The Principle of Who What

GUEST BLOGGER: Today’s guest post comes from Help Staff Me and Vanderbloemen Search Group who united in January 2011, in an effort to serve the church with all their staffing needs.

The Principle of Who What

I love dreaming, and I love being around dreamers. It’s electric to be in a room with someone who is challenged and charged by a vision far bigger than he can accomplish on his own. I’m energized by these people and their dreams, and I love the challenge of figuring out how to make them happen.

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know that matters.” I believe this is true, but I think it should be taken a step further. It’s not what you know, or who you know, but it is knowing who knows what.

When I hear a dream, I don’t think, “What should happen next?” I’ve learned to ask, “Who knows what it takes to make this happen?” With this perspective about the way dreams are fulfilled, I’ve made it a habit to build a strong database of leaders, vendors, friends, and colleagues who can make dreams happen.

How do you apply the Who-What Principle? It’s simple: Start keeping track of everyone you meet. To be a true dreamreleaser, you’ll need to stop just relying on your memory to keep track of people. Here are the 4 questions to identify people who can make dreams come true:

1. What industry are they in? (Such as marketing, leadership consulting, construction, missions, curriculum development, media, team building, etc.)

2. What niche or expertise do they have in that industry? (For instance, one person may be experienced and gifted in marketing a sermon series, but another can help you craft and market a book.)

3. Who referred this person to you? (How well does the referral source know this person? Is there a long and successful working relationship? Are there any red or yellow flags?)

4. What success have they had? (How has the person helped others fulfill dreams similar to yours?)

We often say that ministry is all about relationships. That’s also true when we construct a team to fulfill the dreams God has given us. The who is every bit as important as the what.

  • Great thoughts. I really enjoyed reading the 4 questions and will look at them the next time I look for team members.


  • Great post.

  • Thanks for letting me guest post Scott. I hope it is helpful to your readers.

  • Kelly Weinberg

    Great post Justin! I’m glad I not only know you, but I’m related to you. Hopefully this means all of the dreams God has given me will come true someday!! Afterall you’re the connection KING! Lol! 🙂

  • Justin,

    Thanks for the post bro!

    I started my ministry experience in Wyoming & Montana, which aren’t at the center of “What’s current” by any stretch of the imagination. This was no more glaring then when Harvest became a multi-site. I spent a great deal of effort and time finding out “WHO knows WHAT” and connecting with them. These connections were instrumental in Harvest’s success as a multi-site church.

    Also, it was through the “WHO knows WHAT” that I was able to connect with Crull Chambless, who is now Harvest’s Executive Pastor, as well as making the connection with Cross Point and my recent joining of their staff.

    It would not be economical or good stewardship for a church to add a staff position to cover every potential need that may arise. But if the staff made the effort to know “WHO knows WHAT”, they can tackle any issue as it arises.

    Excellent post!


    • Willy,

      Thanks for the comment. Excited about what you are doing now at Cross Point.

  • Excited for you and Will and the partnership Justin! Both of you guys are a great resource for the ever expanding needs of the church.

    Anyone who reads this, I highly recommend Justin and Will. I know Justin personally and his desire is to see you and your church succeed.

    Blessing to you all in 2011 and the new adventure!

  • Well done, Justin. I believe the intentionality of this approach is the critical ingredient that ensures its success. Personally, I often rely too heavily on my memory… which, as you aptly point out, is not advisable.

    I especially like the “who knows what it takes to make this happen” question… great insight.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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