activities that inspire and excite the management
team. Then, a strategy can be designed that will make
more resources available for the new purpose and
mission. If the organization has a strategy map, that,
too, can be redone to reflect what motivates the hearts
of the leadership team.

Operating plans, in turn, will begin to reflect those new
directions. The organizational leader should also
encourage believers to pray for the success of the new
directions and the expanded consensus. As the Lord
provides the prayed-for results, these successes can be
included in testimonies that will help attract the interest
of nonbelievers.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , ,

Step Four: Define and Set Credible Breakthrough Goals to Accomplish the Organizational Consensus

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
— Genesis 1:1 (NKJV)

Jesus produced many miracles that helped establish
credibility for His Divine nature. For instance, He raised
the dead, fed thousands with just a little food, turned
water into wine, healed the sick, calmed storms, and
walked on water. His extraordinary works were helpful
evidence that God’s supernatural power exists and that
Jesus had access to that power, enabling sinners to
accept that they can receive Salvation and glorifying
God. If Jesus had, instead, merely done the ordinary
things that others do while making the same Godly
promises, many souls would not have been saved.

Similarly, the organization that is employing His power
can also make many breakthroughs that will seem little
short of miraculous to those not involved in making the
accomplishments. That great potential to show His
greatness will, however, not be realized unless the
organizational leader directs and encourages such
results by first defining and setting credible
breakthrough goals.

Providing such leadership requires courage: Many
people in the organization will not yet have enough faith
in God, in their knowledge of how to make
breakthroughs, and in their own abilities to believe
that the breakthroughs are possible. In the same way
that His disciples expressed lack of faith when facing
situations they had seen Jesus easily handle before, so,
too, the organizational leaders and those who work for
them often show insufficient faith and confidence.

Here again, the organizational leader should follow
Jesus’ fine example by first demonstrating that many
breakthroughs can be quickly and easily accomplished
using the same time, money, and effort before advancing
an agenda filled with goals that require many such
breakthrough accomplishments. My experience has been
that it works best if organizational leaders take the time
to develop personal skills to make breakthroughs in
cooperation with others in the organization, rather than
only serving as cheerleaders and encouragers for those
who have the breakthrough assignments.

As a result, I recommend that all organizational leaders
develop knowledge of and experience in the 2,000
percent solution process before increasing awareness
and understanding of it in their organizations. This
learning sequence offers benefits in terms of enhanced
credibility, greater understanding of what needs to be
done, and more ability to take advantage of the desire to
emulate the overall leader that many in the organization

In most organizations, the best way to create a positive
impression will be to generate at least three
complementary 2,000 percent solutions that deliver
multiplied benefits (such as simultaneous 2,000 percent
solutions for growth, cost cutting, and reducing investment
intensity to expand cash flow benefits by 8,000 times
while applying no more time, money, and effort). After
such a success, any business leader in the organization
who aspires to become an overall organizational leader will
now see matching that accomplishment as a necessary
threshold task for personal and organizational
development. If the organizational leader also involves
the leadership team in accomplishing these tasks, the
results will have greater credibility and usefulness.

Even after such a success, organizational leaders will be
wise to keep goals consistent with what their leadership
team believes is practical to do. Jesus had the same
problem of limited faith among His followers. Even after
feeding 5,000 men and many other people with a little
bread and a few fish, His followers didn’t think to ask
Him to repeat the miracle when 4,000 men were
hungry. People are creatures of habit and will fall back
on their older ways of doing things until breakthrough
methods become the only way they think about
performing important tasks.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , ,

Step Five: Help the Organization to Develop Skill and Experience in Making Breakthroughs

And he made devices in Jerusalem,
invented by skillful men,
to be on the towers and the corners,
to shoot arrows and large stones.
So his fame spread far and wide,
for he was marvelously helped
till he became strong.
2 Chronicles 26:15 (NKJV)

Jesus knew that He would be walking on the Earth with
His disciples for just a few years before He would die on
the cross, be resurrected, and return to heaven. While
on Earth, His purposes were to teach His disciples about
the kingdom of God and His commands, and how to
follow His example and commands. In the Bible, the
books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the first part
of Acts can be read, in part, as an organizational leader’s
training manual for creating lasting improvements in
performance for God. We should particularly
remember that Jesus arranged for the Holy Spirit to
descend upon believers to continually guide them after
He was no longer present in the flesh. Fortunately, we
still have that wonderful Guide today.

