This qualitative study explored the narrative themes that emerged in the life stories of 12 senior executives identified as high in transformational leadership. The research examined how participants’ life stories contributed to their sense of identity and to their adoption of a transformational leadership style. On the basis of an apparent conceptual relationship between the psychosocial construct of generativity and behaviours associated with transformational leadership, generative themes were expected to emerge in the life narratives. The analysis was exploratory and verificationary. General themes – struggle, external resources and support and inner strength - reflecting a strongly redemptive sequence were identified as well as five of the themes previously identified in the life stories of generative adults (McAdams, 2006). The findings suggest that transformational leaders’ generative concerns are forged by their life narratives located in the private world of their identities and beliefs, and manifested in transformational leadership behaviours in the public world of the organisations they lead. Implications of findings and directions for future research on generativity and transformational leadership are discussed.