Who’s your top three and how do they inspire your learning?

In many leadership development programs and one-on-one coaching sessions, participants are asked to think about an inspiring leader who they admire or want to emulate. Often the question is phrased as  “When you think of a successful leader, who do you think of…?”
Having been in many sessions where this question has been asked, I have recognised patterns in the answers. They include:

  • My parents/family member/significant teacher
  • My first boss/first person to give me a break/first mentor/first person to pity me/first person to sponsor me
  • Richard Branson/Steve Jobs/the Google guys/Elon Musk
  • Mandela/Gandhi/Mother Theresa and in recent times, Pope Francis
  • Individual sports stars who have ran very fast, jumped very high or passed the ball better than anyone else
  • Politicians… actually never come up for some reason
  • Bono… once… ok that was me who suggested him…

A few weeks ago I heard an answer that absolutely floored me. One that I had never heard before.
The answer forced me to rethink the question and answer completely.

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10 transitions every leader needs to master

“I am exhausted – I have transition overload!”

Dean, a leader with many years of international years experience, confessed even he was tired of managing another phase of change in his organisation.

This is not surprising – the more senior the leader, the increasing number of transitions they have to manage.

William Bridges (1991) published “Managing Transitions” where he focussed on the transition as opposed to the change itself. A transition is the internal manifestation of that change that happens within the individual – the psychological impact of the change itself. Whilst this might seem subtle, it is significant as he clarified the emotional impacts the individual experiences during each stage of a transition.

Bridges makes a key point that people experience change even if they don’t agree to or desire it. He highlights three zones of transition people go through when they experience change. He said they are:

  1. Ending, Losing and Letting Go
  2. The Neutral.
  3. The New Beginning
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