Jesus didn’t direct His followers to seek miracles in all
areas of life. Neither should organizations seek to make
breakthroughs in all aspects of what they do:
Breakthrough focus should be reserved for what is most
important to accomplish in serving stakeholders in ways
that glorify God. The leadership team will be more
engaged in breakthroughs if it has a clear understanding
of what breakthroughs are needed. The organizational
leader’s goals can be a help here by identifying the most
important accomplishment areas, even if the initial goals
are much more modest than the full potential to achieve.

A great way to begin helping the leadership team become
more effective is to direct and encourage each one on the
team to develop a 2,000 percent solution in an important
area by working with other members of the organization.
The organizational leader should make the assignments
and set the necessary review and due dates so that
developing the breakthroughs becomes a timely, high-
priority activity. If everyone on the organizational team
is working on breakthroughs at the same time, there can
be a friendly sense of camaraderie as they share their
experiences and lessons with one another.

Based on his or her experience with creating 2,000
percent solutions, the organizational leader can also
make resources available to ease the tasks. Here are
some possible resources to provide:

• Customized versions of The 2,000 Percent Solution,
The Portable 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000
Percent Solution Workbook, The 2,000 Percent
Squared Solution, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise,
The Ultimate Competitive Advantage, Adventures of
an Optimist, and 2,000 Percent Living that are filled
with examples drawn from the organization’s and
similar organizations’ experiences.
• Translated, customized versions of The 2,000 Percent
Solution, The Portable 2,000 Percent Solution, The
2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The 2,000 Percent
Squared Solution, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise,
The Ultimate Competitive Advantage, Adventures of an
Optimist, and 2,000 Percent Living filled with examples
drawn from the organization’s and similar organizations’
• Customized training programs filled with
organizational and similar organizations’ experiences.
• Experienced 2,000 percent solution tutors to monitor
and advise the leadership team and those who work
with them on developing and implementing 2,000
percent solutions.
• Fully developed histories of each of the organization’s
successful efforts to create 2,000 percent solutions.
• Access to experts whose knowledge of future best
practices and ideal best practices will ease the work
involved in steps three (Identify the Future Best
Practice) and five (Identify the Ideal Best Practice) of
the 2,000 percent solution process.
• Software designed to make it easier to do the work of
identifying and eliminating stalls and performing the
eight-step 2,000 percent solution process.

In any case, faster and better 2,000 percent solution
progress will occur if the organizational leader personally
provides some of the most important and difficult
instruction involved in learning the process. No one will
want to miss those sessions. The organizational leader
can also help improve interest in and knowledge of the
process by regularly reviewing and carefully
commenting on the progress to date.

Once a member of the leadership team succeeds in
leading a breakthrough development, the organizational
leader should arrange for recognition for all those who
contributed to the effort and publicize the success
internally and externally. Such recognition is very
important in helping the leadership team to become
more fully committed to making breakthroughs.
Recognition will also help inspire those who work for the
organizational leader to want to learn and to develop
their skills in making breakthroughs.

All those who create a breakthrough should then be asked
to study whether there are other ways and places that the
organization and its stakeholders can benefit directly from
what has just been accomplished. Next, the breakthrough
team should be asked to recommend related
breakthroughs that should be developed and who should
be involved in those tasks.

