Leadership Education and Transformation: Is Change Worth the Effort Or Not?

Summary: Transformation is in vogue right now. Here are ideas to help you decide what to decide. Be careful what you ask for, you may just get it.

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

I am a Senior Vice President of a very successful retail furniture company.

However, I have lost my mojo.

I want to quit and take some time off. Yet, I know the staff will be furious with me since I am known as a positive and caring leader.

Thus, my dilemma.

After taking your leadership success quiz, I realize I am a pleaser. It won’t work for me anymore.

Transforming old, ingrained patterns is key to leadership development.

I also am now aware that transforming outdated patterns leads to success.

Therefore, to avoid burnout, I would like some suggestions for making the right decision. Stay and transform or leave?


The Pleaser

Dear Pleaser,

Glad you took the quiz. It helps many go underneath the obvious and learn about their specific behavior patterns.

These underlying traits still drive our actions until we can see them. That is the reason for taking the leadership quiz. 

The good news is you can transform patterns to get you where you want to go. You no longer spend time looking at life through the rear-view mirror.

Transform patterns to the new ones as you grow and develop.

Clarity about what matters to you helps you get the best results.

Moreover, it would be best if you were clear and specific.

Here is an exercise for you to get clarity.

Firstly, take an hour or two for a mini-retreat.

Silence aids in transformative work.

That means finding a place to be silent with just pen and paper. No, not even a computer. 

Let your mind wander and notice how long it takes for you to unwind from the daily stress.

Then write down what is working in your life and where you want to be in two years. 

Further, write down one, just one sentence, about those who report to you. 

Now go back to silence and let your mind wander.

Next, look again at the people who are on your team. Who can take one or two projects from your plate? How have you divided various tasks? 

I bet you, as a pleaser, often say, “No problem, I’ll handle this” (whatever “this” is?).

Transformation is always out of your comfort zone.

I suspect that if you have the pleaser pattern, you are in the dreaded circle of doing more than your fair share.

The transformed Pleaser becomes a truth-teller.

Above all, the truth-teller learns that “telling the truth is not spilling your guts.”

You learn to be clear and concise. It means taking a risk to say what you want. Then you can find the best routes to go after your dreams and desires.

That’s what transformation is all about—changing ways to live a more fulfilling life. 

Now, a word of caution. 

Again, our present culture suggests that it’s good to cut people out of your life if you are upset or disappointed with them.

Let’s look at this for a moment.

Creating healthy boundaries avoids burnout.

Firstly, there are many ways to find the sweet spot when clarifying your boundaries. Too often, the easiest way is taken. 

Think about it. How many people have you told to get out of your life either directly or ignoring them?

Thus, many pleasers end up at the extreme of their truth-telling by “banishing” people or situations that are bothersome. 

Unfortunately, this often is like a boomerang that will come back and hit you on the head. 

Telling the truth is a two-way street.

When you are in the transformation process, you both state your side, ask questions, and listen.

It takes time to tell the truth when you are used to only pleasing others.

Now, back to what to do about your work situation.

Before you decide to leave, please make sure you have exhausted all avenues for a positive and transformational workplace situation.

One or two small changes can make a vast difference.

Redesign the day-to-day interactions, especially around meetings that may take up too much of your time. Talk with your boss to get another point of view. Perhaps, hire a new assistant to help with the details.

Speak up and be heard, and know the truth serves you.

Then, and only then, if you decide to leave, will the new situation be one of transformation.

To sum up, if you leave without doing the work to become more self-aware, you will end up in a new job with the same complaints. 

As a leader, looking at what matters to get what you want and need takes time and effort.

In conclusion, transforming the Pleaser into a truth-teller is a worthwhile adventure. You become free by transforming old, outdated ways of responding into what will make a positive difference.

For example, each pattern, such as the avoider, procrastinator, or rescuer, can be transformed into a more positive, healthy place. 

In short, you oversee your reactions. Now, that is freedom! No longer are you instantly triggered by others.

Here’s to your success,


PS. Please get in touch with me at sylvia@ceoptions.com for a list of the 13 most common patterns that all leaders must know for personal and professional development. 

Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options