Success Matters: #22 April 2010
What’s the Link between Walt Disney
and Transcendent Leadership?
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Gerrie Dresser,
The Leadership Strategist / Executive Coach for Mid-Career Leaders and Leadership Teams . . .

Coaching you to articulate your unique value, stand out IN a crowd, and create sustainable career success!

Conversations and strategies about how to stand out IN a crowd and create sustainable success while making a difference through high impact contributions.

A Message from Gerrie


Last week, I attended two very interesting events - one was titled, ‘Train Your Brain for Peak Performance’, with Andrea Sullivan, the second one was titled, ‘Positive Psychology & Evidence-based Goal Setting’, with Caroline Miller.

Both broke through beliefs about what’s possible in our lives. For example, Did you know that you can actually reverse your feelings of anxiety, worry and stress by connecting your brain with a time when you experienced a state of peacefulness, exhilaration, or happiness?

As Andrea explained, it all relates back to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) or the “executive” of the brain and the “basic scientific principles behind what neuroscientists call 'plasticity' – the brain's ability to change and develop with experience”. For more information, visit Andrea’s website at

Caroline blew the audience away when she described evidence-based goal setting that results in far more significant achievements than goal setting, involving struggle and pushing yourself … I’m sure that you’ve experienced the struggle with goals related to exercise or de-cluttering, right?! According to the research, using the SMART goal format is much less effective than visualizing the outcome.

One example of evidence-based research on goal setting is demonstrated in a study of 4 groups of professional basketball players. The amazing outcome was that Group 3 who visioned their success (i.e., they didn’t [physically] practice), came in ahead of Group 2 who ONLY practiced. Group 1 who practiced AND visioned their success came in on top. Group 4 didn’t do either … so you know they came in last!

So, you might wonder … Why does visioning success trump ONLY physical practice? With visioning, players were focused only on their successes; they never had to deal with the “reality” of missing a shot. A winning mind-set proved to be more effective than ONLY physical practice.

Now, you’re wondering what a winning mindset has to do with Walt Disney’s mission which was “to make people happy” and transcendent leadership. They are all related so read our Feature Article to connect the dots!

Enjoy a uniquely perfect day.


P.S. – Watch for the Announcement, being broadcast next week, about our May 11 Virtual Café Event with Maria Gamb, author of “Healing Corporate America”.

Features:  What's Included ...

Unique Genius Virtual Café: Upcoming Events

Our Unique Genius Virtual Café Event is scheduled on the second Tuesday of each month from 12:00Noon – 12:55pm to help you create sustainable success and stand out IN a crowd for your unique, credible expertise.

I’m having a lot of fun being a ‘matchmaker’ … connecting topics that YOU want to hear with Guest Experts who are listed below.  Let me know what topics YOU want to hear about!

  • May 11, 2010:  Guest Expert – Maria Gamb, former Fortune 500 executive trailblazer, Founder of "The Change Agent™ Academy", Host of "The Change Agent™ Radio Show”, author of "The Healing of Corporate America: Leadership for a New Beginning" due to be released in 2010

Topic:  ‘The Healing of Corporate America’ (Maria’s soon to be released book), Maria’s ground breaking work as founder of NMS Communications ("No More Stress") in 2007, and her work helping other successful corporate managers and entrepreneurs reclaim their ability to lead, while also introducing and celebrating a new model of leadership.

  • June 8, 2010: Guest Expert – Julie Cohen, PCC, career and leadership coach and author of her newly launched book, 7 Keys to Work-Life Balance

Julie brings 20 years experience in corporate, non-profit and entrepreneurial entities to her work as a coach. Her passion and personal focus on work-life balance evolves as she integrates her roles as business owner, mother, wife, pianist, yoga student and recycling enthusiast.

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Speaking Events!

To celebrate the message about ‘Unique Genius’, organizations and corporations are sponsoring speaking events about the ‘5 Secrets for Sustainable Success'! Watch for upcoming events in Success Matters.

