Transformational Leadership

Moving Through the Fire: Skills for Navigating Challenges

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

Most everyone would agree that life at times can be challenging.  Jobs change, relationships end and new ones begin.  There may be times of financial difficulties or challenges at work.

 

Depressed man with fist clenched leaning his head against a wall

 

Life, it seems, is always in a state of change, and through change comes transformation.

 

In order for transformation to take place, it requires a catalyst or a breaking point.  Last week we introduced the concept of this breaking point known as Calcination, the first stage of the 7 Stages of the Alchemical Process of Transformation. This week we look at how to move through this stage and apply these principles to a leadership role.

 

Moving Through the Fire

 

Fiery Running Man On A Black Background

 -Rather than avoiding or fearing the breaking point, willingly “move into the fire” so to speak.

 

An image of a road to the horizon with text time for change

-Recognize the challenge is a sign that something inside you or your organization needs to change.

 

Surfer rides Big Wave, In the Tube with Sunny Blue Sky

 -Instead of being passively swept up by the tides of change, develop the ability to recognize the early signs that they are coming, and then lead the charge to catch that wave, rather than being pummeled by it. In other words, be proactive.

 

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-Make a list of the things you know are imperfect or getting in the way of progress, i.e. identify your “lead”, then make a plan and step into action to root out and eliminate those issues.

 

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-See the situations that are arising and “putting on the heat” as OPPORTUNITIES for growth, improvement, and ultimately for transformation.

 

Creative Business

 -Take on an attitude of Embracing Transformation and find a certain sense of excitement or adventure in the journey.  To do this requires we cultivate a combination of courage, risk-taking, and willingness to sacrifice what no longer serves or whatever is getting in the way of progress (including and especially internal blocks or false limitations).

 

In our 7 Keys to Cultivating the Creative Advantage, the above attitudes relate to the 6th and 7th keys of embracing Uncertainty (as you don’t know where the next change will take you, but you can see it as an opportunity to harness new potentials) and operating at the Edge, or cultivating those attitudes and capacities within yourself and your team to strive towards peak performance.

 

Finding Strength During Challenges as a Leader

 

When you as a leader embrace transformation and proactively strive to work with and harness the change-process, rather than fear it or avoid it, then you will truly start to master your role.

 

Businessman holding fire flames in fist. Power and control

 

Thus, when a challenge or conflict arises, learn to redirect it, using it as fuel to fan the fires of transformation.

 

A leader must have foresight and help their team or constituents recognize the opportunity inherent within the coming change, and then support them to take a more optimistic or proactive attitude towards it, rather than a victim-attitude.

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To do this effectively, you can help reflect to each of the people involved about the role they have played in contributing to the issue, and empower them to be responsible. In reflecting to your team members, it is important to not come from a place of ‘make-wrong’ or chastisement, but from a place of authentic communication about the inner human side of change that is needed in order for the whole situation to transform to a higher level of order.

 

Furthermore, rather than putting the responsibility on the shoulders of those few individuals who might be at the root of the current issue, a leader recognizes that they are simply a reflection of the whole, or a symptom of a bigger issue.

 

the butterfly

 

Transformational leaders understand that, “We are all in this together. We are all in the same alchemical vessel that this team is, and therefore, we are all responsible and we must all go through this change together and help one another through it.” This removes the negative emotions of guilt, blame, shame, judgment, separation, etc that can create “bad-blood” between team members and fester into even deeper issues. Instead, it helps to further pull the team together when they recognize that their leader is not pointing fingers at them, and rather is helping guide them through the change process.

 

Stay tuned! Next week, I’m excited to share a simple yet powerful exercise for creating positive change in your life or organization.

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The 7 Stages to Mastery: Stage 1- The Breaking Point

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

Have you ever experienced a breaking point in your life?  A time where it seemed as though everything was out of control and things were falling apart?

 

Blue explosion background

 

A breaking point could mean losing a job, ending a deep relationship, a major failure at work or even a big argument.

 

Sometimes a breaking point is experienced as a major trauma or tragedy such as an accident or loss/death of some kind.  Breaking points can even be initiated by you.  For example, you may get so fed up, sick and tired of a certain situation (a job, relationship, etc) that you decide to take new action and make a change.

 

Young attractive businesswoman with hammer in hands

 

Often times, whatever happens is so strong that it rocks the very foundation of your life or business.  Such an incident shakes up your view of reality and challenges your “status quo”, pushing you out of your comfort zone.

