When you reflect on the people who have had the greatest influence in your life, chances are it’s who they were that you remember as much as, if not more than, what they did. They showed up in your life in a certain way. They had a certain presence that was important to you at that time. Some of those people may have even helped to transform who you were, how you thought, and the ways you lived.

Transformation has become a very popular word over the last few years, particularly in leadership and coaching circles, in service organizations, and in business. Unfortunately, when a word is tossed around so freely, we lose touch with its true meaning.

Transformation comes from the Latin word transforma meaning “change across form.” It means change at the most fundamental levels of being. In quantum physics terms, you could say that transformation is a shift in vibrational frequency and pattern. It’s a shift at the core levels of belief, perception, or understanding. That shift then often becomes the impetus for fundamental shifts in behaviors, choices, and actions.

Your personal presence is what others sense and feel when they are with you. It’s reflected in the quality of relationships that you build, in the levels of safety and trust that people feel when they are with you, and in the culture of the working spaces that you create.

Facilitating transformation in today’s world requires new kinds of skills that go far beyond the traditional core competencies or best practices in leadership and coaching – skills that have more to do with who you are and how you show up than what you do. While a foundation of knowledge and understanding in any field is certainly important for strong leadership, transformational leaders possess great awareness, both of self and of everything that is going on around them. They are able to “read the signals,” inner and outer, hidden and obvious. They expand beyond intellect into the imagination and the intuitive mind. They ask simple yet powerful questions that cut through layers of complexity to get to the heart of the matter. Their presence allows people to experience new insights, shifts in perception, deeper understanding, and greater awareness. Their way of being encourages and supports breakthroughs, transformation, and sustainable action. This is Transformational Presence.

Transformational Presence comes from being open, curious, focused, and clear in your intentions. It comes from being centered, grounded, steady, and confident, and from living in integrity with your personal truths or values. It comes from a deep connection with your soul.

Transformational Presence means being OK with not having all the answers – being willing to sit in the questions and use your intuitive senses alongside your knowledge and experience to discover your next steps. It means having a big picture view of life, a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all things, and a great trust that whatever is needed will show up in the right moment.

Transformational Presence encourages curiosity, new thinking, and evolving understanding. It comes from constantly developing your listening, communication, and collaboration skills. It’s a presence that empowers others to step forward with the best of who they are and what they have to offer. It means being creative, innovative, flexible, adaptable, and resilient, as well as encouraging and supporting others to be the same.

Doing transformational work requires an ability to recognize emerging potential – “what wants to happen” in service of something bigger than yourself or your organization. It requires stepping beyond personal desires and interests to serve a greater good. It means being able to hold a vision for the long-term future, while at the same time, responding to what is happening in the moment. And it requires an ability to sense when it’s time for action, and when it’s time to be patient—to pause and step back, to reflect, and to give the pieces a chance to fall into place.

On one level, all of these things are skills to develop. Yet it’s when these skills come together to increase your capacity for understanding, awareness, and action that incredible things start to happen. Ultimately, Transformational Presence is about capacity – your capacity to:

  • hold many ideas and concepts at the same time
  • learn and grow quickly
  • hold complexity, both circumstantial and emotional, and cut through to the essence of what is happening
  • be compassionate – to hold and support others through great challenges and difficulties
  • take big ideas and concepts and translate them into practical, simple, and understandable applications for those you serve.

As your capacity for all of these things grows, so does your Transformational Presence.

In today’s world, we are faced with unprecedented challenges and rapid change as well as enormous opportunities and potential. Transformational Presence prepares you for meeting any opportunity or challenge from a place of clarity, grounding, and trust. It gives you the skills, tools, and capacities to “think on your feet,” as we might say in business, or to “dance in the moment,” as we often say in coaching. Transformational Presence is the foundation for transformational leadership, coaching, and service. It helps you to be flexible, adaptable, responsive, and creative, so that you can work with whatever lands in front of you instead of struggle against it.

Transformational Presence is a way of life. It’s not something that you turn on or off, nor is it something that you read a book about or take a course in and then you are done. It’s a journey – a personal presence that you grow and develop over a lifetime. The longer you walk the path of Transformational Presence, the more you become it.

How you live is how you lead, how you coach, how you serve. Transformational Presence – it can change the world.


P.S. If Transformational Presence is calling out to you – if you recognize that these skills and capacities would make a difference in your life and work – join us here at The Center for Transformational Presence. You might start with a book, personal coaching, or with the Transformational Presence Leadership and Coaching program. Stepping in is the first step. Once you have taken that first step, you will continue to find your way through each next step of your own Transformational Presence journey. You have a gift to bring to the world. Now is the time. Join us.


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