How I Became a Trusted Advisor and a Transformational Change Agent

Trusted Advisor and a Transformational Change Agent

People often ask what led me to become a transformational change agent. The short answer is I am mission-driven to prevent other leaders from suffering from loneliness and burnout by sharing what I have learned from my experiences, mistakes, and transformational change.

Loneliness and Burnout is Epidemic

A recent Forbes article suggests that those who experience burnout are 63% more likely to take a sick day, 23% more likely to visit the emergency room, and more than twice as likely to seek a new job. Moreover, the American Psychological Association shows a strong link between social support and burnout, indicating that burnout is tightly correlated to the absence of authentic connection and genuine care in the home and workplace.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, collapsed from burnout and exhaustion in 2007 leading her to create Thrive Global, a behavior change organization to “end the burnout epidemic.” Huffington suggests that “When we are exhausted and running on empty, we are actually undermining our productivity and costing businesses and individuals a lot, financially and in every other way,” but she has hope that helping people align well-being and productivity using technology will change the way humans work and live.

Trials and Challenges

As a high achiever with a strong influencing personality and without a trusted advisor or spiritual guidance, I learned how short-term focus, taking on too much work, poor communication, lack of transparency, and lack of connection with others prevented continued success in the workplace and developing deep and loyal personal and professional relationships. Indeed, these traits all contributed to my clash with burnout, rejection, and loneliness.

Though there were signs for over a decade of the personal and professional changes needed for continued success in my work and relationships, I did not realize I needed to change, nor did I have a trusted advisor to come alongside me to speak truth to me and guide me through those changes.

The hard lesson came after I experienced complete physical and emotional exhaustion, leading to an emergency room visit and hospital stay, a month on disability while recovering, and my wife leaving me after 28 years of marriage. Indeed, I was burnt out, alone, and needed to change direction. Thankfully, a great friend spoke truth to me regarding my need to get right with God and my need for change. That honest assessment put me on my transformational journey and my personal audacious mission as a world changer to eliminate burnout, broken relationships, especially those that cause fractured families as a result of separation and divorce.


After giving my life to Christ and beginning fellowship in a local church, being a high achiever, I still felt I needed more to stimulate my physical, intellectual, and emotional well-being. Besides engaging in intense physical activity and self-paced courses, I tried counseling. Still, after three sessions, counseling did not fulfill my high-achiever desire to learn and grow personally and professionally, so I stopped counseling, hired a relationship Coach, and enrolled in Seminary.

With the help of coaches, trusted advisors, and graduate school, my transformational change accelerated as I recognized my strengths and blind spots, changed my mindset, relearned old skills while adding new skills and then applying them while excelling in and getting promoted to a new leadership position in a major program for the United States Navy. I was exposed to solutions-based and marital/pre-marital counseling, different personality profile types and assessments, mission and vision casting and strategic planning, and more importantly, connecting with others and leading with a servant’s heart, which emphasizes serving others and the need for leaders to search for the unique skills and giftings of others, including their spouses, children, and members of their organizations so that they may also excel and grow.

Jeff Sayings

Though counseling benefited me, and I enjoyed and currently use what I learned in counseling classes in my work as a trusted advisor, I concluded that counseling most often operates from a negative point of reference to move a person back to the status quo. In contrast, transformational change agents encourage people to recognize their pain and challenges from the past and present and use them for transformational growth in themselves, their families, and their organizations.

Returning What I Learned to Others

By combining 36 years of service, sacrifice, and leadership experience in and with the United States Navy with the growth and wisdom from my transformation by God, trusted advisors, and my relationship, fitness, and executive coaches, I have become a trusted advisor and transformational change agent so that I can serve and encourage others on ways to avoid burnout, rejection, and loneliness, improve communication, appropriately adapt to change, spark innovation and creativity, solve problems, and build deep and lasting personal and professional relationships. My integrated leadership approach includes a “mission first-people always” mindset that leads to personal and professional growth, improvement in quality of life, and deepened relationships for individuals, families, and organizations.

Integrated leadership underscores physical, intellectual, and spiritual well-being in personal and professional activities. It emphasizes people-over-process by integrating a leader’s unique strengths and talents with the unique strengths and talents of their family, organization, and community. At the core of the integrated leadership approach is ongoing self assessment, learning, adjusting, and growing because as leaders, the best way to change the world is by first changing yourself.

We would love to hear from you now that I have shared my mission! Please connect with us in the comments and share how you are doing, what challenges you are struggling with, and your big mission.

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