Planting seeds of transformation

To experience real, powerful growth, I have to begin with myself

In the song, Revolution, John Lennon pushes back against the idea that important growth only happens after people join larger movements. Revolution begins, Lennon suggests, with a shift in our own thinking. I agree. Growth will not happen around us until it happens inside us.

When we choose to be intentional about personal growth, we plant a seed of transformation within ourselves. That’s the first step. True transformation comes when we invest in that process every day. Shifting our thinking, doing new things, is hard. It feels easier to look at the world and expect it to change around us. Even if the world does change, if we don’t invest in ourselves, we experience the world with the same limits to our thinking and awareness we had before.

Continuing intentional growth takes courage to embrace the unknown and faith in the future we are creating for ourselves.

When we put action behind our vision, cultivating that seed, we are more aware of the potential within us and within others. This kind of transformative vision is magnetic. Other leaders will be drawn to that energy, and those leaders will begin to experience transformation in their own lives. This is the key difference between knowing how to lead and being a transformative leader. When we choose to be transformative leaders, no matter what context we’re in, we bring life and energy with us to invest in every conversation, every idea, every enterprise, and every solution.

When we make it a point, every day, to take in knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration, this will work in us to create shifts in our thinking, our mindsets, and our actions, transforming who we are and also what we do. This is why cultivating a seed of transformation in one leader causes that transformation to begin in other leaders. We may teach what we know, we reproduce who we are.

Planting that contagious, transformational seed begins with who we’re inviting to invest in our own lives.

Are we choosing thinking partners who are transformative in their mindset and actions? Do they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it? Do they have a contagious vision? Do they get buy-in from other leaders who are excited to be part of what they’re doing?

These are the people who help us cultivate the seeds of transformational leadership in our own lives. They lead because they love people as much as they enjoy leading them. These leaders challenge us to continue to invest in personal growth, to never believe we have “arrived,” so, together, we continue connecting with the transformative energy that inspires real, positive change.

When we make these choices, act on these intentions, and connect with thinking partners who inspire us to continue growing, no matter what stream of influence in which we work, we will inspire other leaders around us to step up, invest, and be transformational. When we develop seeds of transformation within ourselves, leaders around us will catch that vision and share it with others.

As John C. Maxwell says, “If we want to bring change, we have to be changed.”


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A version of this article was originally published in the August 2020 issue of Sandpoint Living Local / Coeur d’Alene Living Local.

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