The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-First Century
- Outlines a new leadership approach tailored to the realities of the twenty-first century
- Features chapters by such leading authors as Matthew Fox, Diana Whitney, and Alan Briskin
- Edited and annotated by the author of the bestselling The Hero Within
The traditional model of the heroic leader single-handedly piloting the organization was always something of a myth, but it is especially unrealistic now. We live in a complex, fast-evolving, highly connected world. There is simply too much for a single person to keep track of or to address successfully. Leaders today must not only optimize all their own faculties—mind, body, and spirit—they must harvest the full capacities of those around them.
To discover what leadership models are working now, the prestigious Fetzer Institute, along with the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and the International Leadership Association, brought together an impressive interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners. The group drew on psychology, sociology, neuroscience, organizational change theory, myths and wisdom traditions, social networking theory, and the actual experiences of successful leaders to discover how leaders today achieve transformational results.
The first part of the book offers an overview of what transformational leadership is, how it works, and how it is evolving. The second part shows readers how to increase cognitive complexity, link up their conscious and unconscious minds, and lead in ways that connect mind, heart, and spirit. The third part describes ways of leading groups to harvest collective wisdom and promote coordinated performance in the service of transformational ends. The conclusion explores how transformational communication can anchor new learnings so that they become habitual.
Overall, The Transforming Leader reframes the challenge of leading in today’s interdependent, unpredictable world. Its message is that if we update our thinking, enhance the quality of our being, deepen our sense of relatedness with the ecology of our natural and social worlds, and practice transformational communication, things no longer have to be so hard.
The Transforming Leader was honored by the International Leadership Association at its 2014 global conference for making a significant contribution to the field of leadership.
Praise for The Transforming Leader:
- From helping the reader to think through what transformational leadership is in its many forms, to integrating psychological, spiritual, cultural and scientific perspectives about our deepest sense of being and purpose, to the art of applying leadership from individuals to societies, this valuable book expands the territory of transformation and what it means for leaders to deeply engage in leadership for our interdependent world.John B. McGuireCo-author, Transforming Your Leadership Culture
- An important and persuasive alternative view of leadership. Carol Pearson has brought together an impressive range of contributions into a coherent and highly readable account that is deeply relevant to today’s world.Michael WaltonKennedy School of Government, Harvard University and former Chief Economist for the World Bank
- A comprehensive guide to the latest thinking in leadership communications that explores new ways of thinking about leadership, building charisma, and entering rich interactive relationships with listeners.Steve DenningFormer Program Director, Knowledge Management at the World Bank; author of The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management, The Secret Language of Leadership, and The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling
This compelling recount of historical and contemporary narratives of transformative leaders will inspire, educate, and enlighten anyone who may seek to lead others through the valley of shadows and fears.
The synthetic scope of this collection brings the spiritual and the scientific into dialogue in a manner that will carry us deeply into the 21st century. A must read for all who recognize the importance of true leadership.
- Steeped in nature, poetry, and music, the gatherings in the beautiful, wooded Fetzer Institute provided a perfect setting for the germination of the ideas on the transforming leader in this book. It reads like a symphony. Read it. Enjoy it. Live it, and become the transforming leader.Cynthia CherreyPresident, International Leadership Association
Ours is an age of cascading threshold crossings. The Transforming Leader is the field guide to this kaleidoscope landscape, where leadership emerges as a property of our interdependence.
Carol Pearson has assembled a collection of innovative thinkers and writers who present new, refreshing and challenging ideas about leadership. Engaging and actionable—this is not your “flavor of the month” volume.
If you’ve wondered how to successfully transform leadership to meet the emerging issues of today…look no more. Pearson and her colleagues have imbued each chapter with inspiration and examples that offer hope and simultaneously demand the heavy lifting required to transform leaders. Leading is rocket science, a science that is growing and changing. This book is a must read for all who aspire to the work.
