Coaching Transformational Leaders For Sustainable Development

Disclaimer - I am adopting the SDG Goals aligned to Embracing Change's business objectives but am not a representative of the UNDP nor any of their associated representants. The SDG's provide solid and meaningful objectives to work towards.

3 months ago I resigned from my corporate job to return to a dream that had been sitting on a dusty shelf for 10 years. The dream is to establish coaching academies for youth, so that the world will have future leaders who are emotionally developed enough to understand that the sustainability of humanity and the planet depends on unity and balance, not divisiveness and inequality.

Coaching is a powerful communication tool for collaboration and negotiation when delivered with integrity and compassion. It supports the co-creation of desired objectives for the collective and for the higher good of all. By equipping school children with transformational leadership coaching skills, we, as humanity begin to change the way we interact with each other. This shift in mindset is a solid foundation for sustainable development, and a major practical stepping stone towards achieving several of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) by 2030 defined by the UNDP.

Transformational Leadership plays a critical role in ensuring that the 2030 SDG's will be achieved since it provides powerful tools for constructive dialogue to take place. Embracing Change aims to create the transformational leadership solutions for coache, by collaborating with coaching industry leaders, community change makers, policy makers and people development influencers worldwide.

The SDG Goals aligned to Embracing Change objectives are:

  • SDG 4  Quality Education - Develop EQ to support Transformational Leadership by establishing Coaching Academies and a career path from 14 years upwards (there is already an interest to begin earlier on). This would require the development of curricula for comprehensive programme, resulting in accredited coaches, facilitators, training development materials and supported by the sciences of the mind i.e. psychology, neuroscience and behavioural sciences. It would require the educational board to also review policies to include emotional development as an integral part of school programmes and not simply a soft/social skills development initiative

  • SDG 10 - Reduce Inequalities - Adapt and or develop coaching and psychometric tools accessible
    to the general public, young people and youth so that coaching businesses may offer coaching to all. All coaches are then able to develop sustainable coaching businesses and coaching services are no longer reserved only for the corporate executives, senior management or specialized programmes. Providing Transformational Leadership Coaching to the community at large facilitates peer coaching, which is one of the key success factors of coaching because people relate better to those who belong to their own tribe. With more people accessing coaching, more difficult conversations can be negotiated positively, accelerating the pace of creating win-win solutions for all.

  • SDG 11 - Too often once NGO's have left, the community development projects are unable to sustain themselves. If the youth and the supporting SMME's and micro businesses are equipped with Transformational Leadership Development skills, the likelihood of the community to self-sustain themselves will increase. Resilience and conflict management are just two of the TM skills that would make a real difference to the sustainability of small entrepreneurial businesses. The ability to say "No" in an assertive manner is also a powerful communication tool, allowing people to set clear boundaries for themselves, their clients and their businesses for the higher good of all.
    Though it is the last goal, it is the most critical one since without these partnerships, we will continue to fail. There are far more independent small businesses than they are large corporations, yet we systematically fail to effectively impact Economic Development Projects due to corrupt practices, where small businesses and entrepreneurs are often exploited, to the detriment of all, except those who prey on such businesses. Collaborating with fellow coaches, behavioural specialists, policy and change makers will accelerate the implementation and realisation of creating coaching academies and the changes required in the education and institutional systems to support them. We cannot exclude people like me, because I didn't follow mainstream education - there are many of us with many years of real, grass roots experience, which cannot be found in books, and which make a real difference to the success or failure of people projects. The power and influence of Community Leaders and Traditional Healers in underdeveloped countries is often not even considered, which almost guarantees automatic failure. There are natural youth leaders, within these communities, who are also powerful influencers. Inclusivity and partnership is critical for the success of all of the SDG's.

    There are a lot of sceptics who do not believe it is possible to change human behaviour, however I am a firm believer that it is possible to change the way we do things if we all do our own tiny part. In setting up Embracing Change, I understand that I will not achieve my objectives if I do not engage with others who have different viewpoints from my own and if I am unwilling to step out of my comfort zone. The changes required impact institutions and educational systems worldwide as well as the general processes of how people think and resolve problems.

