At the Center for Transformational Presence, we make a clear distinction between transactional and transformational leadership and coaching. In a transactional approach, the primary focus is on getting a result. In a transformational approach, while reaching a goal or accomplishing a vision is important, our initial focus is on the shift in perception, understanding, or thinking that needs to happen in order to reach a result that truly makes a difference and is sustainable.

However, as our approaches have evolved over the last year, a new paradigm has emerged that takes us beyond the transactional-transformational duality. I call it TransformAction.TransformAction brings together an intuitive understanding of whatever is going on with immediate appropriate action. It is the experience of having an intuitive insight or understanding and putting that new learning or insight into action. It is transformation in action. Insight and action become one gesture.

TransformAction is actually five skills coming into play all at once: 1) perceive what is happening on an energetic level; 2) recognize the potential that is buried within the circumstance; 3) tap into that potential to intuit what wants to shift in the circumstance; 4) make those shifts on an energetic level; and 5) instantly move forward into action. Five skills that come together in one gesture – one instantaneous process. TransformAction.


Transactional ApproachTransformational ApproachTransformActional Approach
Intention is to get a result or accomplish a goal – too often focused only on the short-term

Intention is first a shift in perception that can lead to  sustainable changes and results – focus is on a bigger picture

Intention is to immediately apply new learning and discovery to the ongoing process – discovering and creating “how to do it” as you go – actively co-creating growth and evolution of understanding and practice
Focus is on problem-solving & solutions—actually a backward focusFocus is on potential & discovery leading to proaction and new co-creationFocus is on forward learning and ongoing co-creation


While there are a few among us who are born with this ability, for most of us, TransformAction is a learned and practiced way of living and working. It’s an art that lives where being and action meet. It brings together intuitive perception with the skills necessary for taking immediate and effective action.

In the Japanese culture, they speak of the concept of kokoro, which literally translates to mean “mind, heart, spirit.” It’s about alignment of energy in your “being.” If you want to accomplish something or to have something, the concept of kokoro asks, “What are the qualities of the person who would have that or do that?” In other words, if that is what you want to do or have, then who must you be?

Thinking about the concept of kokoro led me to ask, “Who do we need to be or to become if we want to be transformactional coaches and leaders?”

As I sat with that question, four prototypes came to mind: Seer, Explorer, Co-Creator, and Ambassador. Each of these prototypes brings particular qualities that, altogether, create a foundation for a new paradigm of leadership and coaching.  Over the next four weeks, we will explore these four prototypes. We begin this week with Seer.

A Seer is one who uses “inner sight” or “intuitive sight” to see beyond the limits of habitual thought patterns. The Seer perceives what others do not, seeing patterns, perceiving energy in relationships, and sensing how one thing fits together with another. A Seer looks beyond the obvious, reads energy, and recognizes trends and probabilities. While some might think of a Seer as one who can foretell the future, a Seer is actually one who peers deeply into the present moment to find the essence of what is happening or the greatest potential that is waiting to be discovered.

To “see” is to be fully present in the moment and to be aware that there are many layers in what is happening. At the same time, to be fully present allows one to “see.” Being fully present and “seeing” go hand in hand.

The Seer understands a fundamental principle of how the world works: everything is energy in motion. Therefore, the Seer looks beneath the surface of circumstances or situations to sense where energy is moving and where it is stuck. The Seer is looking for the bigger picture, recognizing that whatever is happening is actually a part of a larger unfolding process. The Seer understands that nothing happens on its own without relationship to something else. Nothing exists in isolation.

Because everything is energy in motion, everything is constantly changing. Nothing is fixed or permanent. Change, transformation, and evolution are a part of the natural flow of life. Therefore, the Seer looks at circumstances and situations as existing within a change and evolution process and gathers insight from what he or she observes. The Seer understands that form follows energy – that circumstances and situations are manifestations of energy patterns. Therefore, the most efficient, effective, and sustainable way to create lasting change is to work first at the energy level – to sense what wants to happen at the energy level and help facilitate those shifts. The circumstance or situation can then change in its own organic and natural way.

TransformAction starts with learning to “see” – to peer deeply into the present moment to discover the essence of what is happening and the potential that is waiting to unfold. Learning to “see” invites curiosity and opens the door to being an Explorer. We’ll pick up with the Explorer next week.  


P.S. Becoming a Seer is not difficult, it just takes practice. At the Center for Transformational Presence, we have many tools to help you develop your ability to see beyond the obvious. Watch the video below for a simple Transformational Presence coaching tool called “Enlightened Dialogue” and learn more about how you can engage your intuitive awareness to gain clarity about an issue or topic or see more deeply into a project or circumstance.


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