 

In our last blog introducing the 7 Stages of the Alchemical Process, we introduced the metaphors of “lead” and “gold”, often alluded to in alchemy.  To recap, the concept of lead relates to anything of a dense, polluted, imbalanced or imperfect state.  This could be anything from our thoughts, our physical health, to an organization, or society, or even the world at large.  While gold, on the other hand, was seen as a state of refined perfection, wholeness, and the ideal state.

 

The universe in mans head revealed

 

Transforming “lead into gold” is the process of moving from the imperfect or imbalanced into a greater state of wholeness, integrity, and ultimate attainment.

 

Anytime we want to make a change, achieve a new goal, eliminate a bad habit, or develop a new skill or gift, we must go through these same seven stages to get to a place of mastery in that new area.

 

Fighting

 

When we fight or resist the transformational process that is naturally occurring through various life cycles, whether we are aware of it or not, that is when we are often forced into a breaking point situation.

 

 

Our own resistance, attachments, and clinging to the comfort zone creates too much rigidity that impede the progress and natural flow of development. You can imagine this as being like a beaver who builds a little dam of logs in the middle of a river, trying to create a nice little cozy home for itself. It might work out for a while, but when the next strong rain comes, or when the snow melts with the change of season and the river levels rise, that dam is going to be broken apart by the more strongly flowing river current. At that point, the beaver’s cozy home is destroyed and it is time for a change and to get back to work to build anew. It’s Nature’s way of saying “Don’t get too comfortable. There is more work to do in order for the whole to continue growing.”

 

Understanding where you are in the alchemical process

 

This breaking point we experienced is the first stage of the 7 Stages of the Alchemical Process of Transformation known as Calcination.  This stage is the catalyst for the whole transformational process. It is usually uncomfortable and can be quite challenging, because we are being shaken out of our inertia and complacency that we got used to in the comfort zone.

 

close up image of electric bulb explosion

Often times if possible, we try to avoid this stage, preferring to remain in our comfort zone. But inevitably whether initiated by us or not, life will throw us a challenge to shake us up and make us grow.

 

So how do you move through this stage?  Stay tuned next week as we explore steps you can take to skillfully move through the breaking point known as Calcination, as well as, how to apply this knowledge to your role as a leader.

 

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The Seven Stages to Mastery

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

Every year, as one year ends and the next begins, we often take time to reflect on what we experienced, how we did, what we learned, and then set goals for the next twelve months.

 

Passage

In all of this reflection, making of resolutions, and setting of goals, we are likely to identify a few key things we want to do better at, clean up, or shift.

 

We also identify the things we most desire to experience or accomplish as our ideal for the year to come. In alchemy, we could call these things our “lead” and our “gold”; the “lead” being what we want to clean up or eliminate, and the “gold” being what we want to achieve.

 

If your resolution is to loose weight, then the “lead” would be the excess weight and whatever contributes to it, while the “gold” would be the ideal body weight and health you most desire for yourself.  If your goal is to make more money, then the “lead” would be anything in your mind or current life choices that limit your abundance or put you in a state of experiencing lack, while the “gold” would be your ideal bank balance at the end of each month, plus how you make that money in such a way as to enjoy the journey and feel good about how you earned the money.

 

Alchemy gives us the pattern for successfully and masterfully accomplishing both.

 

The universe in mans head revealed

 

 

What alchemists really meant by the symbolic phrase of “turning lead into gold,” was to become a master at the art of manifestation and transformation.

 

Just like people today, the alchemists sought to transform their physical world and themselves into more whole and beautiful expressions of their innate potential. They had an ideal vision of themselves and how they wanted to experience life, and they devoted themselves to attaining that vision and making it a reality.

 

The Thinker

 

The concept of lead in Alchemy relates to anything of a dense, polluted, imbalanced or imperfect state.  This could be anything from our thoughts, our physical health, to an organization, or society, or even the world at large. On the other hand, gold was seen as a state of refined perfection, wholeness, and the ideal state.

 

Ultimately, the true goal of alchemy has always been the purification of one’s own being in order to come to a state of wholeness and achieving of one’s full potential: psychologically, physically, and spiritually.

 

 

people-jumping-sunset

 

In our last blog, we discussed alchemy as it relates to accessing breakthrough creativity.  This week we begin to explore the Alchemical Formula for Transformation.  Through observing Nature, as well as their own transformational journeys and cycles, alchemists throughout time came to realize that there are seven stages to the process of complete transformation.

 

Since alchemy is about improving one’s nature and actualizing one’s potential, it involves a very specific and intentional process of going through these seven stages.

