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The disciplines of disruption

| by Ken Gosnell

Disruption is happening in the marketplace. The new business reality is that customers want things done faster, better, quicker, and with less. This customer innovation demands that leaders find new ways to interact with products and processes. 

Defining disruption: Disruptive innovation is a term in the field of business administration which refers to an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products and alliances. 

Many great CEOs are also great disruptors. However, Jesus was the greatest disruptor of all time. Christian executives and business leaders would do well to follow the disruptive disciplines of the leader Jesus. 

Here are four disruptive disciplines that Jesus practiced.

1. Jesus practiced the disruptive discipline of challenging the status quo.

Jesus knew that there was a better way. He disturbed the religious leaders of the day challenging what they taught versus the actual words of the Bible. Many people did not like him, and yet the new patterns that Jesus created are still be followed thousands of years later. 

Every great disruptor must challenge the current way things are done. Every great invention has been created because someone dared to ask what if it could be done better. 

Disruptor CEO Elon Musk pointed to this disruptive discipline when he said, “I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

There is always a better way if we are bold enough to question the status quo to find a new path forward. 

2. Jesus practiced the disruptive discipline of calling rookies.

Disruptors have the ability to see what individuals in a certain field cannot see. Jesus did not priests and religious leader, but rather called marketplace people whom he wanted to become missionaries, preachers, and prophets. 

Liz Wiseman in her book Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Workwrites, “Not knowing perceived limits rookies to score more often, and it also allows them to score bigger gains.” 

Disruptive leaders are not deterred by people who have never done it before because they are looking for people who want to do it better than before. Disruptive leaders are not deterred by people who have never done it before because they are looking for people who want to do it better than before. 

In the business world disruption usually happens from a customer who wants to do something better or different than what is currently being offered. God always uses rookies to do things for great purposes. 

3. Jesus practiced the disruptive discipline of creating new models.

Disruption is about finding a new and better way. Wise business leaders should always be on the lookout for what can be done in a better way to serve the customers. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to show a better way for people to have a relationship with God. He was not content to stand by and watch the old way of doing things continue to progress. He disrupted human history and changed mankind and the world. 

Jesus came to give us a new commandment. John 13:34 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jesus came to go a new way. This is explained in Hebrews 10:19-22:

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 

Jesus came to get new results. He did things in his ministry that had never been done before. Matthew 8:27 records a statement about Jesus from his disciples. After he had completed a miracle of calming the storms while the disciples were in the boat they proclaimed, “The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’ ” 

4. Jesus practiced the disruptive discipline of committing to new beliefs.

Disruption does not happen without risk and total commitment. Disruptors are risk-takers who are willing to give everything in order for their vision to come to completion. Jesus did just that. His disruptive nature led him to sacrifice everything by going to the cross to create a new way for people to access God. 

That is why Jesus could tell the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:21, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 

Jesus wants to be the disruptor our lives so that He can create whole new lives in us. He believes that there is a better way. He believed it so much that He was willing to die on a cross so that the whole world could be saved. Find your beliefs and you will find your beginning. 

Disruption makes the difference in life and business. The future belongs to those that see the world in a new and different way. Eleanor Roosevelt reminded us that “the future belongs to those who in the beauty of their dreams.”

Photo source: istock 

Ken Gosnell

Ken Gosnell is CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience). CXP is a premier coaching and executive roundtable business that serves Christian CEOs in Washington DC, Maryland and Florida. Ken serves leaders by helping them and their teams to have great experiences that both transform the leader and their organizations to go further faster. He has worked with hundreds of CEOs and their leadership teams to enhance their strategic, operational and people accomplishments. He is a recognized author and member of the Forbes Coached Council. He is married to Shonda, and they have four children. 

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