I'm supposed to be working on several writing tasks but I had to offer a quick post on a very interesting "ah-ha" I had this week. Darbi (daughter) attends Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. This church has a phenomenal minister - Dr. Craig Barnes. Whenever we visit Darbi, we go to church to hear Dr. Barnes and this weekend we have that opportunity. When we're not in Pittsburgh, I download the sermons he posts on the Shadyside web site. The February 12, 2006, sermon was titled "Making Change." This sermon included the exploration of "transformation" in ways that I had never considered.
The text used for the sermon was Romans 12:1-2, which includes the admonition by Paul "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed." Dr. Barnes explained that grammatically "conformed" is in the middle voice, which conveys that this is something we do to ourselves. In essence, "Don't conform yourself" means that we should not squeeze ourselves into the models that others and society have of us. In order to avoid conformity, we have to be transformed. This is where his analysis gets very interesting... Paul in this text used the word "metamorphou" which is the word from which metamorphosis is derived. Metamorphosis was used by Aristotle to describe his view of the essence of being. In other words, metamorphosis or transformation is potentially not about becoming something else or something new, it's about becoming what we really are or were meant to be.
Wow! What a realization... This interpretation might encourage us to look at transformational leadership, organizational transformation, or personal metamorphosis not as changing to something else but becoming more fully ourselves. Amorphous is not just being vague, it is something that cannot be formed. I know of few things that are truly amorphous - especially individuals or organizations. In reality, there is always something inside us or in our systems that is seeking to be realized. The truly transformational experience is to allow or encourage the process of becoming.
Your thoughts? Are you being transformed by your learning and leadership? Are the organizations you inhabit being transformed in their own image or in the image leaders presume they need to be? Hmmh?