So, I asked, what did he do?
“I can’t really say I DID anything. It was more like something happened to me, not as dramatic as a voice from the heavens but certainly a profound sense that my life was for something much bigger. I recall it now and it was quite frightening, but it was absolutely clear that something was in store for me that would be very different – VERY DIFFERENT!”
“How did that unfold?” I asked.
“Well, there was an ineffable moment back when I was flying high in the real estate investment business in the early 1980s. I was left with a feeling that there was something waiting for me in the future. I was hesitant to call it “destiny” because that seemed somewhat pompous but, in hindsight, I think that was it. The experience left me with a feeling that there was something much bigger in my future, something that was frankly very scary because it had such a global feel to it.”
I asked him what he did after that experience. “I went back to ‘business as usual’ but I could not forget what happened. It was always back there in my consciousness and, looking back, I can see that I began growing into that calling, very gradually over say twenty years. Now I feel I’m close to fitting into that destiny and I’m thankful that I’m finally doing it while I still have some time to achieve something. I’d hate to think about finally stepping into my calling and then having my life be over.”
I asked him if he could describe what he calls “the Great Dream.”
“I’m still drafting the complete vision but, in brief, it is a world in which every one has their basic needs taken care of, and people really get that we are all connected and reliant on one another. This is not a pipedream. This is entirely possible and there needn’t be any big financial expense. All it will take is attitude change, on a global scale. It doesn’t cost anything to change our thinking and, if we do, we’ll see that we have everything we need to assure everyone that their survival is handled and they do not need to fear others, or fight each other. The Great Dream is quite similar to what the founders of the United States had in mind back in 1776, applied to the entire world not just one country. To be more succinct, we all live together and it works for everyone.”
“That seems quite simple. Is it?” I asked.
“Yes, it is. The vision involves two things: living and doing it together. So there are two key questions: Can we all be truly alive and live life fully? And, can we do this together, including everyone? As I see it, all it will take is the collective courage to stand for this outcome.”
This “Renescharian” thinking is not utopian, he claims. And his background as a businessman would suggest that he’s disinclined to fantasies or delusion. Renesch is very grounded having run numerous enterprises during his thirty plus year career as a businessman. While he has not become widely acclaimed or famous, Renesch is known to many people within the transformationalist business community. The Futurist magazine called him a “business visionary” and international leadership guru and USC Distinguished Professor Warren Bennis says, "John Renesch is a wise elder who shines with wisdom." Stanford Business School Professor Emeritus Dr. Michael Ray says, "John Renesch is a beacon lighting the path of the new paradigm in business."
Former Industry Week Editor-at-Large Tom Brown writes, “Renesch talks about leadership that is plainly not in evidence in most companies today…W. Edwards Deming was no instant hero…Peter Drucker has confessed that not all of his clients…welcomed his counsel. Is John Renesch in that league? Read his writings yourself, then decide.”
Renesch has been writing and speaking about what he’s been calling “new possibilities” for many years in his keynote talks and his books but this is the first I’ve heard about his Great Dream vision. He told me, “We know that most people have much more potential than they use in their lives. People like Anthony Robbins make fortunes teaching people how to excel and maximize their effectiveness. I think we have a long way to go as a whole species. We’re just beginning to learn our capacities as thinkers, innovators and creators of communities. After all,” says the businessman-turned-futurist, “we can hardly expect that the way we are acting in the world is fulfilling our destiny as human beings. We are hardly fully-evolved and mature at this point in our history. We have a long way to go and the Great Dream offers something to aim for.”
The author: Molly Stone is a Northern California freelance writer. She can be contacted at e-mail protected from spam bots.