This project addresses the need for a transformative leadership development program for women leaders in Ethiopia. The few institutions that are working to equip women business leaders with the skills they need to run and grow their businesses rarely focus on the personal transformation of the leader that enables her to challenge her assumptions about herself and her environment, ultimately resulting in the transformation of her organization.
The purpose of this project was to design and pilot a personal leadership development training among women leaders. Through a qualitative research method, ten women entrepreneurs were involved in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the project. The data collected using the Ask, Study, and Observe strategy was analyzed thematically. The design of the training was informed by the transformative learning theory, which emphasizes the need for critical reflection as a means to ignite personal transformation in individuals.
The evaluation of the training program indicated that the participants were excited about their newly acquired means of processing their experiences, which they vowed to maintain. The training enabled them to appreciate and embrace the practice of critical reflection and corporate discourse to which they were exposed to. A transformative leadership development model informed by theories of transformational leadership, gender, organizational development, and encompassing strategies such as training, coaching mentoring, experiential learning, and corporate discourse could be used so as to scale up the project.