Why Paradigm-Shifting Can Be a Very Good Thing for Leaders


Is this an overwrought phrase in American business culture? Sometimes it seems we find a concept or phrase, try it out, then use it until we use it up.

But this time it seems to fit. At least for me today.

A paradigm is often defined as a “framework” that has written and unwritten rules and when followed, often directs actions and policies, and always has observable results.

My paradigm in this case, was to begin writing a Leadership blog 25 weeks ago from a fixed mindset regarding my potential audience. I hoped to put to paper (cyber-paper in this case) my thoughts on a career’s worth of leadership in academia and the media world. During the past six months, we’ve explored the how’s and why’s of leadership:

· Delegators to Disruptors

· Narcissists to Learners and Imposters

· Liars and Blamers

But I studiously avoided expressing who I am, fully. Oprah might chide me for not following “my truth.” In truth, I’ve written as clearly, honestly and as authentically as I could, with one exception: I haven’t allowed the most important voice in life to be fully included.

As a man of faith, a follower of Jesus Christ, there have been moments I’ve obfuscated deeper insights in an effort to not offend.

We live in a world where it seems everyone offends everyone else — most of the time. I had hoped that by being non-offensive on the religious metric I would attract a larger and broader audience of leaders.

This past Sunday that all changed for me.

During the pandemic, my wife and I have “attended” the Brooklyn Tabernacle — a church with whom we’ve had a long and loving relationship since I first produced full-length TV specials of their famed choir with powerful personal stories of singers and parishioners. Last week, Pastor Jim Cymbala’s Advent Season sermon focused on the sent nature of the Messiah. Over 30 times in the New Testament, Pastor Jim told us, Jesus refers to himself as being “sent” to the world.

The application was instant and easy. Even the most obtuse Millennial among us could have connected those dots: To whom are you sent and for what purpose?

You’re reading the personal application for me. I want to focus my attentions in this space to writing for a clearer more targeted group of leaders: those whose work is directed and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit but who may need a little encouragement, perhaps a few insights, along the way. And also those for whom a life of faith may be something to explore in a more relevant and practical way.

I don’t plan to write only to pastors or church leaders. I am neither. But I do believe God has called each of us (“sent” us) to be leaders — read: influencers — in whatever sphere we find ourselves. This space will continue to be focused on the failures and successes of leaders. But it will not shy away from adding a clear biblical element to the recommended prescriptions for healthy leadership.

After all, a few weeks ago I advocated for leaders to find a True North, an absolute Truth from which to guide their values, behaviors and enterprises. As a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that He is that TRUTH.

If you’ve read this far and are not a religious or faith person, thank you. I hope you’ll stick around for the rest of the journey, wherever all it takes us. Look. Truth is truth. And I hope you’ll read it applied to situations and issues that make sense to you. And in ways you can incorporate.

Norm Mintle