 

the butterfly

 

Anytime we want to make a change, achieve a new goal, eliminate a bad habit, or develop a new skill or gift, we must go through these same seven stages to get to a place of mastery in that new area. Often people don’t realize there are seven stages to mastery, and so they tend to fall short of truly mastering and fully integrating a new change.

 

When unaware of the full transformational process, people will tend to get stuck at the half-way point or even earlier, and instead repeat earlier stages over and over, without really progressing.

 

 

man with the blindfold walking on the rope over blue sky

 

By understanding what all seven stages are, how to identify where we are at in the journey, and what is needed to progress from one stage to the next, we can more powerfully accelerate our progress to mastery in any area of life.

 

In brief, the seven stages of the transformational journey involve:

 

  • Breaking down and breaking through the old, imperfect forms that limit us, while releasing the creative energy trapped within;

  • Separating out the various essential components that were released;

  • Purifying the parts or separated essences to eliminate any impurities;

  • Recombining the various aspects into a more harmonious and balanced whole;

  • Raising the energetic vibration of this purified substance;

  • Continuing to refine and purify the substance through more cycles of separation and recombination until it is matured and brought into a state of stability and integration;

  • Ultimately crystallizing the transformed essence into its full potential as a thing of beauty, integrity, and wholeness.

 

The practical applications for our own alchemical journey start with being able to identify each of these stages as it relates to our personal and professional lives.  From there we can begin to understand how to skillfully move through each stage.  In doing so, we ultimately learn to harness our creativity, focus the mind, revitalize our energy, apply our will, and so on.

 

Alchemy thus becomes a powerful method for unlocking our potential.

 

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Stay tuned! Over the next several months, we will explore each of the 7 Stages of the Alchemical Process of Transformation.  We will look at ways to identify each stage, how they relate to our life, how to skillfully move through each stage, and finally how to apply these principles to our roles as leaders.

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Understanding Alchemy: How to Drive Transformation

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

How many things do you encounter in your life and work that create tension, stress, or struggle?  What if you could transform that tension and stress into something beneficial and purposeful?

 

The key that reveals to us how to harness that stress or struggle and to then use it towards our advantage is the art and science of Alchemy.

 

alchemy3

 

Alchemy is about how to drive transformation.How it works, at its core, is through harnessing differences.

 

Whether we are talking about different perspectives, approaches, personalities, natures or any other instance of different things, people, or systems that interact. Through the interaction of things that are different from one another a kind of tension or polarization is generated.  If that tension is not properly harnessed it can lead to conflict, stress, power struggles, stale mates, competition, resistance, and “being rubbed the wrong way”.

 

However, when harnessed and directed, the tension between differences can become the very fuel for catalyzing transformation.

 

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The process of alchemy reveals to us how transformation unfolds and how to harness the energy generated when differences collide.

 

When we learn to work with this process consciously, then we become able to harmonize these differences and drive progression, rather than letting them remain in conflict.

 

Molecular Thoughts

 

The key to this rests in understanding how to harness the potential within each of the different essences, and then synergistically bring them together in the right proportions.  In doing so, we learn how to bring a new level of wholeness, order and creative potential to our lives and work.

 

 

Creative Business Idea

 

Here is a simple physical example of alchemy and how the interaction of different things can generate something new.

 

Let’s look at the interaction of fire and water. Often we would think of these as opposing elements that do not mix. Too much water puts out the fire. Too much fire will quickly evaporate the water.

 

When they are brought together in the right proportion and timing, however, the tension, or the difference between them generates steam, which mediates between the two poles of fire and water.

 

Nuclear power plant

 

In technical terms, the combination of fire and water gives rise to a work potential that can be harnessed and directed. For example, the steam could then be used to propel a turbine and converted into electricity, or it could be used for steam cleaning, or any number of other applications that have a useful purpose.

 

Alchemy teaches us the steps one must go through to harness these differences in the right proportions to gain usable energy out of the tension.

 

Because we have so many things in our world that are different, alchemy is very relevant to our lives today.  This is also why alchemy is so essential to becoming a transformational leader.  Transformational leaders know how to  harness the differences of the people they lead in order to drive overall progress and creative breakthroughs.

 

Stay tuned next week as we look further at understanding “differences” often represented as polarities and their relationship to alchemy.

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Stepping into Quantum Creative Leadership

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

At a time of increasing complexity and rapid change, leaders around the world and across industries are recognizing that the role of a leader is shifting.

 

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The 20th century “command-and-control” approach, which spawned from the 18th and 19th century Industrial Age based on the bottom line motives of driving results and delivering numbers, no longer works sustainably.

