The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-first Century
Editor, Carol S. Pearson, Author of Awakening the Heroes Within
How I love this book! Today our world’s leaders are caught in a dark storm of criticism, doubt, corruption, fear, disappearing borders and calls for walls. Add to that the proliferation of dangerous weapons, from guns to extremist ideologies, and finally, the ways that the climate change we have created is manifesting.
We need to wake up. We need to thank Carol Pearson for this collection of concise, thought-provoking essays on new approaches to leadership. This is the calm, the inspiration, the nourishment, the guide we need to move beyond the tempest. We need change agents calling us to find creative solutions and possibilities, not concentrating on what’s wrong, what’s broken and doesn’t work. We need young people finding their voices and becoming a “leaderful generation”. We need leaders who optimize, use ancestral wisdom, collaborate, and believe in themselves and their abilities to facilitate positive change. We need transforming leaders.
The Transforming Leader is the result of the quest of the deep desire of two leadership scholars, Carol Pearson and Judy Brown, colleagues at the University of Maryland at the time, to listen to and learn from leaders “who were making a truly transformational impact on the world.” This book emerged from over three years of lengthy, purposeful dialogues with many of these leaders. It is divided into three parts with essays that address three elements: thinking, being and relating. It offers ways for us to look inside ourselves first, at our own feelings, beliefs and ways of being and then offers us inspiring and practical ways to create community and care and dare to lead, to help facilitate a healthier and more interconnected world.
You can pick up this book and open to any one of the essays and in a short time feel awakened, honored and inspired to be a part of the vital and hard work needed and possible today to truly make our world a better place. You will find titles like these: Leadership in Action: Three Essential Energies; Positive Power: Transforming Possibilities through Appreciative Leadership; Dancing on a Slippery Floor: Transforming Systems, Transforming Leadership; Shapeshifter Leadership: Responding Creatively to the Challenges of a Complex World; and Deep Dialogue: Harvesting Collective Wisdom. These essays are full of energy, calling us to dream, giving us the vocabulary and the questions to awaken and source our potential to truly transform our lives and our world.
In her conclusion to the book, Reinforcing Change Through Transformation Communication, Carol writes:
But most of all, transformational communication is about taking responsibility to be aware that the way you live your life itself is a communication. If you are aware that you are living out cultural and mythic narratives, you might ask yourself, “Is this the story I want to live?” and “Is this what I want to model for others?”
Are we living the story we want to live? Are we modeling what we want for others? Can we be a part of writing a new story? Yes, we can! And for me, that’s what transformation is all about. And there’s more. At the end of The Transforming Leader, there is an Appendix A full of exercises to help us find and enhance our own leader within and perhaps our best way to follow that leader as well and invite others to do the same with us.
Thank you, Carol Pearson, and all the others in your book, for your leadership, your courage and your call to do exactly what we can and so need to do, transform our world!
Review by Sherry Miller, Ed.D
SERES Global Ambassador
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