The first two sentences of an article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) shared a scandalously honest perspective on leadership and strategy—topics that migrate en masse from the business world to the church market.

Michael E. Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed wrote: "Much of the strategy and management advice that business leaders turn to is unreliable or impractical. That's because those who would guide us underestimate the power of chance."

To ensure their point cuts deep, they continue with even sharper words: "Gurus draw pointed lessons from companies whose outstanding results may be nothing more than random fluctuations. Executives speak proudly of corporate achievements that may be only lucky coincidences."

That view certainly won't pack the seats at leadership conferences. Imagine a keynote talk titled: "Honestly, We Were Lucky."

Raynor and Ahmed then offer research that points readers toward three rules for what to focus on—and what to not focus on—to achieve business success. ...

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