Blog by Alan Seale, October 18, 2021 | Transformational Presence
In the next two weeks, I will wrap up our current Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training on Zoom. As that course draws to a close, so does perhaps the most dynamic and fulfilling chapter of my life—25 years of teaching in the realms of consciousness and spirituality, personal development, coaching, and leadership development. At the end of this TPLC, I will step back from leading the signature Transformational Presence courses, and for the most part, step back from public leadership. As one chapter comes to an end, a new chapter begins for Transformational Presence as well as for me.
While I cannot deny the tender sweet sadness in my heart, I also acknowledge my enormous excitement for the many possibilities ahead, both for me and for Transformational Presence. I am not fully retiring; I’m just shifting my role and focus from teaching to mentoring and coaching Transformational Presence leaders who are committed to taking this work further out into the world. I’ll be working more “behind the scenes.”
There are now well over a thousand graduates of Transformational Presence programs from more than 40 countries. Through them, our work continues to expand around the world. I am grateful for their commitment to Transformational Presence as a way of living and leading and the many ways they are helping to create a world that works. I feel privileged to be mentoring some of them as they take their next steps.
Introducing Our Global Program Leader Team—8 Countries and 8 Languages
More specifically, since 2018 I have been personally mentoring a group of 10 Transformational Presence graduates to lead the signature programs, serve our Transformational Presence community, and take this work to the next generations. They represent eight different countries and will soon make our work available in eight languages.
They are each gifted in different ways and bring their own special presence and wisdom to this work. I love that they are quite diverse in personality and style. My appreciation, respect, and admiration for each of them grows every day. Until now, they have been in three separate cohorts for the mentoring process. In recent months, we have begun our journey together as a single group.
This global group is working closely together, listening to Transformational Presence for guidance in charting our course forward, both for serving our global TP community as well as for expanding this work in the world. Members of the group are leading various aspects of our exploration and action, supported by Gabriella van Rooij and me. Step by step, the group is becoming a dynamic team. They anticipate creating more formal structures starting in 2022. Gabriella and I will continue mentoring the team for the foreseeable future.
Several members of the group are already leading introductory Transformational Presence programs, Global Community Spark Sessions, full TPLC and TPLA courses, and variations of the programs designed for specific audiences. These programs are currently being offered in English, Dutch, and Polish; some are in person and others are offered on Zoom for international audiences. In December, the first course will be presented in Finnish, and 2022 is likely to see presentations in French, Italian, and Swedish as well. These programs are offered through the companies of the various program leaders in cooperation with the Center for Transformational Presence.
Today I share a few personal words about each of the 10 Program Leaders as a way of introducing them further to you. You can learn more about their accomplishments on the Certified Program Leaders page of our website.
We are living in critical times. Transformational Presence offers a strong foundation of conscious leadership. Come with us as we step into this next chapter. Take your next steps in making the difference you are here to make. It will take all of us doing our part. The time is now.
Belgium / France
Marie Dancourt-Cavanagh, EMCC Senior Practitioner and Certified Transformational Presence Coach, CTPC
Languages: French, English, German
Marie says that when she first discovered Transformational Presence work in 2018, it was a key turning point in her coaching approach. She recognized how powerfully Transformational Presence reconciled the rational mind with intuitive intelligence. Since then, it has become an important foundation of her work that includes leadership development and change management, cross-cultural communication, resilience and stress management, talent and strengths development, career and life transitions, and women in leadership.
Marie is serious yet playful, direct yet open-hearted. I particularly appreciate her dedication and commitment to excellence, both personally and professionally, as well as her capacity for juggling many projects and initiatives at the same time! Sometimes I wonder where she finds the energy and mental/emotional bandwidth for it all.
As just one example, in addition to her very full plate in coaching and leadership, Marie recently initiated and oversaw the French translation of the TPLC Guidebook. This is an enormous gift to our French-speaking participants and graduates. In the next year, she will also begin leading Transformational Presence courses.
Elina Akola, ACC, CTPC
Languages: Finnish, English
Teacher, coach, and speaker Elina Akola says she found Transformational Presence by following her intuition. “When I started my first training with Alan in 2018, I did not foresee what a life-changing journey this would be for me!” Elina will lead her first Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training course in Finnish in December.
Elina says, “Intuition has always been a strong tool for me as a coach. Transformational Presence has now given me tools to help people find pathways through both challenges and opportunities, new directions that are calling, and clear next steps. We need these skills now more than ever before because of ever-changing situations and so much information coming towards us every day. Transformational Presence continues to bring deep change in how I show up to my life and work.”
What touches me about Elina is her quiet intuitive nature and her great interest in life-long learning for adults. She holds two post-graduate degrees: a Master of Arts and a Master of Education. I also admire Elina’s ability to sense the essence of what is going on and speak that out in a few words. I appreciate her dedication to the Transformational Presence approach and her deep longing and commitment to bringing this work to Finland. Elina also published her first book on intuitive development this year.
