“Transformational Leadership in Guatemala” The 1 Year Anniversary

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A year ago, I experienced the most remarkable week in my life! This is what happened. . .

 

It began when I joined a team of coaches who are the most genuine and wonderful people I could hope to be a part of and we traveled to Guatemala. Most of us did not know where Guatemala was or speak the language. We just knew that John Maxwell had invited us to go with him to a country that wanted to make a change.

 

I did have a moment or two when I questioned, why am I going? I’m only one person – how can I make a difference? At the threshold of going, my wife and daughters gave me the assurance that this was the right thing to do and that I should go.

 

That’s when I put my trust in God and knew he would take me where I was supposed to go. I promised myself “I would give my very best every day and let God do his part”. That’s when my transformation began.

 

In early 2013, when the President of Guatemala contacted John Maxwell to come to his country and bring the skills he is so well known for – ‘leadership and values’, he agreed to find out what was needed. John Maxwell spent time with the President, top people in government, businesses and the 8 families that controlled 83% of the wealth in Guatemala, and then made the commitment to return. His plan was to raise the values in the country and begin a life-changing event for many who comprised the 7 streams of influence, which included: government, business, education, arts media, family and religion. The task was massive, the time to start urgent, and the objective crystal clear – to raise the values for thousands of people in Guatemala.

 

Guatemala is a beautiful country with amazing, big-hearted people, located in Central America. The population is nearing 16 million with the majority of people living outside the city in extreme poverty, malnourished and without human rights. The average age in the country is 20.

 

So the team of coaches traveled from all over the world, for some, it took more than 24 hours to get there. Upon arrival, we met with John Maxwell and received guidance for the week. We then met with the President and Congress who then gave us their commitment and blessing to support our efforts.

 

Every day began early at 6:00 a.m., meeting in the lobby so we could travel to one of the many locations in the city or countryside.  I was assigned to Bantrab Bank, one of the largest banks in Central America, which employees 3500 people. I met with the highest-level managers and knew how important it would be to connect with everyone. I asked my interpreter to help me and not only translate my words but ‘hop’ if I ‘hopped’ and express my emotions to the group to extend past the language barrier. She was incredible. I realized we were connecting when 2 hours into our training, the Vice President of Bantrab Bank took the microphone.  When he spoke on behalf of the group, I was incredibly moved that in order to make a difference for Guatemala, the managers of the bank would continue this training for the next 30 weeks in round table training. It was an incredible experience. I could see the commitment, ownership and the willingness to CHANGE.

 

After the first day’s training, the coaches returned around 6:00 p.m. for dinner. We were so excited to share our experiences. During dinner a message was received that the Bank was requesting the same “guy” back to continue training the group for the rest of the week. I was so honored.

 

We continued training the next day and while I was going through some of the leadership values, I felt something unusual happening in the room. I was sharing stories that I had great passion for, not noticing it had become quiet. My translator had stopped speaking and had been moved to tears. I continued to express myself in English, gesturing and enthusiastically talking for about 3 minutes until I realized it had gotten quiet and some people were sniffing. Suddenly people began to giggle and I caught on that they had no idea what I had been saying! There was so much love and a great connection! It was wonderful!

 

The week concluded with the John Maxwell team being honored in the stadium followed by dinner in one of the most beautiful old palaces in Guatemala. We were honored by some of the Guatemalan leaders and thanked for our partnership in shifting the paradigm and bringing Transformational Leadership to Guatemala.

 

I reflect back on the amazing experiences that I shared with just a few people who then shared their experience with a few more people until an amazing 19,000 Guatemalans were trained that week. Today thousands of leaders have been trained in the round table program. News of the success has spread and additional interest has developed in 9 other South American countries looking for the same opportunity

“La Transformación Está en Mí”….“Transformation Begins With Me” and only me.

 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/farshadasl

 

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