Tony: You recently released the book, “The Table of Influence.” What makes this a valuable tool for church leaders who may be “stuck?”
Jason: I often find that when a church is stuck, there is usually a leader who is also stuck. This turns into an unhealthy situation when not addressed. This book provides a practical pathway to identify types of people that can help, how to maximize your relationship with them, and then what to do with what you learn. Imagine creating a new and healthy rhythm in your leadership. When stuck, you often feel hopeless. I want leaders to know there is hope. The right people at the table of influence can change everything.
Tony: Why does every leader need a table of influence?
Jason: Life, when traveled alone, leads to isolation. Isolation never leads to deep and wide influence. If you want to become a healthy leader that influences others, you need the right voices in your life. This strategy enables and equips you to go further faster. If you read biographies of great leaders, you will find that they surrounded themselves with other leaders that both encouraged and challenged them. Surrounding yourself with the right voices will inevitably lead to making better decisions.
Tony: What are some of the dangers of inviting the wrong people to the table?
Jason: Destruction, hurt, confusion, and set back, both personally and professionally. I often find leaders reaching out to other leaders without full knowledge of their history, style, and perception. When we are in a deep place of need, our discernment can be skewed. Taking the time to vet a potential voice in your life is critical to your success. This can be done by researching him/her, asking others about this person, and asking yourself if what they potentially bring to the table is what you need from that particular style. We reflect who surrounds us.
Tony: What personal experiences led to your theory about relational influence?
Jason: I am a product of the right voices investing in my life. I have to come to realize that no singular person is an expert on everything. That is what I know. For me, this not theory. I recall reading an article in 1996 by Jim Collins and then hearing him talk in 2010 about the phrase “personal board of directors.” I never thought of it in that vernacular, but it made sense. However, the phrase, for me, was a little stiff and came with baggage. Therefore, as I thought about where I spend most of my time with the voices in my life, we always met around a table. In the book, I share with readers the most influential people in my life and the role they play.
Tony: Other than writing, what other projects are you currently working on?
Jason: I am spending more time consulting and speaking, both of which I love. I am also building new and unexpected brands that will serve as resources for leaders. In fact, one of those brands comes out of a great partnership with David C. Cook Publishing. Here is a tease – imagine if you could download conference notes in a free professionally designed PDF without ever having to attend! Look for Noteville to be revealed in October!
Jason equips leaders through speaking, consulting, coaching and writing. He has spent the last 15 years working in and alongside the local church, including LifeChurch.tv and First Baptist Church Woodstock. Jason also works with Ford, Chick-fil-A, The Fellowship, WinShape Camps and other like-minded companies. He uses his experience, higher-ed degrees, and training with Disney World to help both leaders and churches to find a healthy rhythm. You will also find him working as a ministry consultant with Tony Morgan.