After an organizational leadership team member has been
involved in at least three breakthroughs, the leader should
be asked to begin teaching more people in her or his group
how to make breakthroughs.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , ,

Step Six: Help the Organization’s Stakeholders to Develop Skill and Experience in Making Breakthroughs

You will know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes from thornbushes
or figs from thistles?
Even so, every good tree bears good fruit,
but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
— Matthew 7:16-18 (NKJV)

As praiseworthy and fruitful for God as it is for an
organization to make breakthroughs in all of its most
important activities, imagine how much more can be
accomplished in fulfilling God’s purposes when
stakeholders (such as customers, customers’ customers,
end users, beneficiaries, partners, employees,
employees’ families, distributors, suppliers, and the
communities served) also make breakthroughs in their
most important Godly activities, both personal and

Some leaders may fear to assist in encouraging the
use of such powerful knowledge, even in a holy purpose,
being concerned that stakeholders will then be able, and
feel encouraged, to harmfully oppose the organization’s
best interests. Leaders who experience effective
opposition from stakeholders should instead realize that
they are learning an important lesson: They have set a
course in opposition to the best interests and concerns of
stakeholders. When that happens, leaders violate the
Golden Rule. Harmony follows from selecting a mutually
beneficial course that is blessed by God and acting
consistently with that intent, as a dependable, devoted
servant of those stakeholders.

When all stakeholders appreciate how anyone’s Godly
success is a cause for rejoicing by all others, there can be
no higher organizational goal than to enhance the ability
of the stakeholders to make their own righteous
breakthroughs. Here are some of the benefits that can
accrue to the organization in addition to pleasing God:

• Customers: greater benefits from purchasing the
organization’s offerings and more resources to make
• Customers’ customers: greater benefits from
purchasing the customers’ and the organization’s
offerings and more resources to make purchases
• End users: greater benefits from using the
customers’ customers’, customers’, and organization’s
offerings and more resources to use those offerings
• Beneficiaries: greater benefits from using the
customers’ customers’, customers’, and organization’s
offerings and more capabilities to make good use of
those offerings
• Partners: greater benefits from working with the
organization and a greater ability to add value to both
the organization and to its many stakeholders
• Employees: greater benefits from working for the
organization and a greater ability to add value to the
organization and all of its stakeholders
• Employees’ families: greater benefits from being
related to the employee and a greater ability to live
happily and in peace with the employee
• Distributors: greater availability of the organization’s
offerings and better support for those who obtain the
organization’s resources and offerings from the
• Suppliers: greater profits from selling to the
organization and in serving other of the suppliers’
• Communities served: greater health, happiness,
peace, and prosperity while living in closer cooperation
with other people

An organization that has mastered creating righteous
breakthroughs is in a good position to make learning
how to make similar breakthroughs much easier for its
stakeholders. Many of its experiences and resources and
much of its knowledge can be directly helpful to
stakeholders. In addition, many experiences and
resources and much of its knowledge can be adapted to
be helpful to stakeholders.

How should the organization begin to lead stakeholders
toward their own righteous breakthroughs? There is
probably no single answer that is right for all
organizations. Organizations with effective leaders may,
in fact, be able to engage in outreach efforts to several
stakeholder groups at the same time.

In considering what to do first, I especially encourage
organizational leaders to keep in mind the obvious
advantages of making its employees and their families
early focuses. These stakeholders are more vulnerable
to having their Godly interests not be considered and
honored enough. In some organizations today, employee
workloads effectively keep families apart too much,
leading to much pain and sorrow. When employees are
more fruitful, they don’t need to work as many hours
and can usually arrange more flexible schedules.

Employees are then able to spend more time with their
families and pay more attention to being considerate of
family members. Some employees also work with many
of the organization’s stakeholders. Once employees have
developed skill and experience in 2,000 percent
solutions, they can be a large and tremendous resource
for assisting other stakeholders to do the same.

