Leadership has a way of bringing about transformation and change. One way to transform is through self-transformation and another is the transformation of others. Transformation can also be on a large scale which may include a team, work department, or the entire organization.

In addition to transforming, leaders will be given plenty of opportunities and challenges that may result in change. Those changes might focus on themselves or others on the team or in the organization. Change could also impact the team, work department or the entire organization.

Understanding transformation and change are critical to a leader as each word evokes an emotional response or reaction when shared with others. In knowing how others may perceive these words, the leader is aware of how to make empowering decisions that will support their growth and development.

Transformation generally has a positive connotation for most people. They think of things going from this state of being to a better state of being. We see this in nature when caterpillars transform into butterflies. We are in awe of the process and delight in the butterflies and their beauty.

The anticipation surrounding transformation in the workplace is generally influenced by how the transformation is communicated by the leader. The eagerness in looking forward to the transformation might be the motivator for others to buy in and give it their all. Transformation might be less intimidating and scary when we think what is on the other side of it is better that what we are experiencing currently. The future may be met with enthusiasm when transformation is imminent.

Transformation may be expressed in the following equation.

Inspiration X Action+Motivation X Action=Transformation

Inspiration may be defined as the process of being mentally stimulated. People may feel inspired when they hear, see, or read something from a great speaker. They will talk about their experiences with others and share lots of feelings about their inspiration. Sadly many stop there. What makes a difference is when people who are inspired take action.  When you feel inspired and you take action, you are living in alignment with your life purpose. Things will line up for you and you may experience an easier transformation in your life.

Motivation is usually defined as the reason or reasons for acting in a certain way or taking action. Motivation can put into 2 categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is internal to the person and brings them satisfaction just by completing the actions. Extrinsic motivation is more commonly discussed because it  is tangible like money or a vacation. Some research now shows it takes over 2 months or almost 66 days to change a habit. Knowing this will support people as they are motivated to stay on track and transform their lives. Motivation on its own will not give you the results you are looking for in your life, you must take action to achieve the changes you seek for your life. 

Inspiration gives us the mental stimulation to do something while motivation gives us the reasons. When we focus on our inspirations and motivations with clearly outlined actions, we are more likely to achieve the transformations in our lives that we seek. 

Change in general is perceived negatively by others because there is a perception of losing something in the change. Many people expect to have less after they experience a change. The feel a sense of loss, grief, and resentment for things not being the way they were before the change. There are a vast number of examples of change in our lives every day like changing jobs. The loss of a job can be very emotional for many people even in the event they have a bigger and better new job to go to on their start date. Losing working relationships can be very hard on some people and it may take them some time to process those emotions. Supporting leaders on both sides of this kind of change can make a big difference in how the individual moves through those emotions. 

The expectations of change for many people are focused on things being different after the change. There is a saying that suggests change is chaotic which in of itself is overwhelming and intimidating to many people. With things being different, there is a perception that things are somehow less than they were before the change. Rarely do people see the change as bringing them more and in some cases that is exactly what change might do for them. And while these are generalizations, they tend to be the way the mind processes change when it is left to its unexamined thoughts. 

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. “

Change may be expressed in the following equations.

Inspiration X Action-Feelings of Loss=Change

Motivation X Action-Feelings of Loss=Change

Change can come from an inspiration or motivation. The emotions most often associated with change are loss and letting go of something. When we acknowledge those feelings and process them, we are more likely to achieve the changes in our lives we seek. Change as a concept can be redefined just by changing the feeling of loss to a more positive one. The feelings of loss are typically associated with the past while the positive feelings you may conger up may be associated with the future.

Both transformation and change have a place with leaders and organization. The awareness and focus on these words is intended to highlight them and take them off auto pilot long enough to explore and gain clarity for ourselves. Transformation is critical when someone or some organization must make the leap into a new set of paradigms in thinking or in how work is processed. These transformations will support more successes than without them. And change is present in everyday life for individuals and organization in terms of the work they are focused on and the available products and services their organization markets and sells to it customers and clients. The balancing of transformation and change is a key competency of a leader and those leaders who understand how to navigate both of these in their role and their organization are more likely to have an engaged and productive work team which leads to even more successes!!!