Ransom Note

Steve asked, “Would you like to make 5X the revenue this year than you did last year?”

“Well, yeah,” Tom answered.

“No, really. Do you really want to do that?” Steve replied.

“Yes, I do.”

“Well, how are you doing to do it?”

Tom started thinking and after a few moments, Steve asked the real question:

“Tom, if your wife and your daughter were kidnapped and you got a ransom note and it said if you don’t increase your revenue 5X in the next 12 months, you’ll never see them again, what would you do?”

I heard Tom Ziglar recount this conversation with his friend, Steve McKnight. It’s one of the best “blue-sky” questions I’ve heard in a while. Hopefully you can quickly translate this into your context.

What if you got the proverbial “ransom note” demanding a 5-fold increase to what you are doing?

Insert whatever you’d like: size, budget, leaders. Obviously, a 5X increase in one area quickly starts to touch a lot of other areas. For instance, if the congregation grew 5X in number, how would affect the elder team? What would it mean for your leadership development plan to handle 5X the growth? What would it mean for your current building? What would it mean for your schedule?

You might be thinking this is just a district rep trying to boost production. Yep, it sure is. I want to see more in-breaking of the kingdom around me. I want what I do to have a bigger, lasting impact. Don’t you?

Actually, an illustration of 5X is paltry compared the numbers Jesus threw around in his illustrations. He said the seed has the power to produce 30-fold, 60-fold, and 100-fold (Mark 4:8)  You realize 100-fold means a 10,000% increase. I’ve never seen anything like that on my quarterly mutual fund statements! I think getting our head around what 5X would look like, stretches our imagination enough, so let’s start there.

I can think of 3 reasons I love this ransom note scenario:
  1. That’s the type of question that takes everything off the table that’s sacred.
  2. That’s the type of question that busts up tiny, normal thinking and opens up thinking big.
  3. That’s the type of question that gets you thinking beyond just what you can do, because you’re going to need help doing some this big.
When all that matters is the saving of lives dear to us, there are no sacred cows. We’re willing to do anything. We’re willing to risk everything.

What would you do?

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