Leadership Today
Reflections from Good to Great and Beyond Great, part 15


We have talked about the two pieces of transformation—personal and corporate. There is logic to it. After all, a company is a collection of individuals. Organizations reflect the beliefs of their members, particularly their leaders.

The issue of personal transformation is the correct place to begin. As leaders, we cannot expect to guide transformation through an organization without having our own heart in the right place. 
 
On the surface, corporate transformation sounds fairly straightforward—bringing about positive change in the company. You may have already led your company through a range of changes. Some changes likely had positive impact. 
 
This one may be a little more daunting. It requires our transformation in order to begin.
 
History provides inspiring examples of personal transformation. One example in the spotlight now is John Newton. A movie released early in 2007, Amazing Grace, focuses on issues related to the times and circumstances that surrounded the transformation that Newton experienced.  
 
Newton was an Englishman who operated a slave ship in the 1700’s. His business was very unsavory—the selling of human beings into slavery. He described himself as a person without any boundaries or controls in his life. 
 
During one of his slave trading journeys, a terrible storm developed while they were at sea. Newton, in his fear for his life, cried out for God. At this moment when it appeared his time on earth had come to an end, he found a need for a connection with God to fill his spiritual void.
 
In those fear-filled moments in that treacherous storm, he committed in his heart then and there to start a process of personal transformation. He survived that mighty storm and began the journey to keep the commitment he had made to God. Newton’s transformation affected every aspect of his life: his vocation, his desires, and his activities. Later he began to serve his local community as a minister and hymn writer. He even rose above his past to help the world prevail over the wicked business that had once been his own. He played a role in abolishing slave trading in England.  
 
His was a complete change, from the inside outward, to the point where he could ultimately acknowledge the “amazing grace” that God had extended to him. That, of course, is the title of the worship hymn for which John Newton is most remembered.
 
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.…
 
Please visit again next week. Our conversation continues,
 

Larry Meeker
President, Advanced Team Concepts

 

 

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