5 ways personal transformation can make you a better leader

By Kassia Gardner

Personal transformation for leaders

People need leaders who inspire and motivate their teams to perform better, no matter what organisation they work for.

Being a leader is not a comfortable place to be, and this can result in adverse behaviours that lead to disengaged employees. It’s frequently said that people don’t leave an organisation, they leave a manager. Having a senior executive who is a dictator, unable to deal effectively with change, or can be aggressive, can lead to high absenteeism, increased staff turnover, and a lack of trust in the manager-employee relationship.

Some leaders recognise the need to make a change to progress their careers, manage change within an organisation, improve their ability to perform in their role, or deal with stress effectively. For others, it is their manager or HR professional who recognises that a person needs to transform their leadership style and discusses it with them.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”


Whatever your motivations for wanting to make a change, here are five ways personal transformation can make you a better leader:


1. Get to know yourself better

You cannot be a good leader without a good understanding of yourself. You need to develop a level of self-awareness so you can understand your strengths, weaknesses, values, motivations and beliefs. By deepening your self-awareness, you can identify any changes you need to make to improve the way you lead.

2. Improve your emotional intelligence

Great leaders have a high level of emotional intelligence which enables them to identify and regulate their feelings and the feelings of those around them. Improving your emotional intelligence gives you a greater awareness of how your words and actions affect your team, colleagues and those you want to influence.

3. Learn how to deal with uncertain environments

Leaders need the right mindset to deal with uncertain environments. In a situation where strategic direction can be unclear, leaders who have the mindset to be confident, agile, and embrace the uncertainty can identify opportunities where others see threats and focus their organisation’s attention on action and positive forward momentum.

4. Manage high-pressure and challenging situations

Leadership is about making the people you are responsible for feel safe and secure - no-one likes working in survival mode. By not allowing your emotions to get in the way, you can step back from the situation and find solutions and opportunities to adverse circumstances. Maintaining your composure and adapting to the unexpected, rather than working in a panic, creates a safe and secure culture, and builds trust in your leadership.

5. Understand the behaviours of others

Great leaders have the elusive skill of the ability to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’. If you can understand the behaviours of others, you’ll be better able to understand the needs of your employees and those you want to influence. As a result, you’ll create a culture where people feel valued, innovation and creativity flows, and people feel they are listened to.


Research shows that leaders who undergo personal transformation programmes can become better leaders. These leaders not only transform themselves but they also deliver positive results for their team and the organisation (or function) they are responsible for by building professional relationships that improve morale and inspire people to go the extra mile.

You can start your own personal transformation today by registering for Cranfield’s Personal Transformation for Leaders Programme.


Photo by Carson Arias on Unsplash


Tags: leadership, featured leadership, featured sidebar leadership, praxis centre for leadership development, personal transformation, emotional intelligence