Book Review Disruptive Thinking by T.D. Jakes

Imagine a world where every obstacle becomes an opportunity, and every challenge is an invitation to create positive change. T.D. Jakes’ insightful new book, Disruptive Thinking: A Daring Strategy to Change How We Live, Lead, and Love, takes us on an enlightening journey through the art and science of bold innovation and transformation. 

This isn’t just another self-help book; it’s a rallying cry to motivate and equip anyone who wants to make a meaningful impact on the world. Disruptive Thinking will challenge you to move beyond arguments into a realm of proactive problem-solving. So, buckle up and get ready to re-evaluate how you approach life, leadership, and love!

As I dove into the first pages of my first T.D. Jakes book—he’s written 35 so far!—I found myself wondering why I hadn’t discovered Jakes sooner. I mean, I was highlighting passages in the preface because they resonated so deeply. For example:

Book Cover Disruptive Thinking by T.D. Jakes
Disruptive Thinking

"The older we get, the longer we live, the more we realize that we are born looking like our PARENTS, but we die looking like our DECISIONS."

Profound, right? I’ve gone from someone who had “heard of” but never read or listened to T.D. Jakes to someone who is a huge fan. If you’re wondering if I’ve been living under a rock, I don’t blame you. He’s amazing! If you are as unfamiliar as I was, allow me to introduce you to a world-renowned disruptor who has successfully impacted tens of millions of lives: T.D. Jakes.

According to his website, “Jakes is a real estate mogul, New York Times bestselling author, pioneering CEO and entrepreneur, global humanitarian, and a devoted philanthropist who serves communities worldwide.” Here is a brief video to introduce his latest book:

Image of someone walking down a flight of stairs. Words "All ideas grow out of other ideas. —Anish Kapoor" overlaid on stairs.

T.D. Jakes is a man of deep faith whose intentional actions and profound sense of purpose have already had tremendous positive and lasting impact in the world, and with this book, he shares a lot of hard-earned wisdom and leadership “truth bombs” for our benefit.

A Book for All, Especially Entrepreneurs of Faith

When I read a book by someone who doesn’t look like me, I am exposed to amazing people many of whom I’ve not heard previously. This is one way I expand my worldview and appreciation of people with different lived experiences. It’s important that White leaders must make a conscious effort to read nonfiction books written by leaders of color. It’s how we grow.

In this book, almost every example of greatness is a person of color—and not just men! It was refreshing to read so many stories of amazing people who overcame odds, disrupted expectations, and impacted so many lives.

Disruptive Thinking is divided into twelve chapters covering everything from what disruption is and why we need it now to why a person may choose to disrupt and why it’s so hard. He also covers the importance of partnerships, collaborations, and alliances—which I found to be profound on many levels. The book concludes with a few chapters where he explores how to have a healthy relationship with a disruptor whether they be staff, life partner, or offspring. 

Excited Black woman using laptop

The Power of Stories: Lessons from Disruptors

There’s an important section following Jakes’ conclusion entitled “Disruptive Thinking Essays” in which numerous disruptors share their personal experiences effecting big change and how it impacted their lives—personally and professionally. Honestly, the essays are a GIFT because they offer true insight into how disruption is, well, disruptive!

The essays serve as evidence that (1) disruption by a single person can have tremendous impact; (2) there are all kinds of consequences of disruption, so be prepared; and (3) every single writer shares how “worth it” the work was. 

One of my favorite insights in this section is from Nona Jones, the head of global faith-based partnerships at Meta. She concluded her story with this important statement:

"I am not willing to shrink my purpose down so that it fits within the too-small confines of other people's opinions. Disruption not only changes your situation; it also changes the composition of the supporting cast in your life. And, though painful in the moment, it is always for the better."

Her story really resonated with me, because in my life, my “supporting cast” has changed multiple times. It was hard when it happened, and sometimes I still mourn the losses. This is a good reminder to keep things in perspective, because loss is a fact of life for disruptors and innovators. 

The Path to Transformation is clear

As I stated earlier, I found the section on partnerships, collaborations, and alliances especially insightful. Jakes explains in no uncertain terms that disruptive work requires humility and a willingness to listen, learn, and maybe even evolve.

Two people shaking hands

Here are some of my favorite quotes from this section: 

  • “Just because you’re a disruptive thinker, that doesn’t mean you have all the components to complete the assignment…We have to be disruptive enough to put ego to the side, which will enable us to find partners who bring substance to the table that can accessorize our limitations” (p. 49).

  • “New people are beneficial only if you are willing to consider new methods that might provide improved results” (p. 54).

  • “We cannot benefit from alliances if we aren’t willing to be altered by them. Change is imminent” (p. 55).

  • “None of us steps into a new situation with all the knowledge we will need to thrive. We’re going to have to figure some stuff out. One of the best ways of doing that is to observe everything. Assume nothing” (p. 59).

  • “The effectiveness of the alliance depends on your ability to observe the other, understand them, appreciate them, and learn how to communicate with them. Observation is key. It doesn’t always come naturally, but it is critical. It must be combined with communication. Communication without observation can lead to some wrong-headed conclusions, as does observation without communication. You might notice something, but you still have to discuss it to really understand what it means” (p. 56).

And that’s just some of the sentences I highlighted and starred in my hard copy. This book is PACKED with practical, actionable advice that will make transformational leadershp way less painful than it would be otherwise. 
 
T.D. Jakes has outlined a clear path to transformation that requires observation, communication, and integration. He argues that you can’t get to transformation without integration, and you can’t get to integration without clear communication about your observations since observations alone might not paint an accurate picture. To quote my favorite author, “Clear is kind. Unclear is Unkind.” Brené Brown. 

Conclusion

I wholeheartedly recommend Disruptive Thinking  to anyone seeking to unlock their potential and create lasting, positive change in their lives and communities. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader, or an individual striving to grow, this book will equip you with the tools and mindset needed to transcend limitations, redefine possibilities, and step boldly into the transformative power of disruptive thinking. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Handshake photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash
“All Ideas…” photo by CJ Dayrit on Unsplash 
Black woman having an idea photo by Monstera on Pexels