Leadership Today
Reflections from Good to Great and Beyond Great, part 7


Transformation -- the Essence of Beyond Great

Transformation holds promise of great things, but we also recognize that it implies change.  For most of us, change can be uncomfortable, if not downright traumatic. 
Before we move on, let’s take a minute to review the implications of change.
Change and its challenges are addressed by many experts.  There are many books that teach about “change management.”  Consultants and “change gurus” always seem to have a lot of business. 
Change has been a full-time part of business in recent decades. It demands high levels of attention in most companies.  Even though we have tools, processes and resources to help us navigate change, it still can lead to chaotic times within our companies.
There is a paradox associated with change. We want to drive toward improvement, right?
It may simply be improvement in the financial success of the company.
It may be improvement in market penetration, quality, customer retention and/or satisfaction, and so on. 
If you ask any business audience questions like the following (and we do frequently), you will always get positive responses:
·         Is there anything that you would like to see improved in this operation?
(Everyone working in organizations can pinpoint some items that need improvement. It never fails.)
·         If you could improve those items immediately, would that be good? Would you be pleased?
(The reaction to potential improvement is always positive.  If we can be better, we want to be better. It is logical. Our reaction is very positive to improvement.)
Improvement is desirable. Next time, we will examine the "paradox" and its implications.
Thanks,

Larry Meeker
President, Advanced Team Concepts

 

 

Reflections from Good to Great and Beyond Great, part 6

From Pain to Significance

We have been talking about "man's search for significance." We continue the discussion today. You might, at the same time, ask yourself some questions for reflection.

What evidence have you seen and experienced in your life related to your desire for purpose?
If you have experienced, or are experiencing, a longing to do something significant, how have you tried to fulfill it to-date? What has that been like? What has worked and/or not worked?
Have you ever imagined that your business might be a vehicle to accomplish things of eternal impact? How might that be?
We have mentioned that we are talking about more than simply a change. It is more of a transformation. Last time we mentioned that professionals sometimes make conscious, positive choices to leave one career and enter another into which they fill called.
The stories of transformation are not always launched from pleasant platforms of success. For some of us, the motivation arises more from a platform of pain.
Untold numbers of business leaders and professionals get caught up in the spiral described by Chuck Swindoll in the previous post. They often end up in a lot of pain—business failures (such as Enron a few years ago), broken homes, severed relationships, losses and tears.
Regardless of which direction they come at it from, whether from riches/fame or pain/struggles, individuals often begin to search for more in life. In the process, some of them are discovering how to serve.
Through the lens of service, they are making significant contributions.
In Rick Warren’s fabulously successful best seller, The Purpose Driven Life[1], the first sentence of Chapter One nails the answer. It is through discovering that “It is not about you.” 
Warren points out the fallacies of following all of the “self-help” books on success. They tell you to aim high, work hard, be disciplined, believe in yourself and never give up. Rick points out, “Of course, these recommendations often lead to great success. You can usually succeed in reaching a goal if you put your mind to it. But being successful and fulfilling your life’s purpose are not at all the same issue! You could reach all your personal goals, becoming a raving success by the world’s standard, and still miss the purposes for which God created you.”
Beyond Great is about discovering what the higher level purposes are for you and your organization or company. 
  • It is not about leaving your company to pursue another direction. 
  • It is about finding and living out something of meaning in the context of running your business. 
 Beyond Great is about transformation that can enable you and your enterprise to stretch toward significance, meaning and eternal impact.
Many thanks for your interest,

Larry Meeker
President, Advanced Team Concepts

 


[1] Richard Warren, The Purpose Driven Life:  What on Earth Am I Here for? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002).

 

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