 

Now more than ever, there is a growing imperative for leaders and organizations to keep pace and maintain creative advantage.  To effect change, today’s leaders must become Transformational Leaders who can effectively engage those they lead and guide them all the way through the change process.

 

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This includes being able to communicate and articulate clear purpose and organizational values, create a shared vision, build collaboration and teamwork, make effective decisions, and creatively solve problems.

 

Quantum Creative Leaders not only recognize that they create their world, they also have the tools and understanding to know how to do this more consciously.

 

So now the question is what are the steps to becoming a Quantum Creative Leader?

 

Creative Business

 

We’ve identified 3 Essential Steps that allow you to access this transformative way of operating and ultimately elevate your creativity capacity to become a Quantum Creative Leader:  Cultivate – Quantum – Expansion

 

Step #1 Cultivate 

 

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This first step means to actively cultivate Creativity. There are 7 key areas for elevating your creative capacity and raising the bar to gain an advantage as a leader.

 

These include first and foremost developing your imagination.  Innovation happens through “leaps of imagination.” and so learning to develop your imaginative capacity is critical to cultivating creativity.

 

Creative Business Idea

 

Next, creativity requires multiple brain regions, including both hemispheres of the cortex as well as deeper brain structures, to function at its optimal potential. Learning to rewire your brain is an essential task.  You may enjoy our blog 3 Steps to Rewire Your Brain for Creativity.

 

This is followed by the process of allowing. Rather than stressing to pull out an idea from your head, you can simply choose to loosen up and allow it to come through you.

 

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Interaction is another key central to cultivating creativity.  A creative leader is open to the ideas of others and encourages interaction amongst those they lead.  The fifth key to cultivating creativity is all about Space.  This relates to both physical environment, as well as time and mental space to get into a creative flow.

 

Businessman Holds Earth In A Hand

 

Cultivating creativity also requires you are operating at the edge.  This refers to being outside the comfort zone of routine, outside the box of patterned ways of thinking and doing. The final key is uncertainty.   This key shows us how to adapt an attitude of accepting, even enjoying, and allowing it to be ok for there to be unknowns.

 

Interested in learning more about these 7 Keys and how to begin working with them right now?  Check out our FREE video on the 7 Keys to Cultivating Creative Advantage and download our complimentary E-Book!

 

Step #2 Quantum

 

Molecular Thoughts

 

This second step is about embracing a Quantum Mindset & New Paradigm Approach. When you do, you can transform your approach from one of limitation to boundless possibility.

 

Human creativity works very similar to the creativity of quantum processes. Quantum thinking takes creative thinking several steps further into really being able to Consciously tap in to the source where all creativity originates from.  When you are coming from quantum thinking then you are in a space of awareness that transcends and precedes labels, structures, and familiar patterns of thought.

 

Mind Stream

 

By first accessing a state of Higher Consciousness, we can then tap into the Quantum View of reality and become aware of the many possibilities available for making a breakthrough or a “Quantum Leap” in our creative thinking.

 

This Quantum mindset gives you access to a thought process that is creative, insightful, intuitive, and able to make breakthroughs or leaps.  With quantum thinking you can more easily challenge assumptions, create new categories, change structures, transform thought patterns, leap out of old habits.

 

Brain Waves

 

Quantum thinking coincides with using our whole brain in a synchronous way. In such a state we are able to radically rewire our brains. Potentially in an instant. Sometimes a 6-second window of truly getting into the Quantum Zone is all you need to carry you for an entire week.

 

Brillant Idea

 

Getting into that space is where the art comes in. It does take some repetition to train ourselves to access it, but when you do and you really get the feeling of it, then it can gets easier and easier to recreate that experience.

 

Step #3 Expansion

 

Thought Cloud

The final step of Expansion refers to one who purposefully expands consciousness outside the box of limited perception in order to make breakthroughs in creative innovation and problem solving tasks.

 

In Quantum Consciousness, we actually go into a space of awareness where the box doesn’t even exist.

 

But then once we tap into the new idea or inspiration that we want to bring into tangible reality, we bring it into the framework of the mind so that we can work with it in a practical way. In so doing, it transforms our mind, while our mind simultaneously works to harness it and bring it into form.

 

So Cultivate – Quantum – Expansion will take you on your way to becoming a Quantum Creative Leader.

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The Emergence of a New Type of Leader

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

What comes to mind when you think of creativity? A painting? A song? Perhaps a new invention or way of thinking?  Did you know that creativity is at the foundation of innovation and problem solving? In fact, it is now recognized as a key factor to success.

