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I hope reading 7 Questions with
Dr. Patricia Anderson
helps you in your leadership.
Dr. Patricia Anderson
Name: Dr. Patricia Anderson
Title: Authentic Transformational Leader/Organizational Change Practitioner
Organisation: ABCS Management
Dr. Anderson is a Forbes School of Business and Technology professor with over 20 years of experience in executive leadership and business. She has conducted hundreds of seminars and training sessions and has been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX, The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, and more. Dr. Anderson is a Certified Change Practitioner and holds an MBA in Management Information Systems and International Business and a Doctorate in Transformational Leadership.
Dr. Anderson is an innovative, action-oriented thought leader with exceptional success in implementing transformative cultures and challenging the status quo and ideals surrounding successful leadership. She has combined years of extensive behavioral research with her proven abilities to manage complexity, volatility, and ambiguity in leadership to become a leading expert in Authentic Transformational Leadership (ATL). Central to her leadership methodology is understanding the difference between change and transformation.
According to Dr. Anderson, change is an external shift in behaviors that is ultimately reversible, whereas transformation works from the inside outward and is permanent. Dr. Anderson’s mission with ATL is to position leaders and businesses to create people-powered, future-proof solutions and sustainable success through authenticity, transparency, and real-time accountability.
Dr. Anderson has performed extensive research on transformational leadership, specifically: authentic transformational leadership (ATL) and pseudo-transformational leadership (PTL). Her research focuses on the behavioral traits of PTL, their triggers, and strategies to identify, curtail, and reverse them. She also depicts the effect of PTL behavior on employee/follower perception, performance, and retention and presents recommendations for remediation.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The most challenging aspect of leadership is trust. In uncertain times, people look to leaders for direction, clarification, answers, and focus. It is essential to be an Authentic Transformational Leader (ATL) already, so that trust is established and can be leveraged as both a noun and a verb.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was born in Jamaica and migrated to St. Croix, Philadelphia, and then to Atlanta. It was here that I flexed my entrepreneurial muscles. While in B-School, I attended a lecture by Dr. Dennis Kimbro (author of Think and Grow Rich, the Black Choice), and he advised us to leverage what we are learning at our jobs to create our own enterprise. After graduation, I started a technology consulting business to provide services to local businesses.
As a business owner (I learned entrepreneurship from my grandparents), I am always interested in better practices and moving the organization forward. While performing doctoral research on leadership, I became interested in transformational leadership, specifically authentic transformational and pseudo-transformational (we are currently in the throes of global pseudo-transformational leadership.) Both types of leadership exhibit similar behavior initially. However, pseudo-transformational behavior eventually emerges and is problematic to followers and society alike.
My mission is to “transform the world, one leader at a time.” I do so through coaching leaders, writing articles, conducting workshops and conferences, and teaching (I am also a professor.) I authored a leadership playbook to partner with learning leaders to stay ahead of trends and to future-proof their businesses. One of the foundational aspects of the book is to differentiate between change and transformation.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start the day focusing. As a person of faith, I lean into the One who does because I know less than I don't know. I begin with gratitude and thankfulness. I then do some physical activity followed by a light breakfast. My calendar prioritizes my work day, so I check my email to see if any re-prioritization is needed. I am in meetings most of the workday, so I am intentional about taking a break from sitting by moving around or taking a call while walking. I review activities for the next day, and then I unwind from the day. This includes meals, exercise, and just relaxing in bed.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
What I call the "pandemic pivot" is real and speaks to our level of commitment to leveling the playing field for all players. During the pandemic, we had real human experiences where we rallied together and treated others how we would like to be treated. However, no long-lasting effects were evident; in fact, some of us behaved worse than usual post-pandemic. Understanding that the "pandemic pivot" was a change and, thus, reversible is essential for a leader to understand. Transformation, on the other hand, is permanent and virtually irreversible.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The book that I authored: You Know Less Than You Don't Know (Transformation, Not Change, is Key to Success), is a culmination of my doctoral research, surveys, and interviews with leaders on how leadership has transformed post-pandemic. The leadership playbook takes a deep dive into evergreen leadership practices that are impervious to disruption and crisis. Understanding the difference between change and transformation is seminal to understanding authentic transformational leadership - the model that the book is based on.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Educate yourself. Be flexible, up, skill, or reskill. Education has gone beyond the traditional BAM (brick-and-mortar) model. YouTube University and other learning platforms are excellent sources for the knowledge-thirsty. Break away from "social media only" reporting to explore more solid possibilities. You know less than you don't know; be coachable, disruptive, great, and be you!
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Leaders are lonely. They usually have a small space where they can download and be themselves. When I speak to leaders, this is a recurring feedback. Leaders need safe spaces to just be. Part of their weight can be alleviated by being collaborative, exploring the organization's knowledge, and inviting input from all stakeholders. Leaders who show up as being "human" are less stressed and more accepted than those who don't.