What do these three people have in common?

  1. A teenager who says, “I’m going to be rich!” while playing video games all day.
  2. The professional who says “I’m going to work for myself someday” while assuming clients will magically come to their door.
  3. The executive who plans a business transformation while thinking a new, digital platform, process or structure will transform how employees work together.

Answer: All the subjects are dreamers.

Transformational outcomes don’t occur by setting big, bold goals. Business transformation is dependent on transforming how people think and interact as they pursue objectives. The every-day, transactional efforts of employees will not deliver new outcomes tomorrow.

As logical as this seems, transforming how people operate together appears to be the hidden requirement for delivering big and bold outcomes.

As evidence, the next time well-intentioned leaders in your organization repeat the mantra “What got us here won’t get us there” kindly raise your hand and ask: “And how, specifically, will you be equipping us to think and act differently together to create these transformative outcomes?”

A transformative business strategy will only be successfully delivered by transformative leaders. Transactional leadership creates incremental changes.

3 Signs You’re Operating in a Transactional Work Environment:

  • Interactions between colleagues are negative or neutral in value creation as colleagues prioritize their function’s objectives over those of the enterprise.
  • Decision making is non-strategic; critical thinking is rarely required.
  • Work feels like a treadmill. A sense of belonging, of meaning, or purpose is infrequent.

Transforming any aspect of your business is like climbing a mountain, delivering Beethoven’s 5th or running a marathon. It requires a different effort than climbing hills, playing the Chopsticks, or running to the mailbox.

When employees are not equipped to show up differently, they are reduced to working longer, harder and far less efficiently. It’s debilitating.

My first Pathways to Leadership experience transformed how I lead change. It altered how I saw myself as a leader and team member. It rattled my heart and thinking: The dream of organizations doing big things was possible if employees were equipped to be who they always wanted to be: great.

When you connect and mobilize the hearts and minds of employees you create transformative outcomes.

3 Signs You’re Operating in a Transformative Work Environment:

  • Interactions between colleagues multiply the value created. People move from fixing problems to building the future.
  • Decision making is strategic or holistic in nature; there’s a sense that every action impacts the future health of the organization.
  • Clarity of purpose is the norm. There is a reason and intrinsic reward for being at your best.

If you work in a transformative workplace, you know there’s another sign you’re operating in a unique organization: Your life is transformed for the better.

P.S. If you’re one of the tens of thousands of graduates of the Pathways to Leadership process, we invite you to our new LinkedIn global community. Together we’re strengthening the skills required to mobilize hearts and minds—so more of us can work in a thriving, seamless organizations.



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