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Businessman painting abstract colorful design on gray background concept for  business creativity, ibigstock-Creation-Of-Eve-57375380

 

This is why now more than ever it is critical that leaders possess the ability to access creativity and utilize it to drive their team and projects to success.

 

Understanding the power of creativity is essential for maintaining high performance, sustained advantage, and for identifying new solutions to the problems of today’s ever changing economy.

 

What is Creativity?

 

Creative Business Idea

 

Creativity is the part of us that envisions beyond our immediate physical experience of the world around us.  Creativity is the ability to use imagination to develop new and original ideas or things.  Using this key faculty of Imagination, it guides our creations, our dreams, and even our fears.

 

What is a Creative Advantage?

 

Businessman painting abstract colorful design on gray background concept for  business creativity, ibigstock-Vector-illustration-rocket-wit-68303701

 

The Creative Advantage, is the ability to continually tap into new ideas, solutions, and innovations.  This rests upon first being able to harness imagination.  A leader must not only learn to tap in to new ideas but also be able to break past the barriers to creativity when they “hit a wall” or have “creative block.”  When we are talking innovation, we are also talking about making Breakthroughs.

 

What is a Breakthrough?

 

Arrow with word Creativity breaking brick wall. Concept 3D illus

 

A breakthrough is an event that causes or marks the breaking down of a barrier to progress.  A breakthrough can also be an important new discovery.  As Albert Einstein said best, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

 

Enter the Era of Creative Leader

 

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Creativity is one of fundamental qualities we must cultivate as leaders.  Whatever your area of leadership may be, if your work touches society or the lives of people, it is time to develop new strategies for enhancing your creativity.

 

The Creative Leader is a new term that has emerged to coin the next generation leader who drives innovation through fostering an environment of Inspiration, Imagination, and Breakthrough Creativity.

 

Another blog you may find interesting is one where we identified some of the key Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader.  As leaders, we must learn practical techniques for continually tapping in to new ideas, solutions, and innovations that will keep us flourishing and evolving.

 

A key solution, we at Quantum Leap Alchemy see, is to move leaders out of the box of old ways of thinking, and to train you to master the arts and sciences of transformation and of accessing breakthrough creativity.

 

In fact, we believe another type of leader, one who recognizes that both Creativity and Transformation emerge from a Higher Plane of Consciousness, or from the Quantum Realm will become the next generation Transformational Leader.

 

Introducing the Quantum Creative Leader

 

Creative Business

 

There is much discussion these days about Transformational Leadership, a style of leadership in which one uses authentic presence, vision and inspiration to motivate others.  These are leaders who have the ability to skillfully embrace change, empower others and ultimately transform us.

 

The Quantum Creative Leader recognizes this ability to create and transform arise from higher consciousness and are able to access this realm to drive creative breakthroughs and change.

 

As author Danah Zohar states, “Quantum thinking is vital to creative thinking and leadership in organizations. It is the key to any genuine organizational transformation. It is the key to shifting our paradigm.”

 

We’ve identified 3 essential steps that allow you to access this higher plane of consciousness known as the Quantum Domain and ultimately elevate your creativity capacity to become a next generation Transformational Leader, a Quantum Creative Leader.  Stay tuned next week as we look closely at these 3 steps.

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6 Core Values of a Transformational Leader

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

In today’s ever evolving business world, quality leadership is now recognized as a key factor in whether an organization will ultimately succeed or fail. More and more businesses are now hiring those individuals who possess Transformational Leadership skills to drive their company towards long-lasting success.

 

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation.

 

In our blog, 4 Essential Steps to Becoming a Transformational Leader, we identified a transformational leader as one who brings about valuable and positive transformation in the individuals, organizations, and social systems.

 

Ultimately, a Transformational Leader is one who empowers and develops the people they lead to become leaders themselves, and challenges them to bring out their best and take greater ownership of their work.

 

Last week, we identified 6 Key Characteristics of a Transformational Leader.    This week, we dive deeper into the topic of Transformational Leadership by looking at some of the essential values of these individuals.  We’ve identified 6 Core Values of a Modern Day Transformational Leader:

 

#1 Community, Cooperation

 

Silhouettes of Business People's Different Activities Outdoors

 

Fundamental to Transformational Leadership is the ability to foster a sense of community via collaboration with peers and amongst their team.

 

Transformational leaders value cooperation over competition.  They embrace the philosophy that only through cooperation can we create more effective solutions to complex challenges.  Transformational Leaders view the world as an Interconnected System and recognize that there is a Natural Order that guides Emergence or punctuated shifts.

