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The Psychology of Workplace Leadership: Strong, Steady Transformation

The Psychology of Workplace Leadership: Strong, Steady Transformation If you are a manager intent on making an impact, look to the strengths of your current department. You can build toward what you envision (and still catch the attention of others) by strong, steady transformation from where you are right now, rather than enacting drastic change.

Who doesn’t know the whiplash of rule change when it’s obviously ill-informed or hastily enacted? When guidelines and required documentation are co-opted by desperate supervisory measure?

It’s not lost on people when an attempt at growth is happening entirely artificially, as opposed to naturally.

Business psychology supports leading from a position of strength, but most people are blindly driven by liability — forcing hands when afraid, rashly redoing guideposts when outcomes bottom out, pointing out what doesn’t work rather than keenly looking for what does.

Imposing change based on fear of liabilities, rather than striving outward from a place of strength is foolish.

We can be driven by those fears, in our business and personal lives, or we can tackle them.  The latter best happens when we look straight at them, eyes wide open, and then bypass the grip they have held on us.

Where to?

Go straight to what has best served us, even if mangled and disfigured at the moment.  Get away from the fireworks of your own manager’s fury, out from the sparks and ash still dropping and tactically retreat for a moment to gather your forces.  If you think on nothing else during those chaotic, stressful times, it should be to build on what you and your team know, can do well and indeed what propels you (each and all) forward with interest and fascination (or love, in the realm of personal difficulty).

Desperately clawing at getting ahead, or back in good graces will only end badly.  Instead, make room for steady momentum forward — change that will eventually resonate.

Starting with your team’s — and your own — talents, and factoring in the department’s accomplishments and motivation, drive to a higher level more naturally.  Enthusiasm, vitality, vision (individual and collective) will take you a lot farther than setting some goal outside the sphere of what your assets already are.

Look for the chrysalis. Even the smallest of strengths from within can be capitalized on and will unfold with renewed drive and focus.  Charging yourself with the biggest task of all, getting everyone on board and individually motivated with person-centered goals (which equally propel the team), you won’t even have time to dwell on past errors or missteps.

Just do it differently. No more tight grip and goal lists galore. Try to patiently see what should be evident, but still regularly confounds and eludes you.

If this indeed is a tactical changeup for you, take heart. Despite likely good impact on your department’s effectiveness, the impact on those you have led to fruitful result will be greatest and long-lasting.  It will undoubtedly fuel your future attempts for meaningful change, regardless of the impact on the company bottom line.

The Psychology of Workplace Leadership: Strong, Steady Transformation

Lisa A. Miles

Lisa A. MilesLisa A. Miles has been uniquely blending her expertise in self-development, mental health and the creative arts for over 25 years. Based in Pittsburgh, Penn., she is a coach/ consultant who advises individually and for business, author of two books (one about an institutionalized artist), professional speaker, and composer/ performer on violin and mandolin (including collaborative work with Jungian therapists). Also available as a coach working virtually, Lisa is included in the international Life Quality Improvement directory. Please check out her webpage at

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APA Reference
Miles, L. (2019). The Psychology of Workplace Leadership: Strong, Steady Transformation. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 24 May 2019 (Originally: 13 Aug 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 24 May 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.