Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.I John 3:18
Robert Quinn wrote this guide to help leaders apply the principles of Deep Change from his many previous books. His workbook approach gives readers a chance to engage with the key concepts of Deep Change by reading a brief explanation of the concept, followed by illustrations from the lives of other leaders and then reflecting on those by writing down brief points to remember. Next, the really important (and fun) part of the work is to watch a movie that illustrates the ways that people transformed themselves and then were able to transform others. Journaling and writing Memos reinforce the concepts. And finally, readers are urged to put the lesson into practice.
Throughout the book emphasis on personal transformation as the beginning of the process of leadership was maintained. This fit in well with the many other leadership books we have read in this course on Leadership and Global Perspectives. Max De Pree taught that a leader is the “servant” of her followers enabling them to reach their full potential. Chris Lowney stressed the four pillars of success – self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism. David Livermore’s approach also emphasized examining ourselves first and caring genuinely for those we are leading. Livermore maintained that unselfishness is key to good leadership. Jim Collins pointed out that the “Level 5” leader has humility, channeling her ego needs away from herself and into the larger purpose of the company. All of these are reflective of the Lord Jesus who reminds us that “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Matt. 20:25).
We need to be changed deeply, and to be agents of change as well. We do this so that we can pursue the privilege of lovingly encouraging others to grow with us. Spirituality is never about me alone. Love is never a solitary pursuit.
With this in mind I set out to discover the main concept about deep change in each chapter of Quinn’s book and reflect on it. I have seen most of the movies and I look forward to having a good excuse to watch the rest of them.
Here are some nuggests from each chapter that I will attempt to fit into my life:
- An Invitation to Change: Adaptive confidence gives one the assurance that she can grow more positive and influential as a leader.
- Experiencing Slow Death: Quinn says, “Yet transforming conflict into collaboration is the essence of leadership.”We will always have conflicts. Management is not the same thing as leadership. A leader makes the first move and tries to get positive results from disputes by being a peacemaker.
- The Power of Self-Change: Effective leaders are willing to change themselves if need be. I need to remove the many planks from my own eyes and open myself to transformation on the deepest levels — my attitudes, demeanor, and character.
It was in this section that I particularly focused on the accompanying movie – “The King’s Speech”. Though some critics say that it is good story but somewhat historically inaccurate, King George VI was exactly the right man for the time. “The stammering that defined him, and the courage with which he tried to beat it, came to symbolise the vulnerability of the British people as they stood alone against the Nazi tyranny that had the rest of Europe in its grip. A certain solidarity between monarch and subject emerged.” “Bertie”, King George found himself thrust into circumstances not of his making. His brother abdicated, putting him in the spotlight, and the radio was invented. They didn’t have all the modern technology to cover up speech defects they do now, but the king rose to the occasion because his people needed him. (And he had a great wife helping him!!!) The lesson is to have the courage to “reinvent myself as often as need be to bring increased clarity of purpose, increased integrity, increased concern for others, and greater awareness of and openness to the potential that surrounds us.”
- Personal Change and Positive Organizing: Using reflectiveness that I have learned in this course, I will strive to develop what Quinn calls developmental readiness. I may need to change some of my assumptions to do this, and I pray for the humbleness for it.
- The Fundamental State of Leadership: I will try to take the journey from “managing” to leading by “influence”. Fitting in with a key concept in this book and others we have read – I will strive to become more “Purpose-centered, internally directed, other-focused, and externally open.”
- Moral Power: Where I can I will create a more principled future and not settle for less than my integrity calls for. A deeply changed leader has moral influence.
- Leadership and Positivity: “Positivity helps us make deep personal change and transform ourselves and our organizations.”
- Inviting Others to Deep Change: The chapters are intertwined with and also build on each other. If the leader has experienced transformation in her own life she can then invite others to experience growth in their own lives.
In conclusion, it takes courage to put others’ needs ahead of our own. It takes courage to “enter the creative state, to live in ever-increasing integrity. …. enter the fundamental state of leadership…. experience exponential growth… become living attractors, create sacred space and engage in a social movement … and become a productive community continually striving to adapt to emerging reality.”
Nigel Farndale. “The King’s Speech: the real story”. January 5, 2011. The Telegraph, UK. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/8223897/The-Kings-Speech-the-real-story.html