A book for people who want to develop their potential as transformative leaders, full of stories that show what wonderful things happen when one’s inner life merges with an outward mission and how just such a development is necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
- We are reminded daily that leadership strategies that worked in the past are generally inadequate for 21st century challenges. The Transforming Leader offers leaders—and those who develop and support them—new insights about personal and organizational leadership approaches and pathways to achieving positive and lasting change.Shelly WilseyDirector, International Leadership Association (ILA)
The challenges the world faces in the 21st century can’t be addressed with traditional policy and management practices…. Pearson has assembled some of the best minds in the field to examine how transformational leadership models can help us update the structures of our thinking, optimize innovative capacity, and harvest the wisdom of groups we lead.
- This book comes most alive and relevant to our own living, learning and leading stories through its many specific tales told from the inside of transforming leadership moments.Bill TorbertProfessor Emeritus, Boston College, author of Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership
A must read for individuals or groups starting or deepening their inner journey to the authenticity that becomes leadership that transforms. Reading this book is a gift to your head, heart, soul, and spirit.
The current leadership discourse seems to agree that a big change, a transformation, is required for 21st century Leaders—this refreshing book brings together creative thought and artistic science to offer a hopeful model for the Leaders of the future.
The Transforming Leader is an important book. It is brilliant, insightful, and speaks to our future. I highly recommend it to my friends, associates and others who want to engage in crafting a new and better world.
The Transforming Leader illuminates, transcends, provokes, and enhances much of what has been said, written, and thought about leadership. Dr. Pearson and her colleagues provide a way to see leadership from the inside out—building on the ever increasing understanding of what it means to be leaders who are aware and mindful not only of the skills, knowledge, and experience they need, but also of the sense of purpose and meaning they need to bring to their world view. It is a must read for all who are, plan to be, and have been leaders of their time.
- The Transforming Leader should be required reading for every leader, leadership scholar, and leadership consultant because of its scope and depth. The many brilliant contributors help us think anew about models of transforming leadership, as well as plumb the depths of our own consciousness as leaders. Then, if that weren’t incredible enough, they show us how to use this powerful “inner/outer dynamic” to transform the world.Jean Lipman-BlumenAuthor of Connective Leadership and The Allure of Toxic Leaders
I wish I had this book to read for my first experience as a leader, and each one thereafter! Fortunately, Carol Pearson and her colleagues have provided this remarkable set of essays in time to help current and future leaders in organizations and in the classroom transform their inner thoughts and emotions into powerful leadership actions in the service of others.
- Carol Pearson, a leading light in fusing the psychological and the corporate, has once again done us all a favor. Gathered together in this insightful book is a wide array of authors who shed light on the complexities and nuances needed for leadership. Their insights are eagerly welcome at a time when we are hungry, and searching, for new leaders.Aryeh Maidenbaum, Ph.D.Director, NY Center for Jungian Studies, Organizational Development Consultant
The Transforming Leader is a comprehensive and elegantly integrated guide to the latest thinking in the study of leadership. It offers opportunities for deep exploration within a clear, accessible structure and can be used by leaders to deepen their humanity while developing their efficacy.
Packed full of the latest research and ancient wisdom, The Transforming Leader honors the past while creating great vision. It is simultaneously scientific and spiritual, full of intuition and deeply practical!
- Carol Pearson and her colleagues give us the inspiration, the confidence, and the tools to bring our leadership visions and skills to the fore. These essays are so insightful and imaginative that readers will want to turn to them again and again to inform their leadership practice as it evolves in new contexts and with new challenges.Julie L. Ramsey, Ed.D.Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students, Gettysburg College
There are rare moments in time when truly pioneering spirits emerge. It is through their work, insights, and the vastness of their vision and nature that we suddenly become aware of a world far greater than what we have previously experienced, and at such moments, a new paradigm is created. Such is the work, life, and influence of Carol Pearson.
There has been much discussion on transformational leadership since Jim Burns wrote his tome in the 1970s. Much of it is structural and theoretical with little application to ordinary businesses and people’s lives. This book changes that. If you are serious about transforming your business or yourself… read this work.