Italy / United Kingdom
Paolo Morley-Fletcher, PCC, CTPC
Languages: English, French, Italian
Strategist, executive coach, and seeker Paolo Morley-Fletcher describes his first encounter with Transformational Presence in 2017 as “both a liberating and empowering milestone” in his life. He felt a calling from that moment to serve this work.
Paolo has served leaders and organizations globally for over 20 years. He believes that today’s world demands a shift in leadership consciousness and organizational culture—a shift wherein leaders focus inward and engage in “deep work” to serve and illuminate the world inside-out. He is the Founder and Director of AtmanWay; a Global Leader for The Katzenbach Center, PwC’s think-tank on culture and leadership; a Senior Executive Advisor of STRATEGY& (formerly Booz & Company), and a leadership consultant and partner of Oxford Leadership. Balancing all of that, he is also a certified yoga teacher.
Part of what I appreciate about Paolo is his deep philosophical nature, his long-time study of mysticism and wisdom traditions, and his strong intellect. He frequently draws parallels between ancient wisdom studies, mysticism, and Transformational Presence, and “connects the dots” between ideologies, approaches, and philosophies. He is already taking Transformational Presence out to the world through keynote lectures and organizational consulting across Europe, and he will soon begin leading some of our signature courses.
Learn more about Paolo.
Jo Boniszewski, CTPC
Languages: English, Dutch
Jo Boniszewski began her Transformational Presence journey in 2013 when she joined a TPLC in Belgium. Since then, Jo says that Transformational Presence has become the foundational “backbone” of her approach to life and work. She is currently a program leader for the Transformational Presence signature programs and has twice served as the Co-Chair of our Global Leadership Gatherings.
Having worked closely with Jo for eight years, I appreciate her bright smile and quick wit while at the same time her ability to create a safe space for those she serves. She has a way of gently yet directly cutting to the essence of what is going on! Jo seems equally at home in all kinds of settings and brings lightness, warmth, and depth to any encounter.
An experienced transformational leadership coach and facilitator, Jo has been a trainer in the field of leadership and personal development for 15 years, following a 15-year corporate career. She quite naturally bridges the perceived gaps between the rational intellect and intuitive knowing, between task orientation and people orientation. As a result, the individuals and teams with whom she works learn to thrive and lead with ease and impact, even in turbulent times. Jo is about to launch her first year-long program in personal and leadership development based on Transformational Presence.
Learn more about Jo at Barefoot Training.
Sander van Eekelen, CTPC
Languages: Dutch, English
Sander van Eekelen stepped into his first TPLC in 2012. I was impressed right away by his combination of sensitivity and practicality. Nearly 10 years later, Sander continues to bring those qualities and so much more to the Transformational Presence community and to his teaching and coaching. He has a way of both respectfully inviting and compassionately challenging people to take their next big steps in deep exploration, making significant shifts possible.
Sander thrives on enabling and witnessing growth in individual and leadership development. His own continuous learning and developmental process lies at the core of his life and work. In describing what this work is for him, Sander says, “I’m inspired to learn and teach; it’s a reciprocal, never-ending dance. To playfully enable people to become the fullest version of themselves is my ultimate goal in life.”
Sander has been leading Transformational Presence programs since 2019, and is particularly enjoying the possibilities for learning, development, and transformation through his Zoom courses. He is the founder of Academy of Life and co-founder of ShiftsHappen. His background in social psychology along with his many years of experience in management and in Human Resources help Sander speak both the language of business and the language of the soul.
Vincent Sark, CTPC
Languages: Dutch, English
Since 2015, Vincent Sark has fully dedicated his professional life to being a change leader with Transformational Presence as the solid foundation. He is committed to bringing insights and sustainable change in a light and playful manner. In fact, the name of his company says it all—Transformational Playground. And this is what I have loved about Vincent from the first day we met.
Vincent creates activities and exercises for individuals and teams that inspire laughter and fun (and sometimes a bit of craziness!) Yet within minutes, these activities also bring deep awareness and insights into whatever topic is being explored. He fully understands the power of play and laughter for opening hearts and minds. He has a way of holding space lightly yet speaking truth very directly.
Vincent was a leader in the high-end market of full custom super yachts for 15 years. There he learned to look for opportunities and deliver the highest quality possible in every aspect of the job. Since shifting into coaching and change leadership, he has worked with local Dutch government agencies and commercial organizations. Vincent has also been part of the Leader Team for several international Transformational Presence events and is currently the Co-Chair along with Jo Boniszewski of our 2022 Global Leadership Gathering.
Caroline Veerman, CTPC
Languages: Dutch, English, German
On the opening day of Caroline Veerman’s first TPLC in 2016, she walked up to me before the session began, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “I’m already sure that this is the way that I want to work. I’m not interested in another approach. This is it. And I’m going to take this approach out into the world.” And she has done just that!
