The Truth About Transforming Leadership

Ozioma Egwuonwu
Founder & Chief Strategic Transformation Officer
Automatic Summary

Transforming Leadership: Unleashing Your Full Potential

Welcome to an enlightening journey geared toward unveiling the truth about transforming leadership. From shifting models to tweaking mindsets, this blog will expose the necessary changes leaders must make to supercharge their leadership abilities. This new compass will guide aspiring and seasoned leaders to foster profound, positive transformations within their organizations.

Igniting Human Potential

Burn Bright International, spearheaded by an esteemed thought-leader—Ozma Iwan, has been empowering people to drive their best lives and create their benchmark works. Embedding leadership to build communities and fuel business, creating exponential leaders, and using transformative strategies are some key prerogatives that this entity endeavours to instigate.

The Quest for Progressive Leadership

The future is brimming with potential, like chess pieces waiting to be manoeuvred strategically. As a leader, the challenge lies in merging your vision with others'—a task easier said than done. Often overlooked or underplayed, leadership has the power to shape our world positively, or quite the opposite.

The essence of transformative leadership can be captured in this "ultimate leadership quandary": Leadership cannot be transformed within ourselves or throughout our organizations if we fail to discard old ways of being and doing and don't wholly embrace a distinctive journey of becoming.

A New Compass for Leadership

Five key transformative shifts can help navigate the challenging leadership landscape being:

  • Mindset: Foster a growth mindset that sees skills and gifts as adaptable, malleable elements.
  • Motivation: Tilt the focus towards intrinsic motivation, which keeps the spirit soaring in the long run.
  • Models: Explore models like Appreciative Inquiry that put the spotlight on what's working versus what's broken.
  • Methods: Develop transformative strategies like Human-Centered Design to engage your team.
  • Massive Transformative Purpose: A larger purpose or motive can guide actions, paving the way for profound change.

Creating a Transformative Leadership Model

The path to creating the future is a three-step process: envision the future, assess the current paradigm, and execute shift work or transformative action. This forms the visionary future-making model.

The expansive transformative purpose sets the tone. Assessing the existing situation helps understand the current landscape, and a transformative commitment statement highlights the role of leadership coupled with steps for transformative action.

  • Desired vision of the future: Connect with who you need to be to activate your vision.
  • Current paradigm: Understand the current state of reality within your organization.
  • Transformative action: Use a foundational framework to create new futures

In essence, the best way to predict the future is to create it. The transformative model allows for just that by allowing individuals and organizations to build desired futures.


Becoming a visionary future maker and transforming your leadership is a task of courage. Don't just follow the conventional path—instead, lay a new one. Embolden yourself and empower others to stride towards a future that's chock-full of prosperity and growth.

Video Transcription

Just gonna wait moments until a few more join this and then we're gonna begin. I'm so excited that you have decided to join me for this session and you will not regret it. Ok. So wonderful. Let's get started and welcome to the truth about transforming leadership.I just want to give you a great big. Well, my name is Ozma Iwan and I am a speaker, a strategist and a scholar and this is actually my third time speaking at Women Tech. So I'm so excited that we have the opportunity to spend a brief moment together so we can deepen our awareness, deepen our connection, deep in our commitment to being the leaders that we know that we can be leaders, that we feel deep within ourselves, that we aspire to be. And so I want to tell you a little bit first and foremost about my company, which is Burn Bright International, which focuses on empowering and igniting human potential and supporting people on your journey to not only live their best and brightest lives, but also to create their best and brightest work in the world and make a meaningful difference.

In addition to that I'm also the creator of global initiative called World Dream Day that is focused on taking ideas, goals and dreams and using them not only to transform, you know, our own lives, but also to contribute to the ways in which our businesses develop, our communities develop.

And overall, the World and World Dream Day takes place every September 25th. So I hope that you'll be joining me this year and every year to come. In addition to that, I'm often um called upon to be a faculty expert for Singularity University, which focuses on exponential technologies where I'm an expert in human potential. I speak a lot on transformation strategy as well as mindset and what's known as exponential leadership.

