Leadership Training Brings Opportunity for Change

By: Mike Shea

My flight was delayed 3 hours. Seated next to me was a retired Army General. By the dignified way he carried himself I wasn't surprised. He asked about my job. 
"I equip government leaders in developing nations."
He respectfully asked, "Are you able to bring culture change with your leadership training?"

It was a fair question. Am I doing any good, or is it only talk? Not all leadership training changes lives. Training can be informational without being transformational. It can also be inspirational without making a lasting impact. Many leadership conferences amount to nothing more than a new notebook on a shelf. Is our training any different?

In response to his question, I shared the story of how the unique expression of this curriculum began. Top provincial leaders walked in the room. They were clearly unhappy to be there. Assigned by a very powerful warlord to attend this training, they dare not say "No" to him. So, they took it out on us. It was a rough place to start. I heard things like:
"Who are you?"
"What do you know about us?"
"Why don't you go teach your president servant leadership?"

Culture change seemed unlikely. One of our facilitators was convinced the only positive thing these leaders received from our training was the food we catered. 
We returned a couple of months later for Module 2. This time everything was different. They were happy to see us. They listened closely and participated enthusiastically in our leadership activities. At the end of the week, each delegate said the same thing to me, "This training is changing my professional life and my personal life." The Deputy Governor called the local TV station to have a camera crew visit for an interview. His testimonial was broadcast on the evening news.
How does something like this happen? There are a couple of reasons. First our message: our message is built on universal principles, not western culture. 

We build leaders who:

  • lead by influence rather than position
  • see people as people
  • embrace values that drive a greater purpose
  • cultivate trust through integrity
  • possess vision for a better future
  • inspire others to a mutual vision
  • remain proactive decision makers
  • adapt to a constantly changing world
  • champion the growth of colleagues
  • cultivate community among co-workers

One delegate said, "I never heard of leadership like this before. I didn't even know it existed!" 

Second, our method is highly interactive. We guide participants through a process of discovery using a mixture of lectures, video clips, dialogue and exercises. We know that positive change seldom occurs through mere information transfer. Transformation is best achieved through relationships, knowledge, and experience. We communicate Transformational Leadership "transformationally." 

One delegate said, "You showed us through the exercises that what seems impossible is not. Then you showed us how to see solutions and break free from our closed thinking."

Another said, "I've been to lots of training. Most of the time I go to sleep, but in your training, I looked at the clock and couldn't believe it was finished."

Third, our instructors are contagious. They have relevant experience as well as the ability to communicate effectively. They listen in order to understand each participant and their unique challenges. 

One delegate said, "What we have learned from you is to respect the opinions of others in exchanging ideas. Your teaching gives us the idea of a democratic society." 

Another one said, "I am not a dictator any more! I bring in people and ask them what they think about a problem to see if they have any ideas. And now I really listen to what they are saying."

For more than a decade, our transformational leadership tools have been sharpened in multiple nations on four continents. We believe all people have tremendous potential to become the highest level of a leader who maximize their strengths and engage others toward positive change.

Transformational Leadership is executive development for government leaders who are responsible for fostering solutions for the obstacles their nations face. Our curriculum is suited to the needs and time demands of leaders who represent diverse government functions at both the National and Regional Level. Delegates are equipped to bring positive change, increase their leadership base, and build results-oriented teams. We connect participants to the characteristics of a Transformational Leader through 3 distinct modules of training, each module having a unique focus. Normally all 3 modules are completed over the course of one year.