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The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-First Century Paperback – June 4, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1609941208 ISBN-10: 1609941209 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (June 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609941209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609941208
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Carol Pearson and her colleagues are moving my work on transforming leadership forward in interdisciplinary and contemporary ways.”
—James MacGregor Burns, Pulitzer Prize–winning presidential biographer and author of Transforming Leadership

“A wonderful collection of diverse and wise perspectives, giving shared voice to the need to understand ourselves and leadership from a much deeper place, using intelligence, compassion, and wise action to meet the challenges looming ahead.”
—Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science

“By significantly addressing the essential impact of the inner condition of leaders, The Transforming Leader adds to the ongoing work of illuminating the blind spot that has plagued the field for so long.”
—C. Otto Scharmer, author of Theory U and Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

“Here is an important and timely resource for all who have the courage to lead, written by people who know what they are talking about. May the book be widely read, and may the inner and outer practices it recommends be widely adopted.”
—Parker J. Palmer, author of Healing the Heart of Democracy, The Courage to Teach, and Let Your Life Speak

About the Author

Carol S. Pearson is president of Pacifica Graduate Institute, the world’s premier institute of depth psychology. She is the author of The Hero Within and Awakening the Heroes Within and is the author or coauthor of numerous other books, including works on organizational assessment, organizational development, and brand strategy.

The Fetzer Institute supports bringing the power of love and forgiveness to the center of individual, organizational, and community life.

More About the Author

Carol S. Pearson, Ph.D., is President of Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. She is an internationally recognized scholar and well-known author of numerous books, among them the bestselling The Hero Within, Awakening the Heroes Within, the Hero and the Outlaw, and Magic at Work. Her newest book is The Transforming Leader, an edited collection of cutting edge essays on the challenges facing leaders in the 21st century that grew out of the Fetzer Institute's Leadership for Transformation Project, for which she was principal investigator. Dr. Pearson has been a senior administrator and professor at higher education institutions including the University of Colorado, the University of Maryland, Georgetown University, and Goucher College; a consultant for multinational corporations and government agencies; and a popular public speaker and workshop leader. Before going to Pacifica, she was executive director of the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership and a member of the executive committee of the International Leadership Association. Earlier in her career, she was President of CASA: the Center for Archetypal Studies and Applications; President of Meristem, a nonprofit educational organization; and senior editor of The Inner Edge: A Resource for Enlightened Business Practice. She currently lives in Santa Barbara with her husband of 37 years.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ginette Paris Ph.D. on August 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Review of The Transforming Leader. Carol Pearson Editor in association with the Fetzer Institute. 2012

Reviewed by Ginette Paris, Ph.D.

He is a force of nature. No! He is a bully.
She is a compassionate leader. No! A neurotic pleaser.
He is a visionary. No! A dreamer.
He is a genius! No! A financial illusionist.

Contradictory perceptions reveal one thing: that leadership is as nearly impossible a task as parenting. Nobody can do it without mistakes! But a `good enough" leader is a gift that can make a huge difference in our lives.

A leader is daily confronted with situations that necessarily constellate unconscious reactions because the workplace remains, as much as the family, the place where the faults and frailties of our human nature rub against our equally human possibilities for competence, intelligence, generosity, heroism.

The book The Transforming Leader is a series of articles that examine the basic psychological competences for exerting "transforming leadership".

I find this book useful and necessary, for the following reasons:
1) techniques of dominance eventually fail
2) A leader gets things done by relating to those who, in practice, gets those things done (hence the need to be psychologically savvy.
3) Finally I find the book interesting because so many of the new challenges in the developed world have to do with mental health and character issues (narcissism, bullying, immaturity, entitlement). To be a leader today, one must develop a psychological competence, which is what this book is all about.

The articles are of unequal intellectual depth, but all are aimed at creating a healthier culture of leadership, locally, and globally.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bob ashley on December 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Dr. Paris's review resonates with my own response to The Transforming Leader. There's been an ever-growing body of scholarly literature on transformational leadership over the last 20 years or so. This collection of essays edited by Carol S. Pearson demonstrates the maturity of transformational leadership and goes one step beyond, into the territory of what some have dubbed 'transcendental' leadership. It answers to the critique that the transformational movement has suffered for wont of attention to the spiritual perspective or deep inner life of leaders. Chapter 7, 'The New Basics: Inner Work for Adaptive Challenges', by Katherine Tyler-Scott and Chapter 10, 'Leadership as a Spiritual Practice', by Matthew Fox, and Chapter 14, 'Deep Dialogue', by Alan Briskin, as well as a few other essays rise to the occasion of pressing towards a more deeply integrated, holistic view of leadership.

This book breaks away from the mainstream of leadership books written in solitary confinement by singularities, this hero or that celebrity leader. I'd venture that the sum of individual contributions in The Transformational Leader is greater than its part. The 18 essays written by more than a couple of dozen academics literally walks the walk of collaborative or facilitative leadership, exemplifying a high standard impossible to meet by any lone wolf leadership guru.

Appendix A, 'Application Exercises' should answer to the moans of readers anticipating a dry, theory-bloated,tome without tools. The exercises address the strategic and pragmatic application of the concepts and principles described in the essays.

Reading this book has been instructive, enjoyable, and penetrating. I'm looking forward to experimenting with some of the exercises at my own workplace.
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