“Stop changing! It doesn’t work! When you change, the tendency is to regress to the mean, but when you transform that option is a non sequitur”.
This is one of the powerful statements uttered by Dr. Patricia Anderson, a visionary transformational leader, and certified change practitioner. In her Change versus Transformation workshop, she goes on to say that “Change is binary; however, transformation is a progressive movement towards better future states.” Additionally, Dr. Anderson prescribes the sustainability of the transformational approach to change management initiatives, as it extends the life cycle of the change. This rings true more than ever – particularly for organization leaders in the continuing pandemic-induced new normal they operate in.
For many organizations, the big question is how executive leadership has handled the sudden disruption and crisis that transpired from the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. How do companies continue to manage the after-effects? Did the companies simply change or did they choose to transform their leadership?
Authentic transformational leadership: COVID-19 and beyond
The answer is transformation and not change. With or without the pandemic, what businesses need in times of uncertainty is Authentic Transformational Leadership (ATL). This type of leadership meets the criteria for moving through crisis and minimizing its effects. Business disruption is the make-or-break point and this is where the expertise of Dr. Anderson comes into play.
While Dr. Anderson graduated with a degree in Computer Science, her passion for leadership has led her to transformational leadership coaching and development, and to build her company. With an MBA in International Business, she has also worked with some of the biggest companies and leaders such as General Electric and AT&T. She attributes her passion for transformational leadership to Sir Richard Branson’s stance on leaders focusing on internal customers as the strategic approach to ensuring that external customers are taken care of. Dr. Anderson also teaches at various business schools, including Forbes School of Business.
An action-oriented, innovative, and visionary thought leader, Dr. Anderson has gained exceptional success in implementing transformative cultures and maximizing internal and external stakeholder relationships. She also possesses extensive experience in research, design, development, and enforcement of optimal solutions in challenging business environments.
With her diverse experience, cross-functional leadership abilities, and extensive research on leadership behavior – specifically Authentic Transformational Leadership (ATL) and Pseudo Transformational Leadership (PTL), Dr. Anderson has designed strategies to reverse PTL behavior, depicted the effects of ATL and PTL leadership, and recommended optimal solutions to successfully manage in both the current business environment and post-pandemic.
The key domains of authentic transformational leadership
“Learning leaders understand that knowledge is provisional, so they engage in continual learning to remain innovative”.
Now, more than ever, is the time to engage in transformational leadership, so here are the four domains that characterize an authentic transformational leader: (1) inspirational motivation – be the embodiment of a steady force that helps diminish ambiguity and fear; (2) idealized influence – serve as a role model to your internal and external stakeholders, and to other leaders; (3) individual consideration – ensure that employees, partners and clients feel cared for; and (4) intellectual stimulation – pivot to alternate means of achieving strategic goals that engage stakeholders and employees in collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, innovation, and creativity.
From the words of Dr. Anderson, effective leaders must be intentional in pursuing continual learning and execute that knowledge in their organizations. The four domains of authentic transformational leadership are essential building blocks that leaders must know as they come to bear in the efforts to consistently bring innovation and agile culture to both their leadership practice and to their organization.