Start-Up Nation – Israel’s Economic Miracle

In the midst of the chaos of the Middle East, there’s a remarkable story of innovation in Israel. How is it that a country of 7.1 million people, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources – produces more start up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK?

The new Israeli start up company MUV has officially launched Bird – the revolutionary wearable device that makes any space interactive. Check out this 90 second promo video.

The book Start-Up Nation shows that there are lessons in Israel’s example that will assist individuals seeking to build a thriving organisation. It’s also a great place to look for new ideas and partnerships.


Essentially Biblical Entrepreneurs are stewards of God’s resources to serve God’s people and further His Kingdom on earth.

One of the objectives of business is to generate wealth. It is not the purpose of business just one of the objectives.

CPi Terms of sale p2053

God has given each one of us talents in the form of skills, gifts and treasures based on our abilities.  The Parable of the Talents is our core scripture – Matthew 25:14-30

We have a responsibility to exercise wise stewardship over those talents God has given us through trade, and whenever there is trade, there must be a profit. Moreover, profit is the fruit of good stewardship not the reward. Your talents were God given so the profit is His. The reward of your stewardship is increased responsibility and you enter into the joy of the Lord – the ultimate fulfillment.

Each of us will receive both natural and eternal rewards if we have traded our talents profitably and the reward is the same despite the number of talents we start out with (5 talents, two talents or one talent).

It is important to remember that God’s economy rewards the fruitful/faithful servant and punishes the lazy/wicked servant. It is sobering to know that God considers those that do not use (hide) their talents wicked and lazy.  God’s economy is not fair; it is just. Matthew 25:29.

If the profit is not ours then what does God want us to do with it?     1.  Provision for  a time of lack.                                                                                      2.  Reinvest in the business, to grow it, so you can serve more people.                                                                                                                                      3.  Fulfill God’s covenant as outlined in Matthew 25:31, James 2: 14-17 and Deuteronomy 8:18:  Feed the hungry, Give drink to the thirsty, Take in the stranger, Clothe the naked, Heal the sick, Visit those in prison.

Fear is often the root cause of poor stewardship of the talents God has given us. Matthew 25:24-25 and Matthew 10:28

PRINCIPLES OF GOD’S ECONOMY                                                                       WEALTH = Save + Reinvest + God’s Covenant                                                 ASSETS = Gifts + Skills + Ideas + Treasures + Relationships                     TRADE = Give + Work + Productivity + Business                                             PROFIT = Fruitfulness + Increase


Empower people and unlock productivity

Empowering people is such a key to unlocking productivity, yet so few do it well. Bill George of Harvard asks the question for Huffington Post.Rowing eights

 “Where is the spiritual value in rowing? It is in losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew.” — George Yeoman Pocock, boat builder, 1936 Olympic gold medal winner

Stepping into a Zappos Call Center is like walking into a circus. Phones ring, voices rise, and laughter bounces around the room. If you closed your eyes, you’d think you’d entered a loud family reunion, not a billion dollar company.

Zappos employees work in a fiercely proud culture. Only 16 years after founding Zappos, CEO Tony Hsieh has made the online shoe-retailer into one of best places to work in the world. Zappos employees not only love their work, they care deeply about others in the community.

How did Hsieh do it? He did it by empowering his employees to lead. In Eyewitness to Power, David Gergen writes, “At the heart of leadership is the leader’s relationship with followers. People will entrust their hopes and dreams to another person only if they think the other is a reliable vessel.”

There was a time when leaders thought their role was to exert power over others. No longer, today’s best leaders — people like Ford’s Alan Mulally, General Motors’ Mary Barra, and Google’s Larry Page — recognize their leadership is most effective when they empower others to step up and lead. That’s exactly what the new generation of Gen X and Millennials expect from their leaders, and they respond with great performance.

Tony Hsieh focuses on relationships first and business second. In good times and bad, Hsieh’s communications are authentic, funny, and informal. He speaks directly and personally to his colleagues. As Hsieh says, “if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff…will just happen naturally.”

Hsieh reflects traits of an “empowering leader.” These leaders have discovered that helping people find purpose delivers superior results than forcing subordinates to be loyal followers. By giving others the latitude to lead, they expand their own potential impact.

So, how can you empower others? In Discover Your True North, I profile five things great leaders do.

  1. Treat Others as Equals: We respect people who treat us as equals. Warren Buffett, for example, gives equal attention to every person he meets. He has the same sandwich and Cherry Coke combination with a group of wide-eyed students as he does with his close friend Bill Gates. Buffett does not rely upon his image to make people feel he is important or powerful. He genuinely respects others, and they respect him as much for those qualities as for his investment prowess. By being authentic in his interactions, Buffett empowers people to lead in their own authentic way.
  2. Listen Actively: We are grateful when people genuinely listen to us. Active listening is one of the most important abilities of empowering leaders, because people sense such individuals are genuinely interested in them and not just trying to get something. The leadership scholar Warren Bennis was an example of a world-class listener. He patiently listened as you explained your ideas and then thoughtfully contributed astute observations that came from a deep well of wisdom and experience.
  3. Learn from People: We feel respected when others believe they can learn from us or ask for our advice. The best advice I ever got about teaching came from my Harvard Business School (HBS) colleague Paul Marshall, who was one of HBS’s greatest teachers. He told me, “Bill, don’t ever set foot in an HBS classroom unless you genuinely want to learn from the students.” I have taken his advice into every class I have taught for the past 12 years, telling MBA students and executives, “I feel certain I will learn a lot more from you than you do from me.” The students find that hard to believe at first, but they soon see how their feedback helps me understand how today’s leaders and MBA students think.
  4. Share Life Stories: When leaders are willing to be open and share their personal stories and vulnerabilities, people feel empowered to share their own stories and uncertainties in return. On Thanksgiving eve in 1996, I sent an e-mail to all Medtronic employees, expressing my gratitude for the support Penny and I received following her ordeal with breast cancer and chemotherapy. We were overwhelmed by the number of people who spontaneously shared their stories with us.
  5. Align around the Mission: The most empowering condition of all is when the entire organization aligns with its mission, and people’s passions and purpose synchronize with each other. It is not easy to get to this position, especially if the organization has a significant number of cynics or disgruntled people. Nonetheless, it is worth whatever effort it takes to create an aligned environment, including removal of those who don’t support the mission.

Leaders of every organization have an important responsibility to articulate how their company contributes to humankind. At Medtronic, our mission was to restore people to full health and wellness. At Disney, it’s to make people happy. Even at the most “boring” business-to-business company, the business can play a powerful role in improving the lives of its stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, and community.

With leadership comes responsibility. As Clayton Christensen wrote, “No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement.”

It’s time to lead authentically. You can do so by focusing on empowering others.

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