The concept of transformational leadership was first introduced by political scientist James MacGregor Burns in his 1978 book Leadership. James MacGregor Burns has since become a widely used term in the fields of business and organizational psychology. In short, according to Wedell in his 2012 book, transformational leadership is the process by which leaders encourage greater levels of motivation and empowerment, morality and achievement amongst their subordinates (e.g.., "I care about your development, beyond expectations").
In this blog I want to give you some insights about Individual Transformation and Professional Leadership Transformation.
Nowadays transformation has become a popular term in business, leadership, and coaching circles. Due to the increasing popularity of the word transformation, we can lose touch with its true meaning and use it to describe something it is not. This can happen when the words ‘change’ and ‘transformation’ are used interchangeably. We make changes all the time, the way we look, think, feel, and act. When we intentionally set a course of action to learn or grow—to communicate better, to manage our emotions more effectively, to be a better friend or partner—we have likely grown and changed, but have we necessarily transformed?
"All transformation is change, but not all change is transformation"
Individual Transformation is the most difficult and rewarding investment you’ll ever make.
There are times when we are blessed with going through transformative events in our lives. A transformative event stretches you, tests your limits and results in an outcome that helps you grow and develop as a person. It rewrites your reality. Again, transformation is different from change. Change is simpler and more direct. Change is staying within your save boundaries, while transformation is seeing a greater world beyond yours, redefining how you see the world and designing what your role is in it.
To transform yourself you need to respect the basics. The basics demand an active and high intensity mental- and physical state of being (a lot is relatable to our core biology), combined with discipline and determination (hunger) to really dig in and transform. When you are in this state, you need to focus on getting back to your ‘original self’, the authentic you. Actively peel down who you are today, how you have become (programmed yourself) this way, what your current standards and patterns are, and which ones you want to transform in ones that work for you instead of against you. From your original self it is more logical to define your new life’s-vision, interests, beliefs, mission and goals about your future. This position gives you the phycological comfort to focus on bringing yourself in the right space. The space where you are on top of things, in diverse literature they call this the Law of Attraction. You will meet the right people, get the right insights and opportunities, they will present themselves automatically to you due to your authenticity, focus and mindset. In this space you achieve what you want, and you are happy doing so.
Individual Transformation works during all phases of your life
I am a realist- it is not only what I think - I have experienced it myself. I did not have a privileged start of my life - so I had to work and think smart - more than the average person in my environment, to be in a position to have a successful career and a happy life. At some point in my life, I was ‘successful’ and happy in my life. But it did not last, during the years I drifted away from ‘success’, slowly I started to make wrong decisions and things start to pile up, I was no more ‘on top of things’. In that phase of my life, I recognized that I was not becoming - and utilizing the potential of the leader and entrepreneur that I could be - and wanted to be. This event made me realize I needed to transform myself thoroughly. And I did. It was the best decision of my life, reinventing myself. The first question I asked myself was:
“Am I doing the right thing? Or am I thinking I am doing the right thing?”
This, and a lot more exploring, got me back to my original self, back to my basics. Since this event I see myself and the world I am living in completely clear, totally balanced within myself. I have more intellectual and executional capacity than I could ever imagine. Nowadays I place myself in the position where I am at my best. New experiences and opportunities occur to me on a daily basis. In all shapes and forms, automatically they open up to me.
So, in the beginning of my life, I transformed myself automatically due to my ambition of a better career and a better life. The second time I transformed myself consciously because I wanted to become a better and more authentic version of myself and capitalize on that.
So literally, you can transform yourself in any phase of your life. When you transform yourself (or with a coach) you will work to get ‘in the right space’ of your authentic self. You are balanced, you will gain energy and you can cope with almost anything.
Not a walk in the park
It is hard work to find the guts to fully examine yourself. It is confronting to experience standards and patterns that are not working for you anymore. Maybe for a long time you have rejected reality. This makes that your subconscious mind resistance for transformation. In this case your mind will throw every psychological trick in the book at you – limiting beliefs, cultural conditioning, big scary assumptions and fears - in order to keep you in your ‘semi-safe emotional’ programs you have built. There are two important fears that make people anxious to research and truly transform themselves: fear of losing affection and of the fear of losing certainty.
These are strong forces you have developed during all of your life and aren’t meant to be underestimated. It takes courage and determination to rewrite these programs and standards in the narrative you want. You may need to make some tough decisions. But once you conquer your deepest fears, transformation will result in the ability to design the most rewarding life for yourself that suits with who you’re meant to be.
When you are able to take that first step outside your comfort zone you will experience what the world offers on new perspectives, opportunities and rewarding realities. Transformation is for people that have courage, perseverance, discipline, repetition and focus to fully commit and take ownership of their future.
Transformation as leader
Einstein: “if you keep doing the things you do, you get the things you already have.”
To transform yourself as leader means that you want to build more leadership capacity. As mentioned above, this is not just about learning new skills and techniques. It requires you to reflect on who you are as a human being (and therefore become an even better one). This includes examining your belief systems and assumptions, and increasing your self-awareness, which will leave you more mindful and introspective, while at the same time allowing you to think and act on a higher level of complexity.
Also interesting previous blogpost; The competencies of a successful leader during uncertain, challenging and new times
I often empower executives to transform to dynamic and authentic leadership to cope with this era, the new world, employees, volatility a challenge in markets and organizations. Transformational Leadership Coaching [LINK] for me is the art of helping my clients grow in line with their ‘original’ ambitions, beyond their current reality, towards their new, evolving vision. That’s why my coaching is truly transformational, the vision and goals that emerge can go beyond what you have originally conceptualized.
Even though you will be coached based on your professional goals, you will find that it will help you on a personal level as well.
This is because I give my clients confidence, integrity and confidentiality in conversations. This alliance between my clients and myself is a process of building a qualitative, deep, caring and profound supportive relationship. It involves real and qualitative communication not just between my client and myself, but, if the goal relates to the professional environment of the client, also between the client, myself and the other key stakeholders.
In my practice I coach leaders and managers with successful transformation of:
For more information, make an appointment via this link.