Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Transformational Leadership in American Life


There has been a lot of interesting leadership material coming out of the business community over the last decades. I will do a gross summation by saying that as organizations have realized their most valuable assets to be the creativity and loyalty of empowered employees, the art of business management has deepened from the mechanics of correct administration to the art of individual empowerment, fulfillment and the fascinating question of what is involved in transformational leadership.

Tranformational leadership can be said to be the ability to allow organizations to move in quantum leaps as the changing world demands, rather than in incremental and survival-based steps.

Companies that have floundered in survival and greed seem to be falling all around us at the moment and proving once again the need for a new way of doing business with each other. How interesting that insight is coming out of a business community currently demonstrating the collective repercussions of following ego’s ambitions and fears.

Yet embracing the business community’s learning about transformational leadership in the political arena at this time could well offer new ways of understanding our national challenges and help restore a sense of collective possibility. The stage is set for a transformational leap on a national scale by the collapse of the reigning ideology and the subsequent don’t-know-mind that such an event opens.

Could it be that the rule of the mind-made self is coming to its end in exactly these times? As our incredibly interconnected world presses on each person’s sensibilities day after day, year after year, can we feel a natural relaxing of the firm boundaries of the ego which would draw a circle around itself making all else “other” and dangerous? Can we notice a larger identity already present? Can we relax our preconceived notions about how life works and what is going on long enough to see with new eyes? Perhaps the possibilities for our lives are something far greater than we had thought!

A notable quote from Barack Obama: “The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time.” Our mind-made-selves and their fear and greed are failing us. This rising together Obama talks about is one way of expressing what is possible now. In order to allow this rising to occur, we each do our part when we internally relax or just turn our attention away from our stale thinking, our outworn survival mechanisms and petty divisions and make room for transformation to occur in each of our individual lives. This is simply life giving us a chance to move beyond old perspectives and see the world freshly. Then we will know to take action or not, each within our capacity, not just for our own personal advantage or that of the causes we believe in, but for the collective well-being of all life. Then leadership will be coming from within, and our collective energies will power a rising beyond anything our new President could imagine.

© 2008 Alice Gardner