Recently, Forbes magazine and other tech magazines report that iPhone loyalty has gone down.

I’m no technology expert nor a leadership guru but I do have an observation I’d like to make.

This is the mistake we often make. When we build an organization around one leader, what happens when that charismatic, amazing, remarkable leader is gone?

But when we build an organization with dozens of amazing nameless leaders, the organization continues to grow without the one celebrity leader.

I realize that there are many reasons why an organization can take a downturn. But this is a major one.

This can be true with cellphone companies as it is true with ministries and churches.

That’s what we see in the book of Acts. The gospel continued to advance with ordinary people in the frontlines.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

Listen to what Jim Collins says in his book, Good to Great…

“…Our problem lies in the fact that our culture has fallen in love with the idea of the celebrity CEO. Charismatic egotists who swoop in to save companies grace the covers of major magazines because they are much more interesting to read and write about … This fuels the mistaken belief held by many directors that a high-profile, larger-than-life leader is required to make a company great. We keep putting people into positions of power who lack the inclination to become Level 5 leaders, and that is one key reason why so few companies ever make a sustained and verifiable shift from good to great.”

Ultimately, especially in a spiritual organization, there’s only one heroJESUS.

Something to think about …

Something to remember…

At the debriefing this evening, here were some of the reports that were very encouraging according to the team leaders.

1. RECEIVING TEAM (Tonie Aguilar)

“It was encouraging how God provided. There were moments when we were running out of canned goods and then someone tells us that carts of boxes are coming in filled with sardines. One time, we were low on supply of bottled water then 100 boxes would arrive.”

2. TRANSPORT (Emil Abello)

“People would walk in and volunteer their 4 x 4’s. They weren’t even from Victory or didn’t know anyone from Victory. It was cool how God would provide transportation. They wouldn’t even let us pay for the gasoline. They said, it was part of what they volunteered.”

3. DELIVERY (Miko Tangco)

“We were able to deliver relief packs to 12 areas which would include Taguig, Pasig, Caloocan, Quezon City, Marikina, Taytay, Cainta, Taytay… Since we had 376 volunteers, we were able to easily go in, drop the goods and go to the next area.”

4. VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT (Patrick Mercado)

“Ok naman kami…We were able to systematize the volunteer management. Since we had lots who came, we divided the time into one hour chunks. They would come in and sign up in the time they’d like to volunteer. This way, everyone had an opportunity to help out.”

5. PRAYER (Jonathan Camcam)

“This became the power source and lifeline of the whole relief ops. We were so inspired to keep praying and worshipping because we would get reports that when supplies were low, God would pull through with His provision. Glory!!!”

6. COMMUNICATIONS (Ramir Mallari)

“We had our volunteers in the communications department also out on the field. Many of them were our volunteer photographers who documented the delivery so that we can properly appreciate and thank all who donated.”

7. RELEASING (Elain Ojeda)

“We were able to deploy 10 teams. At the end of the day, we were able to release and deliver 6130 relief packs, not including the few hundreds that were picked up by the Taytay team.”

8. STORAGE/NON-FOOD ITEMS (Weena Tusoy)

“We had a family who apologized and said that they couldn’t come earlier to donate. The reason they couldn’t come earlier was because their house too was flooded. After they were able to leave their house, they went straight to Every Nation building to donate. It’s amazing that they didn’t think about themselves first but the others whom they could help.”

9. ADMIN SUPPORT (Mae Perez)

“People have been generously been donating even online and through cash gifts. God continues to provide. I also stepped in the Worship and Prayer room and I wasn’t even there 2 minutes and I was already in tears because the presence of God was so thick.”

The testimonies go on and on and on and on and on. This post won’t be enough to tell you all that God has done.

To the rest of the team, you know who you are. Thank you thank you thank you.

To Mark Tusoy who had an egg eating contest with some of the volunteers on the side, that was insanely funny.

Our job’s not done but I know that with God’s grace, we will be able to continue what we’ve started.

Oh, one last thing, to our Operations Coordinator, Dennis Isleta, who has been ever so tireless, hardworking and organized … bro, YOU ARE THE MAN!!! Grabe ka. Astig na, angat pa.

Got a chance to sit down with Keith Deloria, our pastor from Ilo Ilo who is doing a phenomenal job.  Our topic?  “Your only as good as your team.”

It’s unfortunate sometimes that the leader is the only one that gets the credit when none of the achievements can really be realized without the team.

I got the chance to catch the last 2 quarters of game 4 of the PBA finals (Alaska vs. Purefoods).  Tim Cone is now a legend.  He has won 12 championship rings for Alaska and that’s such a difficult feat to achieve.  An awesome coach but this past championship series was a disappointment for him, I’m sure.

On the other hand, the young mentor of Purefoods, Ryan Gregorio looked really, really good.  How come?  Not only because they won the championship, but his whole team pitched in and stepped up… as in everyone.  From Caneleta to Kerby, J.Yap to R.Yap, Maierhofer to MarcPing, Artadi to Allado.  His team made him look good.

At the end of the day, it really isn’t JUST about the coach.  In fact, the coach is only as good as his team.

We have too many leaders with “messianic complex” and with an “all-star attitude.”

There’s no “I” in the word team.  Remember, it takes five to complete your starting line up.

Leadership lesson moment with Keith – “You’re only as good as your team.”

What the team does, the team accomplishes…

We met this morning to continue our strategic planning for discipleship.  I am privileged to work with brilliant men and women.

Working with these guys taught me one important lesson – I am not necessarily the smartest person in the room.  I just happen to be the leader.

I’ve always known this (the not the smartest guy in the room part) but consistently finding out and appreciating the wisdom in the room is such an awesome honor.

Mae “Cutie” Perez – who is so brilliant with volunteer management.  She makes Jimmy Carter feel like 4 feet tall with her volunteer management prowess.

Dennis “Action Man” Isleta – who is such a soldier in the kingdom of God who is both a leader and a servant.  He makes Norman Swarzkopf pee in his pants.

Jun “the Doc” Aguilar – who is the master at raising future leaders from scratch.  John Welch wouldn’t even think twice getting this guy in his team.

Crickette “Cookie” Abello – who is the best with details and organization.  The next president of the Philippines should actually get her as press secretary cum presidential chief of staff cum executive secretary.  She can run the nation when the president is out of the country.

Bernard “Mr. Ideation” Marquez – who is amazing at what he does in Pastoral Services that Dr. Phil will want to seek counseling from him.

Carlos “the deliberative consultant” – who often stands as the devil’s advocate (sorry for the term).  But he is good at what he does.  I wouldn’t be surprised if McKinsey & Co. pirates him but they won’t be able to afford him.  They don’t have Old Vine and Gelato.

LA “the small pox” Mumar – who is now on loan because he is on route to planting a new church in Makati.  He is always a welcome voice to the discussion because he is a ‘young veteran’.  While he is still young, he has had so much experience in ministry since he’s been serving since he was 12 or 13 years old.

Of course, our senior pastor – Joey “the grand master” Bonifacio who trailblazes for all of us.  Integrity. Character. Leadership. Strategic. These are some words that I know will describe him.  We are blessed to have him leading all of us.

Then there’s Robert, Rich, Junjin, Jonathan, Manny, Ramir, Klaris, Gabby, Onie, Ganns, Marge, Mich, Mark, Christian, Dan, …. (hope I didn’t miss anyone)

Team!  I know I’m not the smartest person.  I simply am the leader.