 

#2 Social Responsibility

 

Businessman Holds Earth In A Hand

 

Social responsibility refers to a viewpoint that an organization or individual has an obligation to act to benefit society at large.  Being socially responsible creates trust, a good image and helps to foster a positive reputation for your company.

 

In order for an organization to be socially responsible, they must adopt a perspective of Wholism and a “Global World View.”  Transformational Leaders recognize that the part reflects and contains the whole.   They value doing their part to be socially responsible and recognize that this opens up new relationships and opportunities.  Ultimately, social responsibility helps to build a foundation of community and a culture that people can get behind.

 

#3 Service-Oriented Leadership & Altruistic Motivations

 

Business Team Globe

 

Transformational Leaders value service-oriented leadership and are actively involved in creating a better way of life.

 

Fundamental to this attitude is the underlying principle that they are driven by a connection to a deeper sense of purpose and meaning as a leader.  As author Lewis Carroll once wrote, “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

 

#4 Balance, Equality, & Diversity

 

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All three of these core values of  transformational leadership seek to harmonize and unite differences.

 

Transformational Leaders understand the importance of embracing diversity as a key to co-creative alchemy, especially in regards to Gender Balance & Ethnic Equality.

 

#5 Optimism Towards Future

 

Everything Is Possible

 

Transformational Leaders have a positive mindset and are optimistic yet realistic about the future.

 

They have an Abundance Mentality, meaning they understand there are always new chances and opportunities, mixed with Idealism, and Mindful Activism.

 

#6 Whole-Process Learning

 

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Transformational Leaders have developed the ability to utilize Whole Brain Thinking or leveraging the full spectrum of thinking available.

 

By stimulating and engaging multiple senses in the learning process through new and creative ways, Transformational Leaders are fully enrolled in “whole-process learning”.

 

So much goes into truly embodying what it means to be a Transformational Leader beginning with the sense of community you develop within an organization.

 

Transformational Leaders place high value on fostering an environment of cooperation and one that is balanced, diverse and equitable.  They build community and help develop a positive corporate culture by adopting a philosophy of social responsibility.  Transformational Leaders lead by example and this begins with service-oriented leadership as well as having an optimistic attitude.  Finally, they understand how to use their whole brain to create and effectively lead their team members.

 

Stay tuned next week as we look at Creativity and the role it plays in further developing us as Transformational Leaders.

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4 Essential Steps to Becoming a Transformational Leader

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

 

Ask anyone what they think of when they hear the word “leader” and you will likely get an answer that widely differs from the next.  The fact is there is no “one size fits all” definition of leadership anymore than there is for the word management.

 

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The most basic definition of a leader is someone who commands or leads an organization. Yet when I think of the word “leader”, my interpretation goes far beyond simply commanding others.

 

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To me and a rising demographic of Millennials and Cultural Creatives, real leadership involves more essential qualities such as the ability to inspire and to exude passion, intelligence and charisma.  In fact, many of the traits we identify with being a leader are ones that encompass the ability to motivate and transform us.

 

So what exactly is this style of leadership? Enter the era of Transformational Leadership.

 

Originally introduced by James MacGregor Burns in 1978, transformational leaders are able to inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions, and motivations to work towards common goals.

In fact, a Transformational Leader is defined as someone who brings about valuable and positive transformation in individuals, organizations, and social systems. They empower and develop the people they lead to become leaders themselves, and challenge them to bring out their best and take greater ownership of their work.

 

Why is this important? 

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The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” — John C Maxwell

 

So how does one go from being an ordinary “command-style” leader to a Transformational Leader?

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We’ve identified 4 Essential Steps to Becoming a Transformational Leader:

Inspire

 

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Fundamental to becoming a Transformational Leader is the ability to inspire others.  People look to leaders as inspirational role models, encouraging them to be the best they can possibly be.  Embodying the quality of inspiration, refers to a leader that is committed to enhancing motivation, morale, interest and performance in the people they lead.

 

So how does one inspire those that they lead?

 

Express your ideas with passion.  Communicate with integrity. Lead by example,  Articulate your vision clearly.  Exude confidence in your teams’ abilities. Most importantly, help those you lead to experience motivation toward a collective vision or goal.

 

Awaken

 

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As Henry Kissinger once said, “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”  An essential step to becoming a Transformational Leader is the ability to awaken others to new possibilities and extraordinary outcomes.  Authors Bass and Riggio describe Transformational Leaders as “those who stimulate and inspire followers to both achieve extraordinary outcomes and in the process, develop their own leadership capacity.”

 

So how does one awaken possibility in the people they lead?

