High growth firms (HGF), which report more than 20% annual growth for at least 3 consecutive years, have limited time and resources to support their success. Transformative leadership development interventions, which strive to create marked changes through shifting leaders’ ways of perceiving and operating, may be highly effective for rapidly expanding the firms’ leadership capacities. This study examined the perceived nature and impacts of a leadership development program that was intended to be transformative in one HGF.

All 10 leadership development trainees were interviewed about the effects of the program and the program features that contributed to those effects. Participants reported enjoying the program and needing to commit to the process to see results. Unanimously reported program effects included personal transformative change and improved cross-organizational alignment and collaboration. Eight participants also reported organizational growth and change, and seven reported knowledge and skill development. Participants generally agreed the program was transformative, specifically due to tools and resources that challenged their mental models, shared learning exercises, and interactive activities and dialogue.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Development leadership; Organizational change; Business enterprises--Growth

Date of Award


School Affiliation

George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Miriam Y. Lacey

Included in

Business Commons