Q & A With Randy Dobbs On Transformational Leadership

Randy has recently written a book called “Transformational Leadership” which is targeted at helping to transform leaders. Below is a brief interview with Randy on why he wrote the book, what the book is about, and more.

Admin: What inspired you to write this book?

Randy: I desired to write this book with the help of a great friend, Paul Walker, for two basic reasons. First, I hope my story of success and failure will inspire others to embrace their dreams and never give up, because my story proves that you can succeed against tough odds. Second, I have been blessed in many ways and writing this book is a way to give something back to so many I will never know.

Admin: Can you summarize the message of the book in one or two sentences?

Randy: The key to succeeding as a leader in virtually any endeavor is understanding the core issues, listening effectively to others, involving others’ skills in problem resolution, and openly and consistently communicating your thoughts and actions so that you truly believe you can win in your undertaking and can convince all those around you that they can win both as individuals and as a team.

Admin: What do you believe your readers will gain from this book?

Randy: The front cover summarizes well what the readers will gain…a successful blueprint and the secret sauce for transformational leadership. However, in addition to the tools and deployment of the tools for transformational leadership, I also believe that, even more important, they can gain inspiration from my experiences for their own personal quests.

Admin: Is this book primarily for senior leaders?

Randy: No, I feel this book is good for leaders at all levels and for people who may not even consider themselves leaders. My sister, who is a lead operating room nurse, said to me after reading the book, “This is good stuff, Randy, because everybody faces people and situations in their day-to-day work life that your book would help them to deal with as they aspire to build better teams and work environments in order to succeed.”

Admin: What could someone who is not yet a leader learn from this book?

Randy: I believe this book enforces the old saying, “Among virtues perseverance is chief of them all.” Life is not perfect. Jobs, bosses, peers, relationships, and outside forces throw curve balls at us every day, but with persistence, processes, and a plan most issues can be resolved.

Admin: Would this book be helpful for leaders outside the business world?

Randy: Yes. Although my own experience is in the business world, I believe any leader should work to transform his or her organization, whether it’s a single school or a school district, a medical office or a hospital, a local or national non-profit, a local, state, or federal government entity, or any other organization. Also, as I have suggested in previous responses, a coach, a schoolteacher, a nurse, and many other individual contributors can benefit from thinking about improving their communication, listening, planning, and feedback skills.

Admin: What does it really mean to transform an organization?

Randy: Webster’s dictionary defines transform as “to change in structure, appearance, or character.” You will find in the book clear examples of changes I led in three distinctly different businesses, each of which had a similar challenge in that they could never achieve their business objectives without changing their structure, appearance, or character.

Admin: What is the difference between transformational leadership and other kinds of leadership?

Randy: A better way to express that question would be: “What is the difference between transformational leadership and managing?” Real leadership results in business transformation and everything else is just managing. In the book, I discuss leadership versus managing in great detail.

Admin: What is unusual about your business career that gave you the insights you share in the book?

Randy: I believe the two most unusual aspects of my business career are these: First, from where I started as a product of a very broken home and a graduate of a small state university I ended up with a career that by all standards should not have happened for me. Second, any of several tough assignments handed to me over my career, especially in the GE corporation, could have ended this story very early on, but one tough success led to the next and that is the most fundamental basis for the book.

Admin: What is the Secret Sauce?

Randy: The secret sauce is a process for transformational change that when applied to three very different businesses in three very similar ways resulted in unique organizational change and strong business financial results when followed and committed to in earnest. I believe these steps will work to transform any organization in or out of the business world.

Admin: What key qualities enabled you to rise from an hourly summer employee at a GE plant to CEO of a GE company?

Randy: First, my success, like so many others, was driven by being in the right place at the right time and then taking advantage of the opportunities. However, to take advantage of those opportunities, I believe my key qualities were: (1) outstanding communication skills at all levels, (2) my will to never give up despite the odds, (3) my willingness to be wrong and listen attentively to others, and (4) my ability to view the future state and in turn sell it to others who had to work to get us there.

Admin:You come from a broken home and credit your grandmother for showing you what it means to be a leader. Can you comment on that?

Randy: There is much more on this subject in the book, but I believe that everyone needs mentoring, role models, or a coach in life for growth and improvement. I was very fortunate that, while I did not have that in my home life—in fact just the opposite, I had a very business-oriented, tradition-proud, and risk-adverse grandmother who cared for and taught me through deeds as well as spoken and unspoken words. I still love to coach/mentor today, and I think that is a foundation established first by her but re-enforced by others during my career.


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Motivational Leadership Speaking Motivational Leadership SpeakingRandy continues to be an exciting motivational leadership speaker, which has been his passion for over 25 years. He honed his skill as a motivational speaker and business coach working at GE under the tutelage of Jack Welch. From line supervisor to President & CEO, Randy has successfully lead individuals through his specific motivational methods that produce tangible results. Randy is personable, authentic, and driven. He has a speaking ability that motivates and energizes individuals to achieve beyond their potential.
Executive Leadership Mentoring Executive Mentoring & Leadership ConsultingRandy Dobbs is a proven CEO with strong operational/execution skills who has demonstrated success in fix-it situations. Randy has been a mentor for over 30 years helping individuals, senior leaders, to CEO’s at GE, Phillips Medical, USIS and wcasportfolio companies. Randy was trained in mentoring while at GE and subsequently pushed to train all the top leaders in Philips and USIS while implementing mentor programs at both organizations.Randy mentors/coaches CEO’s and some of their direct reports today in his current role.
Buy Randy’s book “Transformational Leadership” Transformational Leadership

Sharing personal experience and practical business blueprints, Dobbs takes the reader on a journey through the transformational process. Leaders working in organizations of various sizes--and facing diverse challenges and opportunities--will find Dobbs' ideas transformative, personally as well as professionally. This is a book for persons who want to be change agents within their respective organizations. It is for all who want to make a difference for themselves and their coworkers.