This is the fourth part of a five-part series of blogs that chronicle the journey of a cohort of business leaders who together pursued deeper relationships with God and the integration of the resulting spiritual transformation in their personal lives into their roles as leaders in their businesses, and ultimately into the culture of their businesses as a whole. More information can be found at http://www.spiritualleadership.com/journeyinfo/. You can read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 at their respective links.
Another business person who was affected in surprising and significant ways by participating in The Journey is Mike Guerrero. Mike came to the first meeting of The Journey in April of 2013 at the invitation of a respected friend who was also a business person. His hope was that business owners’ needs would be addressed from a spiritual perspective, which he found a compelling concept. He was looking forward to connecting with other business people who also wanted to connect with God.
Mike is the Chairman and CEO of Definiti Comp Solutions, based in Lake Forest, CA. His company is a medical cost containment firm that focuses on reducing medical costs of workers comp for employers. Mike sees one of his primary roles as that of protecting his company’s culture, making it a safe environment. He gets personal fulfillment from helping to create an environment where others grow and flourish in their careers.
Through The Journey, Mike discovered new ways of being with God and listening to him for an extended period of time that fed Mike’s soul, shaping him both as a person and as a leader. He began to allow his prayer life to flow primarily out of God’s Word, rather than out of his own needs. Coming before God in a purposeful and intentional manner, without an agenda, and waiting on him without asking for anything, led to some amazing times of hearing from God, receiving his direction, and arriving at a place of deep peace and contentment.
But these times of extended personal communion with God have led to transformation in Mike’s leadership as well as in his own personal life. There was a problem in the relationship between two employees in his company that was impacting the company culture in a very negative way. But in his time with God, Mike realized that the way he had been planning to address the issue was equally disruptive and would have damaged the trust among the leadership team and the assurance that they have one another’s backs. He was able to change his approach and handle it in a positive and productive way, with an effective outcome for all involved.
In addition, Mike gained the vision and confidence from his personal time with God and the teaching he received in The Journey to start a spiritual development time with his senior leadership team. They meet together on a biweekly basis and base their time on a passage of Scripture. They meditate on and pray together out of this passage, discussing it at a deep spiritual level. One of the members of the leadership team was initially reluctant and hesitant toward the idea. Now this leader says this spiritual development time is a highlight of his week.
Another helpful principle that Mike learned in The Journey was the contemplative planning process. This process was developed by Chuck Miller, a member of the teaching team for The Journey. One of the core elements of this process is to begin by focusing on the person or persons who will be a part of the meeting or event being planned. The one doing the planning brings those who will be involved before the Lord, seeking the Lord’s wisdom to discern the needs of those who will be participating and to discover the Lord’s dream for them, and then design a transforming experience that enables the Lord’s dreams and responds to where the people are.
Mike used this contemplative planning process in preparing for a meeting with his coworkers. An individual from outside the company had attacked the integrity and trustworthiness of the company’s leadership team, including Mike. This situation had caused damage to company solidarity. As he followed the contemplative planning process in preparing for the leadership meeting in which he intended to address this issue, Mike prayerfully focused on the needs of his coworkers who would be in the meeting and sought God’s wisdom as to how to meet those needs effectively. The plan that God gave him was a resounding success. Hearts were softened toward the individual who had caused the discord, and the trust and camaraderie between coworkers that had been damaged was restored.
Mike’s life and business have been profoundly affected by his Journey experience. He found a community of business people who “were hungry for God in the same way I was.” He has gained “a vibrant, thriving relationship with Jesus Christ.” And he has seen his “senior leadership team grow spiritually beyond what I ever imagined.” His own heart and his organization have begun an exciting and ongoing process of transformation.