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Combining prosperous work lives and balanced personal lives
June 2003

My goal is to bring you news, insights, and information about leading a balanced and prosperous life.

    In this issue, you'll find:
  1. Transformation Leadership: The Power to Change the World
  2. BossWoman coaching
  3. Up and coming workshops
1. Transformation Leadership: The Power to Change the World.

When Mother Theresa of Calcutta was asked by a reporter how she planned to feed the poor, she answered, "One person at a time." She knew that the key to using her power to change the world was to think globally and act locally. By taking small steps she brought about what turned out to be a very large vision.

Is All Leadership Transformational?

Not all leadership is transformational in its influence. Actually very little leadership is transformational, according to leadership expert, James MacGregor Burns. Most leadership is transactional, a type of leadership which focuses on the exchanges between leaders and their followers. There is nothing wrong with a transactional leadership style which might, for example, ask good work from an employee in exchange for pay and even a bonus.

By contrast, transformational leadership refers to a process in which the influence one individual has on another is characterized by an increase in motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower. Transformational leadership occurs less often than transactional leadership because it can only happen when a unique combination of qualities in the leader meet a receptive and willing follower. It is difficult to set as your life ambition to be this kind of leader. However, circumstances might combine to give you such an opportunity. Your preparation, understanding, and openness might just change the world.

Who Are the Transformational Leaders

You already know people who are transformational in style. I know this because in my classes and workshops, I do an exercise that shows that ordinary people often have extraordinary influences on others. Here is the exercise:

Think of someone whose positive interaction with you motivated you to do more than you originally expected to do, raised your level of awareness about important matters, increased your maturity level and level of needs, and led you to transcend your own self-interest for the good of the group.

I learned this exercise from my good friend and colleague, Dr. Tracey Manning, and in the 15 years that she and I have used it we have never had anyone fail to think of such a transformational leader. The surprising thing is that these special leaders that our audience and class members pick to describe are not celebrities and are seldom anyone who has a position of power such as an elected official. They are often moms, friends, bosses, and co-workers. They are not exceptional people by any worldly standards but like Mother Theresa, they have exceptional influence, at least for that one person in the workshop.

Characteristics of Transformational Leadership

Over the years, I have collected the characteristics of these leaders as described by their followers:

  • Intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, vision.
  • Ability to connect, listen, be present.
  • Motivational and inspirational - both in what they are doing and what they expect of others.
  • Attractiveness - not in a physical sense or as a popular personality but having a presence, energy, or passion that draws people in need of a role model.
  • Openness to accepting followers in the right time and place.
Can I Prepare to Be Such a Leader

The answer to this oft asked question is, "Yes and no." Mother Theresa did not start out to found a worldwide order of sisters who feed the poor. She started out to feed the poor. Her leadership became transformational as her clarity, passion, and openness brought her opportunities. Most people saw her as a humble, quiet presence yet she spread her influence by the use of the media, making many media appearances and writing best selling books. Your leadership might never lead to media appearances but you may have opportunities to increase your sphere of influence. How can you be ready if an opportunity presents itself?

About ten years ago I was down in the dumps about my lack of accomplishment in my career. A good friend took me to lunch and pointed out how much I had influenced clients, students, and friends. At that moment I realized that I might never have statues in the park built in my honor nor did I want to. While I didn't feel an urge to run for office or take charge of some highly visible project, my leadership style was a quieter, gentler style. My work was not about changing the world directly but of working indirectly through those whose power I supported. You also might not have the opportunity to be rich and famous, but you do have the power to influence others. While you might not discover the cure for cancer, one of your children might. You might not invent a new widget that the world needs but maybe one of your employees will. Here are some things you can do now to be ready just in case you get a chance to influence others to be better than they ever imagined.

  • Live a good life.
  • Listen to a need that you find passion about.
  • Be open to people who see you as a role model.
  • Take the next small obvious step.

You have the power of transformational leadership - changing the world - one person at a time.

Use your power well,
Susan Robison

2. BossWoman Coaching

About the publisher: Susan Robison, Ph.D. is a professional coach, speaker, author and seminar leader. She loves to coach women who want improvement in:

  • work-life balance,
  • career transitions,
  • building your business or practice,
  • time management,
  • increasing productivity.
She provides keynotes and seminars to business and organizations on the topics of:
  • leadership strategies for women,
  • relationships,
  • work-life balance,
  • change.
3. Up and coming workshops

Title: TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP For those who want the power to change the world
Presenter: Susan Robison, Ph.D.
Monday, July 14, 2003
9:00a.m. to 11:00a.m. : 8:30a.m. Registration
Heritage Financial Consultants, 1300 York Road, Suite 200, Lutherville, MD

Are you ready to influence others toward a greater good to really make a difference? At home? In the workplace? Across the world?Whether you're an entrepreneur, executive, manager, professional, parent, spouse or community member, you have the opportunity to influence others. Don't miss this unique opportunity to develop your leadership skills and bring profound change in yourself and others.

Please note: Workshop attendance is limited to 20 participants to maximize interaction and skill development. Register now to ensure your space. $39 for EWN members; $49 for non-members. Registration deadline: July 9. For more information or to reserve your space, call Lyn C. Bluford, EWN Office Coordinator, at (410) 653-5067. No refunds within five days of the event. You may send a substitute.

"From Mother to Daughter: Wise Woman's Guide to Extraordinary Marriages."
Susan Robison and Christine Robison Gray
July 31, 2003 evening (7 or 8 o'clock)
Sponsored by Columbia Baptist Fellowship and St. John's Catholic Columbia, MD
Place: Oakland Mills Interfaith Center; Columbia, MD

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BossWomen e-Newsletter is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Coaching should not be construed as a form of, or substitute for, counseling, psychotherapy, legal, or financial services.

Copyright 2003 Susan Robison. All rights reserved. The above material is copyrighted but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. However, you may not copy it to a web site without my permission.

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