“Transformation can mean different things to different people. How do you describe transformational leadership?”
The question is a familiar one. Change is a familiar subject. What surprised me were the emotions that came in response. I found myself grabbling with a flood that quickly became a torrent. I was passionate about the subject, yet I knew the question had a limited life.
“I could go on for hours. For now, let me talk about five mantras that I often use when illustrating transformational leadership.”
Everything starts with linking hearts and minds. We often think it is change is a matter of the mind. We think our actions are independent of our values. They are all one. One writer restated this view is the context of Christianity; “What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.” (1 Corinthians 11.26)
A simple goal, compassion for example, often means far more than a complex one. While less is more, less is not always easier.
Change starts small. It takes one to start the journey. You and I are at the beginning of making a difference.
The way we get there is more important that our destination. C.S. Lewis said it well, “The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
Using, building on, what works is a good idea. Life has left us stories for learning and guidance. Richard Pascale reminds us; “It’s time to adapt an unconventional notion: at least one person somewhere in your company or community has already licked the problem you are trying to solve.” We can learn from the wise and the foolish, especially if we are willing to look in the mirror.
Transformation is never optional. We are always changing. The only question is how.