So that's enough about me. Let's actually get into the content of what we're gonna be talking about today. And I wanna do that by getting into first and foremost, a story that I love to tell, which is that, you know, not many years ago, I went to Berlin to this beautiful museum that you see right here called the Fum. And in that museum, we were able to see all of this amazing technology and the future as we imagined it to be, you know, hanging plants, buildings that were constructed in certain ways, robots zooming, zooming by. And I got really excited about these possibilities. But then at some point, I began to think to myself, we're talking about all this technology, but there's a key component that's missing. And that is leadership. What is the future of the leadership that we know we're gonna need in order for not only for this technology to be able to come to fruition, but for it to actually do so in a way that creates a net positive effect and doesn't actually push our world increasingly backwards as well as towards this topic.

And so what I want to do is when we talk about the truth about transforming leadership, there's a relationship that leadership has with the future because when you are a leader, you are basically and only leading yourself, but you're tasked to lead others on a journey. And so I wanna share with you one of the frameworks that I absolutely love when it comes to leadership. And it is this one by hard and Tibs where the future is conceived of as a strategic landscape. So here we are, you know, standing at our current moment with our, you know, our, our gifts as well as our challenges, our resources, all that we are our experiences and we're looking out at the future. And in front of us, there is this chessboard of choices we have to make as well as a mountain range, which symbolizes the, the, the, you know, the, the um the what we have to overcome in order to move toward our desired destination, guided by our vision by that, what many would call our North Star, right?

That greater possibility. But the big challenge as a leader is, how is it that you are able to look forward and have that great vision, but also feel connected in connected to it in such a way that you also are able to share that vision with others. And that is one of the great challenges of leaders. And so when I talk about the truth about transforming leadership, there's a couple of things I want you to consider and I want you to really connect to its image actually comes from mid uh mid journey where I had typed in a prompt about a group of leaders embracing their ability to create change.

And what I love about this image is that you see the different colors um present. But you also get a sense of this spiral, this notion that we are spiraling within ourselves towards greater awareness, we're spiraling out and taking a journey. But we're also part of this great big spiral of life. And so I want to present to you what I consider the foundational challenge that leaders have to face in order to move forward within themselves and within their organizations. And I framed it in a particular way where it's actually a sentence of great big sentence that really brings to life, the leadership quandary. So leadership cannot be transformed within ourselves or throughout our organizations. If we are not willing to let go of old ways of being and doing and fully embrace a unique journey of becoming where you intimately engage new capacities and possibilities, right? Simultaneously developing our new capacities, also holding space for new possibilities that might emerge for what we, as well as our teams and our organization can experience embody express and enact. And this is intentional. What does it mean for us to be willing to experience new possibilities within ourselves as well as to curate and support that within our teams within our organizations. What does it mean for us to be truly embodied leaders?

So it isn't just about the head, but it's also about the part. It's also about being connected to our in. It's about that full system connection of leadership as well as embracing and then supporting our teams as well as our organization to further be deeply embodied. What does it mean for us to give rise to new expression, to speak the truth to power, especially when there's things that are emerging within industries. For example, what's happening with artificial intelligence, the ability to be able to express our truths and to speak the truth to power is increasingly important in this day and age more than ever as things radically move in particular directions and last enactment. It isn't just about thinking about what needs to get done. It's also about being able to step forward, step into the role of what it means to be a leader. And that also by the way, means being able to step and enact collaboration, right? It's not just about you having all the ideas, it's about you being in this process, this full system process of being willing to enact what is required and supporting your teams as well as your organization to do the same, to not just be about a statement of what you believe, but truly to enact a greater possibility.

So, what I wanna do now is I want a guide us into this space of navigation. Uh This presentation is pretty much gonna be divided between, how do we navigate these great challenges and then how do we create a form of leadership that will really support us moving forward in the future? And then I'm gonna open up the space and you can ask all the questions you have to ask and we're gonna be able to um hopefully get them answered in a short period of time we have. So in order for us to navigate leadership and transform accordingly, I believe there are five key transformative shifts that we truly need to engage. The first is about our mindset. What is the mindset that we bring to our leadership which we know has to transition from being a fixed mindset where we believe everything is static and there's no opportunity for growth and we're afraid of being seen as not having all the answers to this growth mindset. What does it mean for us to really see our skills and our gifts, as well as the skills and gifts of our team to be, you know, adaptable, to be able to grow, to be changeable. So there's also mindsets such as transformation mindset.

