This week I was in Bucharest to speak at the ICF (International Coach Federation) Romania conference. Then I flew to The Netherlands where I am now for speaking and teaching engagements for the next two weeks. What strikes me again and again as I travel is that regardless of where I am, and whether the focus is on transformational leadership or transformational coaching, when we go straight to the essence of things and then work out from there, amazing shifts and breakthroughs occur quickly.

We are so conditioned to work from the outside in. We start with the obvious and immediately start working from there. Certainly it is important to notice the obvious, but what is obvious is usually only a symptom of something much deeper. And we get stuck trying to “fix” things based on what we see on the surface. Yet what we see and experience on the surface is not where the real issue lies. For that, we must cut through to the essence. When we get to the essence, we then can discover the fundamental paradigm or belief that is holding us back or creating the “problem.” And that’s where the work begins. When we work from the inside out, we begin by addressing those fundamental beliefs, habits, or practices that are getting in the way. We start by making shifts at the essence level. As fundamental perception shifts at the center, the ripple effect takes over and the whole issue begins to crack open. The path forward becomes clearer, and we somehow find a deeper sense of calm and trust in our inner knowing.

In transformational coaching exercises at the Romania conference, participants were amazed at how quickly they could get to the essence of what was going on, and how immediate the clarity was. It’s just about asking the right question and cutting straight to the core, and then working your way out from there. I find the same result no matter where I am working. We are taught to solve problems, yet when that is our primary focus, we miss the gold that is buried underneath. However, when we cut straight to the essence, we discover the gold that the problem is trying to show us. From there, amazing things can happen.

Transformational Presence comes from essence, alignment, and inner knowing. It comes from understanding and practicing what I’ve started calling The Deep Simple–finding the simplest yet most powerful questions that cut through to the essence where we can then do powerful and transformative work.

In the days ahead when issues arise, step beyond the obvious. Do a fast and powerful deep dive to the essence and work out from there. The results will be much more lasting and beneficial for all.

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