This week, Jenni Catron’s new book Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence, is out.
Jenni is executive director at Cross Point Church, a multi-site church in Nashville, Tennessee. I know Jenni from being on the blog team for the Global Leadership Summit, and she is super smart, an excellent writer, and understands leadership very well. She is a young leader that is worth paying attention to and learning from.
Her book focuses first on overcoming the seven clout killers of fear, comparison, jealousy, the scarcity mentality, insecurity, pride, and control. Then she focuses on the four clout cultivators of identify, confidence, mission, and passion.
This book will be helpful for anyone wanting to learn more about leadership because, first of all, it is filled with great insight and, second, the structure of the book is so easy to grasp. Knowing the 7 clout killers and 4 clout cultivators is a very helpful tool for navigating your leadership.
My favorite chapter is the one on the scarcity mentality. In my opinion, Jenni does an even better job unpacking this concept than Stephen Covey did, from whom I originally learned about this and whom I think first made that concept widely known.
Briefly, the scarcity mindset is the notion that life is a fixed pie—if someone else has more, then you have less. It keeps us from seeking the success of others, because it thinks that there is only “so much” to go around. Hence, the thinking goes, if you seek to help others succeed, you will be reducing your own potential for success.
But in reality, the opposite is true. We become more successful ourselves precisely by seeking the success of others. Great leaders have an abundance mentality, not a scarcity mentality. As Jack Welch has said, great leaders have “a generosity of spirit.” (This actually ties in to my forthcoming book very well, where I argue both from the Scriptures and the best business research that generosity is the key to success.)
Hence, though there are some things to learn from scarcity (this is one of the other notable features of this chapter — it was helpful to hear Jenni talk about her own experience with the scarcity mindset and some of the few good things we should learn from scarcity), letting scarcity be your dominant mindset is a definite clout-killer that we need to get rid of.
Here are some of the key quotes from the chapter:
When leaders manage from a position of scarcity, they create unhealthy environments for those they influence. Rather than focus on developing and investing in others, we focus on protecting and defending ourselves.
Stewarding our position is impossible from a position of scarcity because our actions are motivated by self-preservation.
When we gather rather than give, we erode our influence with others. We impair clout rather than earn it.
Scarcity also shows up in the words we don’t say. [We can] withhold good words [and be] quick to speak frustration or discouragement.
The real test of leadership and influence is when we’re willing to stand behind others and let them shine.
Generous leaders are contagious. Generosity multiplies our clout. Our God-given influence thrives and blesses others.