Caroline has been a pioneer in taking Transformational Presence into organizations and management, particularly in healthcare and not-for-profit organizations. She has a deep understanding of working from the inside out, whether with individuals or organizations. She is driven by her passions for transformation and impactful action. Through her Transformational Presence approach within the large healthcare organization she currently serves, she has made great strides in shifting culture, building resilience and engagement among employees, and positively impacting the bottom line for the company.
Caroline is now developing a new course called “Applied Transformational Presence” to help graduates of our programs bridge this work into their organizations. Her company name is Ferja, the Norwegian word for “ferry.” A ferry takes people from one shore to another. Caroline is indeed helping to “ferry” people and organizations through transformation.
When Caroline introduced herself to me on that early morning in 2016, she meant what she said. And I am grateful.
Learn more about Caroline.
Patryk Lange, PCC, CTPC
Languages: Polish, English
Patryk Lange and Joanna Maria Zawada (see her introduction below) are the founders of the Transformational Presence Institute in Poland. Patryk’s first encounter with Transformational Presence was in 2014, thanks to Joanna, who was the first to introduce this work in Poland. He participated in the TPLC a year later. More recently, Patryk began assisting Joanna in leading the TPLC in Polish and, along with Joanna, is a founder of the very active Transformational Presence community in Poland.
Patryk began studying Buddhism in 2008, and this became his spiritual path. He recently shared with me his appreciation of what he refers to as the “noble simplicity” of Transformational Presence—a wonderful way to integrate the subtle and spiritual layers of reality with the material and the concrete. He described Transformational Presence as a bridge between deep presence and wise action. These statements illustrate the perspectives and awareness that Patryk brings to his work and to the world. His gentle spirit always leads the way as he subtly touches the sacred within each person, empowering them to step forward in both full presence and action.
Professionally, Patryk serves as an executive coach primarily for managers working in engineering companies. He also teaches coaching and mindfulness. In his words, “I support my clients to boldly explore their inner worlds, to get to know themselves better in this way, to meet what is difficult, and to discover what is beautiful and supportive. The courage to be myself and the willingness to learn the truth about myself are the key motivations of my work. I believe that this results in a sincere partnership relationship with Life.”
Joanna Maria Zawada, MCC, CTPC
Languages: Polish, English
Joanna Maria Zawada and Patryk Lange (see profile above) are the founders of the Transformational Presence Institute in Poland. Joanna and I first met in London in 2012 when I spoke at the ICF Global Conference. In 2014, she joined a TPLC in Belgium, and the following year invited me to lead the first TPLC in Poland. Joanna has nurtured a vibrant Transformational Presence community in Poland since that first TPLC, and now Patryk and others are taking leadership roles as well. Joanna, Sander, and Patryk have led the TPLC and TPLA in Poland (Polish and English) since 2019.
From our first meeting, I was touched by Joanna’s pure spirit, her love for life, and her commitment to living from a deep awareness and presence. I have watched Joanna meet big opportunities and tough challenges over the last seven years. What impresses me every time is the depth of feeling and presence that she brings to the moment, her ability to take a deep breath and pause to listen, and the deep wisdom she taps to lead her forward.
Joanna is an engineer by training and a coach by calling and choice. She currently co-leads the company Coachways in Poland, creating development programs and processes that deepen awareness through presence, courage, trust, and dialogue. Her intention is to support leaders in gaining a greater sense of their potential and the cultural impact they can have, and then help them shift old patterns and ways of showing up. She readily admits that it’s not always an easy path to follow. However, in her words, “It is a journey that enables understanding so that we can find our way through what is difficult and step into potential.” She brings this same energy and intention into her leadership of the Transformational Presence signature programs.
Katarina Cars, PCC, CTPC
Languages: Swedish, English
Katarina and I also met in 2012 in London in the ICF conference where I met Joanna. A few years later she joined the TPLA in Stockholm, and then the TPLC in England. We soon found our shared love of singing, and in a Soul Mission workshop in the Netherlands a few years ago, I had the great privilege of hearing Katarina sing. Her pure and silvery soprano mesmerized us all. In 2020, when we had to take our Global Leadership Gathering online because of COVID, Katarina closed our day-long Zoom session with a magnificent and tender Swedish song.
Katarina speaks about how Transformational Presence has transformed her coaching and her work. Through her company, Cars Consulting, and her Courageous Leadership programs, she supports teams in their development as well as individuals in their personal growth. When working with management teams, her primary focus is on helping them build greater trust and learn deeper ways of listening. She invites the kind of dialogue that brings to the surface the topics that matter most.
From the beginning, I have appreciated Katarina’s pure spirit, her commitment to learning and exceptionalism, and her gentle yet firm coaching and support to those she serves. She exudes a wonderful combination of easy-going presence and get-it-done energy. She holds a space that is always open-hearted, compassionate, and respectful, while at the same time finding the way for what needs to be spoken to have a voice.
Katarina and Joanna will co-lead both the TPLC and the TPLA in English on Üto, an island in the Stockholm archipelago, in 2022.