Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
From the perspective of transformational leadership, an effective leader is a person who is able to maximise his/her creative competencies by eliminating the derailing reactive behaviours that shapes his/her identity. Hence there is a balance between the creative competencies and the inner operating system of leaders which is based on their beliefs, values, and assumptions.
While the leader creates an inspiring vision of the future and motivates and inspires people to engage with that vision, the most critical aspect that drives their success is the ability to become self-aware and commit to changing their behaviours to achieve their desired outcomes.
The fundamental assumption is that “for things to change, first I must change”. Hence transforming their inner state of being, by realigning their beliefs and assumptions which impacts their visible behaviours through the way they manage time, make decisions, and interact with people, is the journey that leaders need to undertake.
The best way to kick start this journey is to collect external feedback ( Bob Anderson’s The Leadership Circle) and establish their blind spots that will give them an understanding of their reactive behaviours that get in the way of fulfilling their fullest leadership potential. Then working with their coach, they will be able to appreciate why they show up the way they do. They will get a deep understanding of their perspectives, their values and operating beliefs, the way they see the world.
Transformation essentially implies changing the form. The way we think. This requires the restructuring of our mind to make it more complex, which is not easy to do. Robert Kegan has written that each of us carries an immunity to change, a conflicting commitment that derails the best of intentions that must get invalidated before change becomes possible.
David Drake refers to it as the old stories that we tell ourselves, the narratives that get in the way of our aspirations. He calls it the vector of change, which addresses the mind-set, the behaviours, and the environment, which get in the way of our aspirations and must get reconciled before the new story emerges.
There are several articles I have written on this subject (Thought Stimulants) and there are also some videos that can be accessed.