    My very first challenge is that people don't know who I am and I do not have the credentials of a Professor a CEO, which impacts my ability to be heard in the right places -  Who the hell is Joan Laine? How many papers or books has she written and on who's or what authority is she acting. Well! Hum! I'm just me - that's it - I've been told many times that I am not very good at selling myself, I agree, though I'm really learning.

    People think I am crazy for dreaming so big - and I probably am but you name me one single pioneer or innovator who was not crazy or at least a little eccentric; and whose vision was confined to deliver to the norms of society? Mozart, da Vinci, Tesla, Lewis Carroll, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson or Elon Musk all had dreams beyond anyones wildest dreams and yet they achieved the impossible.

    Did they do it following the normal paths? No! Did they make mistakes and get people peeved? Yes. Are they still peeing people off - Those that are alive probably still are!

    So. Here I am with my big dreams and eyes wide open, thinking, I've bitten off more than I can chew, but there is no turning back and this where I learn how to eat an elephant - one bite at a time. Not knowing if I can pay the rent at the end of this month, needing someone to edit my online content -cos I make so many mistakes, I am moving forward to make this a reality.

    Currently I am setting up Meetups to bring awareness to the changemakers, coaches and policy makers about EQ development for transformational leadership. This is also how I am marketing Transformational Leadership, whilst offering practical consulting services which benefits both old and new coaching businesses and also provides real growth opportunities for small businesses. The only costs involved are for the venue itself, which is paid for by a minimal participant fee.

    What am I up to next in Dec / Jan 2018? - Gotta keep moving forward
    1. Do something totally out of my comfort zone like get in front of the webcam and more TV - instead of writing these long blogs to share the vision and to get buy to make things happen - or send this off to Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Rianna? 
    2. Set up a gofundme to sustain myself for the next 3 to 6 months 
    3. Set up a virtual meetup to see if I can to get the right people in the room to discuss the possibility of introducing coaching as a discipline and career path to be introduced into school programms
    4. Continue setting up the physical meetups to support the Embracing Change coaching business dialogues; coaching business growth opportunities; small business development
    5. Crowdsource exchange / support services for micro businesses i.e. I need someone who will proofread and edit before I publish content and help with the business plan - I offer transformational and business coaching in exchange
    6. Create entrepreneurial support network, including finding sponsor, mentor and business partner
    7. Set up affiliation network for Embracing Change
    8. Submit final business plan
    Without completing the above my dream of positively transforming humanity one person at a time, will be dead in the water.

    Get involved

    • Join me on my mad journey and help contribute to at least one of these sustainable development goals, as a professional, a sponsor,  a partner, a cheerleader, a funder, an influencer or just simply as a fellow human being, for the fun of it
    • Collaborate - if you already have similar goals and objectives and your models or approach is working, let's team up
    • Find out more about these 2030 objectives and share your story about which ones you are committed to already or tell us about what you want to commit to and why. Let's see where there is synergy and where we could collaborate.
    • Help me get rid of my shyness so I get in front of the camera
    • Join the Embracing Change Meetup - I will be creating a virtual meetup through an online/webinar type intervention to engage with coaching partners, thought leaders and policy makers worldwide. If anyone has advice or recommendations on setting up Meetups or an alternative for that purpose, please let me know
    • Sponsor/Fund Embracing Change - There are three areas for sponsoring:
      • Start Up Capital
      • Research & Development for pilot programmes and case studies in schools, youth clubs and churches
      • Content and curriculum development and accreditation
    • Volunteer coaching services for the pilots. It gets you involved and part of the solutions.
    • Become an Active Partner. If you have skills, services and experience that support the vision and the mission of embracing change, let's talk about becoming an active partner

    Find me on Social Media 

    Follow Embracing Change on FB, Twitter, and G+ and share with those who want to get involved
    Embracing Change :
    Google :
    Twitter: @embrcingchange or @joanlaine

    Oh and for those who are wondering about Joan Laine Photography - that is what keeps me sain and I hope to use it to document the Embracing Change journey as it unfolds. In which case you'll find me on instagram also


    1. One of the best plans yet.. so passionately set up and structured.


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