From August 15 to 19, the Global Transformutual Leadership Summit was held online with the theme "Transformutual Leaders: Breakthrough." On the fourth day of the conference, Michael Lindsay, Ph.D., president of Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, was invited to deliver a keynote speech titled "Seizing and Breaking Through Key Moments in Life."
A man’s average lifespan is about 70–80 years or roughly 37,000,000 minutes, but the crucial moments are just those few hundred minutes. Like the hinges on a door, everything in life hinges on these brief moments. President Lindsay emphasized that these pivotal moments were not only critical for an individual's life but also for society as a whole.
Lindsay expounded upon the seven stages that life-changing experiences went through, emphasizing the challenges encountered at critical points to provide a deeper understanding of leadership.
He underscored that people must realize that life involves passing through diverse doors, such as pursuing higher education, career transitions, relocating to new cities, entering into marriage, parenthood, job loss, or grappling with the diagnosis of a family member's illness. As individuals venture through these doors, they harbor expectations, acutely aware that a transformation is underway, propelling them into a new phase of life.
President Lindsay imparted the wisdom that amidst these transitions, Christians need to heed God's guidance, drawing inspiration from the biblical passage, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"
He asserted that the phase of transitioning into a new space and environment is the most critical stage of life-altering change. However, this stage was when their confidence was at its lowest and resources were often scarce. Yet, making the right decision during this stage could have a tremendous impact on their future, and family members and friends played a crucial role during this phase.
Amid such crucial transitions, President Lindsay underscored the importance of making a positive first impression. He advised individuals to remember names, appearances, and residences when meeting new acquaintances, signaling their interest in building connections. Additionally, he encouraged active listening, as God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak. During this phase, he advised people to invest considerable time and energy in adapting to their new surroundings.
Furthermore, he recommended building trust with others while reciprocating that trust. He recounted an impressionable encounter with Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH, a conglomerate with over 150 luxury brands worldwide. Arnault's leadership philosophy centered on the value of trust, both in earning it and extending it to others. Lindsay stressed that individuals require qualities like courage, wisdom, self-control, and integrity to establish a strong and adaptable foundation for their lives.
Acknowledging that individuals often wrestle with self-doubt and despair during transformative moments, President Lindsay pointed out that redemption and hope emerge in the process of transformation and renewal because God is a redeemer.
While confidence tends to be at its lowest during critical junctures, Lindsay reassured that lives take an upward trajectory after this phase. Making life-altering changes results in heightened confidence and positive life advancements.
Lindsay mentioned that during the pandemic, they introduced digital learning, making students more interested in learning and knowing their staff and professors better. They also used Zoom to connect with the world.
"The biggest decision in my life was when, after being President of Gordon College for 10 years, I felt the call to leave and enter a season of renewal in my life," President Lindsay said when discussing the breakthroughs he experienced at key points in his own life.
- Translated by Abigail Wu