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Gaining sovereignty in transformational endeavors is the first dimension of the SHAPE® dimension. The dictionary defines sovereignty as a: the power or authority to rule, b: the freedom from external control, and c: as controlling influence. In Transformational Leadership we use the term to describe the autonomy, decisiveness, and preparedness of a team before stepping out into unknown territory. Innovation will always be a very risky endeavor. Sovereignty means to accept this risk and the uncertainty that comes along with it. Creating the New will always take place under conditions of extreme uncertainty. We have to accept this fact and, instead, concentrate on the things we can influence: first and foremost this is our behavior.
Agility does not mean anarchy. Implementing new methods can help but is not sufficient. Seemingly outdated virtues such as discipline, responsibility, commitment, and a high level of self-honesty and humility are essential to drive transformation. Creating such an environment without the classic predict and control is the real challenge in any transformation. And it is way better to define those things – despite the pain it causes – before you set on a journey than realizing afterwards that you didn’t really want it that way.