Employees’ families can use righteous breakthroughs
that they create to solve their own problems and those
of their friends and neighbors. When that happens,
employees enjoy benefits from such improvements. In
some cases, family members will also make righteous
breakthroughs in ways to help the employee live a more
fulfilled life with the family. When that happens, the
organization is likely to attract and retain employees
who will be more effective and have greater potential to
create even more righteous breakthroughs.

Copyright 2010 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , ,

Step Seven: Exemplify More Righteous Behavior in All Areas of Life

Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam
and the leaders of Judah, who were gathered together
in Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them,
“Thus says the LORD: ‘You have forsaken Me, and
therefore I also have left you in the hand of Shishak.’”
So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled
themselves; and they said, “The LORD is righteous.”
Now when the LORD saw that they humbled
themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah,
saying, “They have humbled themselves; therefore
I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some
deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on
Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.
— 2 Chronicles 12:5-7 (NKJV)

As 2 Chronicles 12:5-7 demonstrates, in addition to
focusing on making breakthroughs, leaders also set the
organizational tone, either for faith or unbelief, either
for righteousness or sin, and either for humility or pride.
Without care, some leaders whose organizations and
stakeholders gain benefits from many righteous
breakthroughs may believe that they are the source of
the fruitfulness, rather than God. Consider also this
complementary observation: The more righteous
breakthroughs that occur under a leader, the greater
the hand that God has played in those achievements
through supernatural intervention and guidance from
the Holy Spirit.

God is not going to bless an organization and its
stakeholders with the fullest dimensions of
breakthrough solutions if the leader is unbelieving,
unrighteous, or prideful. Consider the experience of
the Hebrews as they approached the Promised Land
knowing that they were destined to possess it with
God’s help:

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
“Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am
giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their
fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among
them.” (Numbers 13:1-2, NKJV)

When ten of the twelve leaders reported that the land
was desirable but that its occupants were terrifying
enemies, the people revolted and refused to enter
Canaan. After Moses intervened with God about their
unbelief, God sentenced the unbelievers to spend forty
years in the desert until all were dead before the
Hebrews would be allowed to enter the Promised Land.
Only Joshua and Caleb, the two believing and faithful
leaders who enthusiastically advised immediate entry
into Canaan, were permitted to go there before they

As you can see from this example, organizations and
their stakeholders are very easily influenced by the
example, good or bad, of the organizational leader.
Such leaders need to be sure that they both behave
righteously and also are seen to be behaving
righteously. Here are some examples of righteous
leadership that many organizational leaders would do
well to consider and apply:

• Exemplify having a pure heart towards serving the
• Praise God for His bounty in blessing the
organization and its stakeholders during ceremonies
of thanksgiving.
• Disclose sins and mistakes that the organizational
leader has made, publicly repent of those errors, and
ask forgiveness from God, the organization, and its
• Ask people in and out of the organization to suggest
ways that the organizational leader can substantially
improve in personal and professional righteousness.
• Show faith by directing activities that are clearly
intended to make righteously fruitful breakthroughs.
• Teach classes for employees concerning how to
behave in more righteous ways.
• Establish organizational processes to make it easier
for employees to find out when they have either not
acted righteously or appear not to have done so.
• Seek advice from stakeholders on how the organization
can be more righteous.
• Encourage stakeholders to behave more righteously by
sharing the organization’s values and praising
stakeholders when they behave righteously.
• Select and promote the interests of stakeholders in
part based on the purity of their hearts in serving the
• Seek comments from the organization’s most severe
critics on how to improve in righteous performance
and seriously investigate what can be done to make
needed changes.
• Avoid influencing legislation and regulation in ways that
will be harmful to any stakeholders.
• Try to reconcile with stakeholders when disputes arise
rather than using scorched-earth legal tactics.
• Show contrition and concern, and speed help to those
the organization has harmed.
• Be responsible in doing the righteous thing even at
times when no one will ever know the difference.

Copyright Donald W. Mitchell 2010, All Rights Reserved.

Labels: , ,