Carol Pearson, Author, Academic, Archetypal Scholar
In many indigenous traditions, a person seeking answers to questions would approach a medicine manor woman sitting by the fire and ask what they should do to resolve their dilemma. He or she classically would respond to this request by saying, “Let me tell you a story.” Moms, dads, mentors, and friends can do this, too…. In new situations, often what is needed is a new story that can help supply a map for the new journey and a toehold when that journey feels like climbing up a steep and dangerous mountain.
— Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine 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.
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 Denning Former 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.
– Dexter Freeman, DSW, LCSWDirector, Army-Fayetteville State University, Master of Social Work Program
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