Transforming Leadership Series Part 4: The Individualist, The Strategist, The Alchemist

Continuing the levels of leadership transformation you might want to aspire to, today we’ll look at the three that make up only 7% of leaders in total according to Bill Torbert’s research.

The Individualist: 
Roughly 4% of leaders achieve this level of transformation.
The Individualist sounds like a contradiction of terms when this leader is described as one who is more interested in the creative work that everyone is capable of, not only their own creativity. They seek patterns, so will explore past and present, differences more than similarity, will rock the boat rather than maintain the status quo. The individualistic aspect is the immersion of themselves in this exploration and discovery, sometimes to the exclusion of others.

Things to learn:

  • Its not all about your own journey, include others
  • Focus on the positive impact you can make
  • Embrace conflicting emotions, don’t lose focus to help you make decisions

The Strategist:
This leader is the embodiment of what it means to have character. He or she understands more than rules and expectations; that it is more about the importance of principles, commitments and good judgment. Understanding and having insight beyond immediate goals is woven into decision-making, identifying unique opportunities and conflict resolution. This leader knows that their perspectives influence their actions, so sees the importance of questioning their perspectives.

What to learn:

  • Be aware of the attractiveness of the dark side of power

The Alchemist:
Only 1% of leaders in the world function at this level. They have the most altruistic view of business from and individual, community and global perspective.

These leaders are capable of taking two conflicting forces and blend them while averting a catastrophic collision. They are intuitive, attentive and grounded but consciously pursue their own transformation through seeing the connections of everything, almost on a molecular level with no ego.

To read more about the other leadership categories, check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 in this series.


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