2009 © Alexey Romanov. Image from

In the Harvard Business Review John Ashkenaz asks why it took a near-death experience for GM management to finally realize their ship was not just sinking but almost sunk. His answer is that GM executives were too close to the problem and couldn’t get far enough away to question their own ideas and strategies. He spotlighted Jack Welch’s (ex-CEO of GE) solution to this problem:

Jack Welch used to gather his senior executives together in January and tell them to act as though they had just been newly appointed to their jobs. What would they do differently if they were coming in to their business without preconceived notions and with a completely fresh perspective? It’s a powerful question, and one that most of us never ask ourselves.

How about Pastors and other Christian leaders doing the same thing this January. What would you do if you were starting afresh?

So here’s a thought-exercise you can do: First, take a deep breath and fire yourself. That’s right — take yourself out of your job so that you’ll get some distance from it.

Second, consider what you would do to reapply for your job [sub. ministry]. What are your qualifications? What would you say in an interview about the changes you would make and the improvements you would engineer? What unique “stamp” would you put on this new job [sub. ministry]?


Answering these questions candidly and constructively can not only help your business [sub. church] to thrive — it also can reenergize you for the coming year.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up re-hiring you.

  • Anonymous

    Most challenging and thought-provoking.