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

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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.

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

Nobody visits a church these days without first visiting the website. But, is your website appealing? Is it updated? A good website will directly impact your church visitors and online ministry. This month, listeners of  The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast can receive a launch special from ProWebFire of up to 30% off for LIFE depending on the plan. That is no upfront website development fee and up to 30% off for life on the plans, only until October 31st. Go to to learn more.

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

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Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode 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.

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  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
  • You can see the issue but aren't confident in what to do about it.

And with another Sunday morning coming up, it'll just have to wait until next week when you have a few minutes to figure it out.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.