What does it mean for us to truly believe that we have the capacity to transform current conditions, exponential mindset? What does it mean for us to really believe that we don't necessarily have to always approach things incrementally so that we can truly release our attachment to the past and step on this exponential curve. So it's only one, it's, it's only the way in which we conceive of ourselves as static as a post dynamic that holds us back. And that is a truth that we need to be able to consider and contend with what is the mindset? What are the mindset that we're going to be able to harness and embrace that will support us in being able to move forward and make a meaningful difference with our leadership. The second shift is motivation, becoming aware that if we are always extrinsically motivated about, you know, regarding what's on the outside, what rewards we can get, how great we can look uh to everyone else, as opposed to truly finding what intrinsically motivates us about the work that we do.

What intrinsically motivates us to, to make a meaningful difference, then we become almost, I would say very often, what I've seen is sluggish tired, not really connected, not really motivated, not fully engaged motivational structures play a key role in how we advance the way which we develop our leadership, the way in which we make, you know, collaborate with others, the way we support our teams and overall the way in which we move forward as an organization, it's really important that as a leader that we're questioning our motives, and we're really engaging in ways that we develop the motivational structures within ourselves and within our organizations to be more of the intrinsic kind, as opposed to just the extrinsic rewards that often, you know, service surface motivation.

But research also shows that when intrinsic motivation is lacking, we don't have it for the long haul. So if we really, really want to continue down a path of staying engaged, we really want to focus on developing and designing experiences and designing a workplace culture that was really robust and intrinsic motivation. The third one is models. What are the models that are pervasive throughout your own internal systems as well as the systems within your organization? What I'm talking about here is an example of a model is something known as appreciative inquiry. Are we always inquiring into what's broken and what's working, what's not working or are we engaging, you know, that lens of appreciation and looking in and inquiring into what is working, where is there possibility within ourselves and within the systems that we're working on? Right?

When we work with our team members, are we always thinking and looking at what's not right? You know, what's under performing or are we saying, where are those gems? What is actually working? And how do we nurture and cultivate that? That is just one example of a model, right? And also in addition to that, we can think about role models who are the role models within our organization that we are excited about and how can we actually begin to um engage in meaningful ways? I, I would say the fourth shift is that of methods, I'm gonna be sharing with you one way, one methodology that I've developed that's going to support your leadership. But when we think about the methods, what are the ways in which we are engaging in certain strategies that will support us in moving forward? And I don't want to spoil it, but we're gonna be getting into a very exciting method of transformation momentarily. We really wanna think about that, right? What are the ways in which we are taking on certain techniques? You know, is it human centered design? Is it, is it about um you know, uh thinking about futures and bringing the futures practice into our organization? You know, what are the ways in which we resolve conflict? Where what are the methods for being able to engage each other in respectful, meaningful ways?

We really want to focus on the methods that we're engaging within our organization and back to one thing that I left off around models. When it comes to models, we really also wanna be aware that we are role models as leaders and that it's not that the things we say, the way we show up how we embody and enact is setting the tone for those who are on their way, you know, down the path as well as well as the ways in which other people perceive you and your organization.

So we really want to become aware of who we are as role models. We want to also identify other role models that we can model some of our behaviors and take as inspirational, you know, from. So we really want to delve deeply into that. And of course, the methods and the last shift that I wanna share is that of massive transformative purpose, importance of having that larger purpose that guides our actions. And when we shift from just being day to day, but really being able to understand the role that purpose and not just regular purpose, but massive transformative purpose can play in our organizations. So and within ourselves so much begins to transform because we're not just playing it small.

