The Transformed Leader
The Transformed Leader
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A single portrait of the enlightened leader and wise person has existed in the world's literature for over 2,000 years and for much longer in mythology. The portrait is fleshed out with modern work in humanistic psychology and the psychology of archetypes. The resulting picture is of an individual, transformed as a result of life's journey, who stands in two worlds: the realm of the possible and the land of the practical. The transformed leader perspective is universal, timeless, gender-free, and based on fundamental truths about human nature.

By undergoing a transformative process, either deliberately or involuntarily, a leader discovers a life mission and true vocation. The transforming journey results in someone who is tough, passionate, humble, sees the world clearly, and perseveres, all traits needed in the ordinary world. However, the transformed leader also has a vision of the possible, of what could be, together with faith that the possible can become tangible. Having been set free of the boundaries of ordinary existence, the transformed leader is spontaneous and creative. Finally, that person experiences transcendence, a sense of uniqueness and being specially chosen. Being chosen is at once energizing and a burden.

The Transformed Leader relies on the work of Joseph Campbell in mythology, the writings of Lao Tze and other Taoist writers, Carol Pearson's efforts to describe basic human archetypes, and Abraham Maslow's studies in humanistic psychology. A single picture of the transformed person and leader emerges from those sources.

Transformation is distinguished from training and development processes and a survey of transformative events and activities is provided. A concluding chapter deals with the kinds of relationships a transformed leader might have with subordinates, the ways in which such a leader would work over time, and the contexts in which the transformed leader is most likely to flourish.

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Ernest L. "Ernie" Stech, Ph.D., (pronounced Steck) is the principal in Chief Mountain Consulting and Executive Director of the Flagstaff National Monuments Foundation. He is former President and CEO of Frost Engineering Development Corporation, Englewood, CO. Stech is a contributor to Northouse's Leadership Theory and Practice (Chapter 10, "The Psychodynamic Perspective") and the author of Leadership Communication. His work is cited in Bass and Stogdill's Handbook of Leadership. As a professor of Communication at Western Michigan University he developed and taught an undergraduate leadership course. Stech's interests are in transformative processes, leadership development, leadership as relationship, and leading as a process.

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