 

Practice authentic presence.  Act with integrity. Communicate a clear and uplifting vision.  Finally, show compassion, expertise and a commitment to a higher purpose in all that you do.

 

Connect

 

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Recognizing that the people you lead must feel connected to the vision and purpose of what you are collectively creating is another essential step to becoming a transformational leader.  Authors Bass and Riggio describe transformational leaders as, “those who help followers grow and develop into leaders by responding to individual followers’ needs, by empowering them, and by aligning the objectives and goals of the individual followers, the leader, the group, and the larger organization.”

 

So how does a leader embody the quality of connection?

 

By inspiring a sense of self-identity and culture in the people they lead with those of the collective and its mission.

 

Identify & Optimize

 

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The final essential step to becoming a Transformational Leader begins with cultivating the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the people they lead.  Why is this important?  Once a leader defines team members’ strengths and weaknesses they can then be aligned with organizational strategies for optimizing an individual’s performance.

 

A Transformational Leader understands the importance of helping others to achieve their potential.

 

To do so, you must first recognize the potential within those you lead by observing them, getting to know who they are, what they are passionate about, and where they excel and ‘light up’ with focus and enthusiasm. In addition, given that no one is perfect, nor should perfection be expected, it is also essential to be aware of each person’s liabilities and then work together to find creative ways to redirect and steer clear of pitfalls.

 

Optimizing requires teamwork and taking a vested interest in seeing each member of your team, and the team as a whole, thrive and grow.

 

Once the strengths and weaknesses are identified, a transformational leader helps to guide those they lead to also see where they can become great when they develop their potential. Invest in the development of your team and their ability to become leaders in their own right. Finally, strive for steady progress rather than perfection. Instead of using old paradigm motivators such as fear, coersion, guilt, control, etc. find positive and empowering approaches to motivate. Identify ways to measure and reward progress. Celebrate victories together, even the small ones. Acknowledge, encourage, and empower with constructive and positive feedback. This further inspires, awakens, and connects your people to strive to the next level and push their own progression, so that the cycle of improvement will continue onwards and upwards.

 

Stay tuned next week as we dive further into the topic of transformational leadership by identifying 6  key characteristics that make up a modern day transformational leader.

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5 Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader

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In our ever evolving world, leaders are now being called upon to expand their thinking and skill set to bring creative change to their projects and organizations. A new term, Creative Leader has emerged to coin “the next generation leader who drives innovation through fostering an environment of inspiration and imagination.”

 

Here are 5 Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader: 

 

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1.  An Idea Generator:  Creative Leaders are exceptionally gifted at generating ideas.  These ideas may be totally new and innovative or simply a different way of perceiving an existing idea.  Idea generation is an art in and of itself.  Creative Leaders employ a variety of techniques to help produce ideas.  Examples include:

 

-Brainstorming in a inspirational environment such as the beach, a local park, an art museum, or even a kids playground.  There are no set rules as to where you should brainstorm.  Step outside of your office and your comfort zone and into the zone of inspiration. You never know where creative ideas may come to you.

-Meditation through movement or stillness.  Modern day Creative Leaders understand the powerful benefits of calming the mind through activities such a yoga, qi gong, tai chi and meditation.  Even a slow walk in nature done with mindfulness can totally rejuvenate your mind and body and open up you up to a whole new level of creativity.

 

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2.  Problem Solver: Creative Leaders are continually able to meet and overcome challenges by coming up with breakthrough solutions to problems.  In fact, problem solving is at the very core of what Creative Leaders do. They have the ability to understand the problem, generate quality solutions and solve it in a rapid manner. Here are a few traits of an excellent problem solver:

 

-Interaction.  A Creative Leader understands and highly values group participation.  They are open to the  ideas of others and encourage interaction amongst those they lead.  They involve team members with input into the problem at hand as well as potential solutions.

-Communication.  A Creative Leader allows for open communication.  They believe that everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves.  Adopting a culture of open communication allows for finding win-win solutions and boosts employee morale.

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3.  Inspire Others: Creative Leaders have a deep sense of purpose, meaning and fulfillment in their position.  As a leader, they understand the importance of serving as a role model of inspiration to their team. Creative Leaders have several traits that help them to inspire others.

 

-Passion.  Creative Leaders are passionate about their company’s vision and mission are are able to share and inspire others to  feel the depth of this passion as well.  They understand the importance of showing everyone the big picture and continuing to foster a positive environment in which others can draw a sense of purpose and meaning from.

-Integrity.  Creative Leaders are authentic, honest and consistent with their words and actions.  They create trust which inspire employees to believe in the direction they are providing.