We're saying there is a massive transformative purpose that can guide the way in which I advance and in which I way I move forward. So this is really, really, really exciting. So this is now your new compass as you begin to engage and navigate the challenges that are facing all of us as leaders today. We need to think about what is my current mindset and how am I cultivating my mindset? What is my motivation? Am I intrinsically motivated? Or am I just extrinsically motivated? What are the models that we're actually using? And who are our role models? What are the methods that we're employing? And then what is the massive transformative purpose? So thank you so much for the uh positive energy that I see the positive comments flowing through the chat. If there's any questions you also want to bring forth, please do so now. So this is all about the navigation. Now, let's shift gears to what is known as creation. OK. And Buckminster Fuller says you never change things by fighting the existing reality to change something build a new model that makes the old model a Salle. So what I wanna do is share with you now very briefly, what I consider to be a transformative model for leadership and one that I've taught not only in countries like Brazil, but I was just last week in Silicon Valley teaching this model as well because this is the model that's going to get us from now into the next.

I truly believe this. This is what is known as visionary future making. It's a model that I developed over the past coup couple of years uh emerging out of the pandemic and it is a way of leading that shift paradigms and builds desired futures. It's a path as well as a practice of conscious, accountable, intentional, as well as individual and collective leadership that we really need to be, become increasingly aware of. And it's not just about how we engage the present, but it's also about the way in which we engage future possibilities, as well as the choices we make and the actions we take along the way. So it's about the now what we see moving forward, how we engage, how we make choices and how we take transformative action. So Peter Drucker says the best way to predict the future is to create it and that is what this framework is all about. It is about the way in which we create our desired future. We start off with what is our desired vision for the future. And usually, if I had more time, I would lead us on a guided visualization process, but we don't have that. But the key is this to focus on what is my vision of possibility as it relates to my life, leadership, as it relates to my team, as it relates to my organization and really get clear on who do I need to be in order to activate this vision at the highest level?

And you want to really write that down and get clear on it. What is my desired vision of the future? What is the role that my leadership? My reader has to play, what is the way in which I have to now be able to create that connection with my team. How does that work when it relates to my organization and how does it all work together? The next component is what I call, assess the paradigm. Really get clear on what is the current state of the reality within yourself, within your organization and what is currently moving, keeping you stagnant or pushing you backwards or actually keeping you in place. But helping you move forward and we really want to identify and cultivate the current paradigm and transcend from what's holding us in place now to what can actually move us forward. The third is what I call your shift work. And that's when you really connect to what's known as a transformative commitment. And I like to create what's known as transformative commitment statement and you can take a screenshot of this, but this will really provide the template to help you move forward, really becoming aware that you're gonna transform your leadership. And what does that mean?

Becoming the kind of leader that does what and leaves behind what? Right. Well, future seek to create, what is it built on and as the desire changes, what else will change and how will you celebrate at the end of it? So here is the foundational framework of connecting to a desired future, identifying what the, you know what's going on. And then from there, what are the transformative action steps? And so this is the actual composite model from the future. And it's obviously you see the bees.

This is also about how we create hive, right, create that hive, collective energy within our organization, within our organizations. And so from that core level of the desired future, self, desired future, overall, desired teams and connections and contributions, we look at our current paradigm, we identify what is that transformation commitment statement and then we take transformative action. So this is the time that creates new futures.

So when we think about the future, we really wanna understand that what we're looking at here is what's at the bottom, right? The preferred future, right? The desired future, knowing that there's also possible futures, plausible futures, probable futures. But what we want is what future would we prefer?

What would we love? And so you, you know about, I think it was last year I was in California and I happened to publish beautiful uh sculpture, this kind of outdoor sculpture that had these empty books as well as very famous uh meaningful contributors to the world. And what I thought was, this is all of us, those who have come and gone, as well as those of us who are yet to come. And that's symbol that is symbolized with those books that have no spine, right? No words on the spine. That's for you and me, that's for us to be able to write new stories of possibility that will make a meaningful difference in this um in the world. And so the door is open now for all of us. And so I really want you to go forth, be bold, be brave, be what I call visionary future makers. And really take that foundational truth about transforming leadership and use this model to transform your leadership. And if you need any support in this, we're opening up our visionary future making program. If you have any questions, definitely go to this link and uh let's stay connected. So, thank you so much. I wanna open up the field for any questions that may emerge right now. I just see a lot of support. OK. All right. Well, I look forward to connecting and take care and have a great women tech.