Diary of a Business Woman

Conform or Transform?

by Joanne Leitschuh

I hung up the phone and looked at the notes on my writing-pad. What did I do? I just made a deal with a telesalesman who gave me a good price for an advertisement. Even though I know the exposure in this publication will be good for our company, I was concerned. I deviated from the plan--and budget--that I set out the previous week.

What made me alter my course? Was it the pressure of the confirmation deadline? Was it the convincing words of the salesman? Did the excitement of getting a good deal make me act in haste? This is only one example where emotions can persuade me to act contrary to original plans.

I know that the business world's system can be complex at times. It seems that we all get used to speaking or acting in a certain way: a) just because it's expected; b) just because everybody else does it this way or c) if I don't perform in this manner, I won't be accepted and respected.

Everyone wants decision-making to be quick and painless. What happens though when we are guided by principles that may be in opposition to "the big guys"? For example, the head buyer of a large department store chain asks for a discount that we have not allowed in our pricing structure. She expects that we will submit to her rules because everyone else does. Do I bend from the pressure or faithfully stand firm and say "no"?

I read the other day the verse where Paul says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2) This is quite the challenge in all of the daily activities of the office. I know that when I conform to the world's system, I die inside_ becoming twisted and crushed. The world's system wants the best for itself. It doesn't try to put itself in my position.

Because I know God's love makes it possible for me to be transformed inside, I know He will lead and guide me to the right solutions at the right times. Do I let Him? Or, do I speak, think and act according to how the business world encourages me to speak, think and act? God offers freshness and individuality in my job. The moment that I believe He can bring them, He begins to renew me inside.

In His business world, there are no disappointments, no unsteadiness or reckless decisions. By living with a transformed mind, I see people and situations as unique gifts. They bend and shape me into a manager who knows she can only have one Master. Each day that I arrive at work, I know that I can be influenced in several ways. Am I an easy target, or do I know my Master and am confident that He knows me?

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