 

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4.  Foster Innovation: Creative Leaders know how to support and motivate others to think and perform in original ways.  They believe in fostering an environment of imagination and innovation.  Creative Leaders employ a variety of techniques to help foster innovation.  Examples include:

 

-Sharing. A good leader will encourage employees to continually share creative ideas in brain storming sessions.  They understand the importance of keeping communication open and flowing through different departments.  They may even bring in props and provide art supplies to inspire the creative process.

-Education.  Another key to fostering innovation is to create programs that allow employees to keep learning and expanding their skill set.  Often times Creative Leaders will offer trainings or even bring in outside coaching companies to empower their team with new methods for developing their abilities.

 

 

5.  Project Finisher: Creative Leaders have the ability to see projects through.  They go beyond simply managing a project to motivating team members to stay focused and inspiring others to get the job done on time.  Creative Leaders are able to help their employees break past creative blocks, guide them to the finish line and ultimately see a idea come to full fruition.

 

At Quantum Leap Alchemy, we are dedicated to sharing breakthrough strategies and helping you become a more innovative and creative leader. Learn more at Quantum Leap Alchemy.com

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3 Keys to Increasing Your Value While Being the Creative Leader

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By Dr. Theresa Bullard

Creativity is at the foundation of innovation and is now recognized as a key factor to success. Creative Leaders are those who foster an environment of imagination and are able to lead, inspire and drive innovation within their organization.  Here are 3 Keys to Increasing Your Value While Being the Creative Leader:

 

1.  Imagine:  Innovation happens through “Leaps of Imagination”.  Everyone has the potential for a healthy imagination, and in fact, our survival and evolution depend on it. This first key is critical to harnessing your consciousness and breaking through blocks to the creative flow.

 

Creative Leaders must be able to imagine new approaches to solving problems, breaking through obstacles, and planning the steps to take to see ideas to their full fruition.   

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Being able to imagine new approaches to solving problems, breaking through obstacles, and planning the steps to take that will deliver optimal results, is essential to not getting stuck and to keeping the creative process flowing through, until results are delivered. Check out this free 12 minute video, with 3 strategies for harnessing the power of your ability to Imagine and go beyond the box.

 

2.  Interact:  A Creative Leader is open to the ideas of others and encourages interaction amongst those they lead. Often when we hit a wall, it is because we are not seeing past our own blind-spots or limited perspective.

 

When you have others to bounce ideas off of, who also understand where you are coming from, then the interaction of parts becomes greater than any one can achieve individually.

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Interaction will help boost your work to a new level. Interaction and interconnectivity is a key theme in the Quantum Domain. Nothing is truly isolated, but rather entangled with others. Emergence of truly new ideas and approaches comes when we allow for interaction and open exchange of information with other parts, people, forums, teams, etc.

When you allow and interact, then you make room for synergy to play a part, making the final result greater than what you could have imagined or accomplished alone. You don’t have to know what the exact outcome will be before you start taking action.

Let go of having to control all the variables and learn to be more flexible and adaptable. When you do, you will feel a huge weight lift off your shoulders, reducing stress, and allowing you to tap more into the flow around you. Be bolstered and stimulated by the ideas of others and allow for something new to emerge.

 

3.  Operating at the Edge: As Creative Leaders we must learn to operate at the edge or to be outside the comfort zone of routine, outside the box of patterned ways of thinking and doing. Our “comfort zone” is the zone in which we feel most familiar and that we can “control” to some level.

 

Creativity happens when we allow for Unconventional or Original approaches and ideas. It is outside the comfort zone where breakthroughs and magic occur. 

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Operating at the Edge is a mindset and attitude that a leader comes to  embody. It is an attitude of thinking out of box, taking risks, being unconventional. It involves a mix of rebelliousness tempered with discernment and tradition. Qualities to cultivate include:

Enthusiasm and Passion – this usually comes from having a strong vision that motivates and is something you want to dedicate yourself to.

Courage – Being willing to take Leaps and make risks, while staying Focused, Persistent, Disciplined, and Hard Working in order to carry the creative work through to its completion, and having to courage not to give up. The important part is “Never giving up on your dreams”.

Operating at The Edge is also about learning to conduct your life at the point of transition between the world of practical things (classical reality) and the realm of extraordinary possibilities (quantum reality).

 

At Quantra Leadership Academy, we are dedicated to sharing breakthrough strategies with you and to helping you become a more innovative and creative leader.  Check out our FREE Webinar to help you develop yourself as a Creative Leader.

 

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