CNLP 293: Jeff Henderson on Why Most Organizations are Narcissistic, the New Way to Do Customer Service and the Future of Business

If a business was a person, many businesses would be considered narcissists. And narcissism is bad for business. That’s what Jeff Henderson argues in his new book, Know What You’re FOR. With retail sales declining, a cynical spirit abounding, and many organizations struggling to make progress, how do you stand out?

Jeff Henderson shares a new approach that has helped him (and many others) gain traction in a crowded marketplace. Jeff walks you through how and why being less about yourself and being for your customer, your community, your team and even yourself can change everything in your organization.

Welcome to Episode 293 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Jeff Henderson | Twitter | Instagram | Know What You’re FOR

Episode Links

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Nearly every church leader I know is concerned with “closing the back door” at his or her church, but the “front door” is usually the bigger issue. To see growth, you need more new guests each year than your total average attendance on a Sunday. It takes intentionality to reach people outside the church and outside the faith. That’s where The Unstuck Group comes in. To hear more about Connexus Church’s experience working with The Unstuck Group or to learn more about their process, head to

Proverbs 31

CNLP 174: Jeff Henderson on the Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Your Church or Product and the Backstory to the #For Initiative

Jeff Henderson speaks

CNLP 263: Horst Schulze with Lessons from the Ritz-Carlton on Coaching the Best from a Team When You Can’t Pay Top Wages, What Guests Really Want, How to Satisfy a Customer and What to Do with Customer Complaints

CNLP 286: John Townsend on How to Rewire Your Brain to Stop the Negative Voices and the Relationships You Really Need as a Leader, and Probably Don’t Have

CNLP 182: Cheryl Bachelder on How to Turn Your Failure into Success, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen’s Meteoric Turnaround Decade, and How Servant Leadership Really Works

3 Insights from Jeff

1. If you want to grow your business, grow your people

One of the worst mistakes a business can make is being more for its business than it is for its people. Jeff learned this from Truett Cathy when he said, “I’m more interested in the business growing people than people growing the business.”

If you grow people, they’ll grow the business. One practical ways Jeff does this is he always asks his team members “how” they are doing, before he asks “what they are doing.” When he starts off a meeting by asking how his team is doing, they know that he cares about them, and then they are much more loyal to you and the company.

2. Most businesses are narcissistic

Google defines narcissism as “someone that has an excessive admiration about themselves.” Most businesses and brands on social media are always talking about what they are doing. They never talk about what is happening in their customer’s lives. This is dangerous, and is one of the primary things that will stunt growth.

We have to shift the spotlight from the business to the customer if we truly want to be known as for our customers. They want to know, “Are you noticing me?” Thriving organizations of the future will be more interested in becoming a fan of the customer instead of trying to convince the customer to become a fan of the organization.

3. The Church should be the most joyful place on the planet

Jeff tells his church this all the time: “I’ll let Disney World be the happiest place on Earth, but as for us, we want our church to be the most joyful place on the planet.” He tells them this becuase the Church nowadays is not thought of as a joyful place at all. It is thought of as somber and judgemental. We need to change that, but how?

Jeff’s team has learned that you have to have certain events on the calendar that are just fun events that add value to the volunteers on your team. He says: “As a church, we want to be joyful, because if what we believe is actually true, we have a lot of reasons to be joy-filled.” Jeff has learned that when he invests into his team, they will invest more into the members of the church.

Quotes from Episode 293

In today's world, doing good is good for business. @JeffHenderson Click To Tweet

If you grow people, they'll grow the business. @JeffHenderson Click To Tweet

People are more familiar with what the Church is against rather than what the Church is for.” @JeffHenderson Click To Tweet

Vision rarely repeated is quickly forgotten.” @JeffHenderson Click To Tweet

The more vision carriers you have, the more vision casters you have.” @JeffHenderson Click To Tweet

If you just show up and do what you said you were going to do, when you said you were going to do it, you're ahead of 98% of the population.” @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 293

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our new YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen. We’ll add select episodes to YouTube as time goes on.

Need a great speaker for your next event?

Introducing the Nieuwhof Speaking Team comprised of top leaders to bring dynamic insight, clarity and wisdom to your next gathering.

For years, Carey has spoken to leaders around the world about leadership, change and personal growth.  Today, we’re introducing a team of communicators who can bring just what you need to help your next event or conference be a complete success.

The Nieuwhof Speaking Team line up is:

Jenni Catron

Jeff Henderson

Rich Birch

Brad Lomenick

Toni Nieuwhof

Dillon Smith

To learn more or to book a speaking team member for your event, click here.

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Next Episode: Dee Ann Turner

Chick-fil-A may have invented the chicken sandwich, but it’s almost equally well-known for outstanding customer service. Dee Ann Turner, a long-time Chick-fil-A executive and vice president, explains how they got customer service to be a brand characteristic and how they replicated it among tens of thousands of often very young employees and legions of customers.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 294.

CNLP 293: Jeff Henderson on Why Most Organizations are Narcissistic, the New Way to Do Customer Service and the Future of Business


  1. Fieldworkhq on July 22, 2021 at 6:31 am

    Great thoughts and an interesting podcast, thanks! It seems to me that the future of business is in technology and software, which a business can use for its work, attracting customers and organizing its processes.

  2. Timberman Donald on October 3, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    I know this somewhat off the previous subject, but it is one of the issues deal with on a regular basis. What is the proper approach in dealing with people that always are needy, my heart breaks when it seem as though all my efforts are temporary for them. I’m talking about spiritual, physical, and emotional help. I’m not a pastor, just an elder in my church, I can’t seem to help them. I know that God will do the heavy lifting, but I need to know my part. Thanks, In Chris, Don

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