Jeff Patnaude and the Golden Apple Center for Inner Excellence came into my life at the precise time I needed them.
After winning the Transformational Leadership Executive Coaching at a live auction, I began to plan my trips to Hesperides Farm in Warrenton, Virginia. Hesperides is Greek for Golden Apple. You’ll find that golden apple adorning the automatic iron gates you pass through, before driving the mile of switchbacks and wooded views to the farm.
The 1846 farmhouse is unassumingly grand. As I pulled around the circular drive, I immediately felt removed from the stress of my world and open to working on whatever lay beyond the door. Jeff Patnaude met me, eyes sparkling, warmly smiling with his hand out in welcome to what I hoped would be a great learning experience.
Inside I met the other three participants who were all Cisco management, leaving me as the only participant without an official team to lead. I was also introduced to Susan Lewis, of The Patnaude Group, the second of our coaches for the event. Imagine a leadership workshop where the participant/coach ratio is 2 to 1! I knew immediately that I was priviliged to be part of an extraordinary workshop.
Transformational leadership is a leadership style that defines a leadership that creates voluble and positive change in the followers. A transformational leader focuses on “transforming” others to help each other, to look out for each other, be encouraging, harmonious, and look out for the organization as a whole. In this leadership, the leader enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his follower group.
Here are 5 of several skills Patnaude says are required to develop into a transformational leader:
- Identify the consequences of our choices and make decisions representative of our integrity and truth
- Create balance in our lives so everyone we come in contact with will be stronger, healthier and happier having known us
- Listen to our intuition
- Celebrate the joy and pain in life
- Be courageous enough to trust others to touch our lives while realizing we are all connected
We looked inward at ourselves and learned how others perceived us. Subjects covered included types of intelligence and the importance of the emotional quotient in leadership. We were presented with facts, figures, scientific and biblical evidence, but the most compelling portions of the training, were Jeff’s stories. He’s a master storyteller, who weaves lessons within attention grabbing lectures that flow like dinner conversation with an esteemed guest.
Since the purpose of the gathering was to develop Transformational Leadership skills, we were tested and evaluated on our coaching and leadership skills. Most interesting was the helpful feedback I received from friends, past employees and clients. I realized I am my harshest critic. I also learned my leadership ability scored at the same high level as the exceptional Cisco executives and managers. (Hellooo Cisco, are you taking note?)
Many of the exercises and discussions emotionally impacted me. One of the first, was an exercise presented by Susan Lewis that involved us prioritizing our values and creating a personal value statement. I still re-read my statement regularly as it keeps me focused on what is most important in my life.
I can’t possibly outline all the details of this training course, nor explain the full extent of the impact it had on me, in a single blog post. I have been a self-evaluator most of my life, I’ve read many self-help books and see correlations and influences in places most people don’t. I studied behavioral science, psychology, interviewing and counseling. It’s very rare that someone presents insight that I’ve never considered for myself. Jeff did it constantly throughout the time I spent with him. He constructively presented alternative perceptions that resulted in growth I had desperately been searching for. Prior to his course, I knew I was “stuck” but was at a loss on how to proceed forward. He found solutions to my struggles that in retrospect seem simple, but the impact they’ve made on my life, is undeniable.
I attended the Transformational Leadership Executive Coaching to learn how to lead others and ended up learning about myself.
Jeff Patnaude, is an author, speaker, and coach. His experience is culled from his time served as an Episcopal priest, years of being a corporate trainer/coach, and his degrees in psychology, theology and education. His focus is on learning to find balance, creating healthy work environments, developing mentors and the skills to become transformational leaders. The Patnaude Group Inc. continues to help business professionals of all levels realize their potential and develop into leaders. For more information on his programs visit www.patnaude.com.
Click here for the 2009 Summer Schedule and Course Outline: patnaude_summer_schedule09