  • May 14:  “5 Secrets to Successful Career Re-invention”
    Focus:     My Story of Career Re-invention
    Sponsor: Drexel University's LeBow College of Business, Drexel Women in Business, 6th Annual May Tea
    Location: Acorn Club, Third Floor Living Room, 1519 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA
    Contact: Cassandra Brown, 215-895-6294

  • May 26:  “Stand out IN a Crowd with Your Unique Brand Promise of Value”
    Focus:   Recognize or strengthen your personal brand and unique promise of
                  value . . . after all, it’s easier to sell YOU when YOU believe in your value! 
    Sponsor: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter, Women in Transition Affinity Group
    Location: Villanova University, Villanova PA
    Contact: Click on, Events, Greater Philadelphia Chapter, May 26

To learn more about Gerrie’s speaking and make a referral to your organization, click on link:

Phone:  610-429-0359

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Feature Article:
“What’s the Link between Walt Disney
and Transcendent Leadership?”

When I first heard the term, ‘transcendent leadership’, it piqued my curiosity. I’ve heard about transformational leadership, and wondered how it differed from transcendent leadership.

According to one expert, transcendent leaders connect today with tomorrow. They set a vision and focus on how an organization can move beyond ‘just meeting its goals’. Just as Caroline described about the value of visioning, to ‘transcend’ your goals, you need to connect with a bigger vision. It’s actually your mindset and aligns with Andrea’s explanation about how to retrain your ‘executive’ brain for peak performance.

Transcendent leadership is emerging as a new framework for leadership in our global economy with communication happening at lightening speed. When asked to identify a transcendent leader, one who I highly respected, someone who was well regarded and trusted by others at all levels, and had many ‘fans’, one immediately came to mind. Let’s call him John.

John was known for his bold vision, collaborative style, authenticity, strong and active network that reached through all levels in the organization. His ideas were always about how to improve the organization, create more challenging opportunities, and advance changes that would benefit others.

Since people had an emotional connection with him, they were compelled to go the extra mile, consistently, and delivered on his vision.

According to Lee Meadows, Ph.D, Management Professor and Consultant, Walt Disney was a transcendent leader who was ahead of his time!

His vision of the Magic Kingdom reflected the mindset of a transcendent leader. He was able to formulate a vision that clearly aligned with his mission, “to make people happy”, and think way beyond the bottom line.

He had competing factors in advancing his vision of the company because many people thought he was foolish and ‘unrealistic’. However, he had a circle of trusted advisors and advocates that believed in his vision.

Again, he had a “passion around a vision that created a compelling reason to follow.” (Pam Boney, founder of Tilt360, a parallel solution model based on transcendent leadership.

Before I began my research about transcendent leadership, I played with the question about character traits and behaviors that I attributed to people who stood out IN a crowd with an authentic brand … people who lived their Unique Genius.

Just for fun, I decided to capture my brainstorming exercise on a chart and recently compared these results with my research about the character traits and behaviors of transcendent leaders. The similarities are amazing!

A few of the personal attributes and character traits that the two have in common include:

  • Uses intelligence for the better good.
  • Is well respected and liked.
  • Extends self to a widely diverse group.
  • Generous in sharing wisdom.

Let’s take a look at your leadership style …

Your Coaching Challenge this month . . . How does your style align with transcendent leadership?

How would you rate yourself on the characteristics below?
  1 = Rarely            2 = Sometimes            3 = Frequently

1. If there is a change in my company / organization, I am prepared for the impacts and am well connected both internally and externally.  Opportunities typically find me. 

Your Personal Rating:              

2. I mapped out a professional development plan that plays to my strengths and provides some ‘stretch’ so that I am continually becoming more ‘expert’ in my chosen career path. 

Your Personal Rating:              

3. I’ve identified what’s most important to me, and am already noticing internal shifts that need to occur to continually align my career with what’s most important to me.   

Your Personal Rating:              

Tune into future editions of Success Matters and identify what you can do to discover more secrets to sustainable success!

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Gerrie Recommends

The Leadership Integrity Challenge: Assessing and Facilitating Emotional Maturity, Expanded Second Edition. Author: Edward E Morler. Publisher: Sanai Publishing, 2006

“According to Dr. Morler, doing the right thing-acting with integrity-boils down to a fundamental attribute-emotional maturity. When emotional maturity is lacking, so is integrity. Raise emotional maturity and we have contributors who are more secure, discerning, responsible, productive, and happy. From that empowered foundation, knowing what is right and acting on it becomes a natural, elegant occurrence. The Leadership Integrity Challenge provides the tools to develop a core competency in assessing and facilitating emotional maturity (our own and others)-all key to creating a culture of integrity.” (B&N Summary)

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