On Leadership: In Search of Transformation

Mark's Desk

A quick internet search will prove that “transformation” is in high demand. There are transformation programs for your career, your wardrobe, your body and for your life. All of them claim to bring you a brighter future — the world of your dreams! — and all of these programs share in common some kind of plan, with detailed and presumably essential steps to achieve a newly transformed you.

We read the success stories that give us hope, and eagerly start on our way to a new life. Until suddenly, 10 days or 20 days later, we find ourselves disillusioned and cursing another failed plan (or worse, shaming ourselves for another failed effort).

Why does this happen? What exactly are we looking to get from these programs? And most important, what could we do differently to make certain that we can get that transformation we so desire?

Your New Reality

The May/June 2016 issue of 24Life dives deep into these questions. Transformation requires something besides a plan with detailed steps. The work of transformation actually lies in the way the world occurs to us; it requires that the world occur to us differently. Albert Einstein called it a new and unique vantage point, one that provides a new perspective. Author Laura Day explains it this way: “Everything is perceived, created, dissolved and transformed in the present. You can change the past, the present and the future by creating in this moment.”

When the world occurs to us differently, we’re inspired — we even feel called upon — to be our best selves and act in ways that support our dreams or intentions.

Promised Action

Transformation also requires power — your power. You have the power to have what you truly want, and that power exists (and has always existed) in the present moment. When you take complete responsibility for the way things are right now, and then take action, you make a bridge between reality and the possibility of something different. It’s like walking into a dark room: right now, it’s dark, but has the potential to be something else. And indeed, when you flip the switch, it becomes light.

Action is necessary for transformation. It’s the bridge between potential, and results. This May/June 2016 issue of 24Life is packed with insights from people who act on their power — and the people who helped them and help others to do it. Our cover story features John Cena, WWE superstar and host of “American Grit,” which challenges participants to change the way they think and act as individuals and as teams. Celebrity nutritionist Cynthia Pasquella asks you to dig deeper into your relationship with food to overcome other limitations you set against yourself. Amy Cuddy encourages you to empower your mindset through movement, and you’ll find workouts packed with technical and motivational insights to transform your PR, your energy and even your mood.

An important aspect of transformation is learning to discern the voice inside you, and that’s where meditation and other forms of self-reflection can provide powerful practice and support. Marie Forleo shares her personal meditation practice with us in this issue, and our HOT 24 features inspirational and memorable commencement speeches from around the nation. Highlights from these speeches provide instant food for thought, or you can follow the links when you have time to grab a pen and journal and watch and listen.

Put It In Action …

You’re not the only person who’s interested in transformation. So are your friends, family, co-workers. And just as you seek out support, so do they. Did you know that the words you use to offer that support, in turn, can influence your own efforts? Here’s how.

The phrase that degrades: I’ll help you

Why this will hold you back: It’s an offer that’s limitless, undefined and therefore unclear. This kind of open-ended offer can lead to confusion and even an expectation of support that’s unachievable. What’s more, it demands from you a heroic or save-the-day mentality, and eliminates the need for the person who’s asking for help to take any responsibility for a strategic solution.

The phrase that empowers: I’ll assist you

Here’s why this phrase gives you power: It’s specific, especially when you complete the sentence with a specific form of assistance and timing. You make it an even more powerful offer for the person who is asking and for yourself, when you paint a picture of how things will look and feel when your assistance is complete, and how the person will know he or she is receiving the benefits when your assistance is complete.