Episode 70: Later Stages Of Leadership Maturity With Susanne Cook-Greuter [The Amiel Show]

This week on the podcast, I welcome back adult development expert, Susanne Cook-Greuter, to discuss the most advanced stages of leadership maturity. Each of these stages is both increasingly complex—bringing new capacities and new challenges—and increasingly rare. We discuss:

  • Self-actualizing or Strategist stage
  • Construct-aware/Ego-aware or Alchemist stage
  • Unitive or Ironist stage

Susanne and I previously spoke in episode 36 about the how vertical development works and what’s common between all developmental models.

In episode 37 we explored how developmental theory helps us reframe two everyday challenges: work/career and pivotal conversations.

In both episodes, we focused on the development stages where 80 percent of adults in the West live. But what about the stages beyond that? What is it like to live there?

That is the focus of this episode.

Our conversation was a genuine “wow.” My mind got a vigorous calisthenic workout, and we teamed up to investigate common confusions about these later stages.

Have a seat, go for a walk, get on a plane, and take a listen. This is one you’ll want to share with friends!

Highlights

  • 8:50 Self-Actualizing/Strategist stage (5-6% of adults in West)
  • 19:00 Capacity to take a stand on ideals
  • 26:00 When growth first really matters to us
  • 30:30 Tempted to take an early retirement package from development?
  • 35:00 “Look how much I know about myself!”
  • 36:00 Construct Aware/Ego Aware/Alchemist stage (<1% of adults in West)
  • 41:00 “Am I nuts?”
  • 44:00 The limits of mapmaking and trying to get beyond the ego
  • 47:00 Unitive or Ironist stage
  • 51:30 Experiencing the wonder of things—consistently
  • 1:00:00 The virtues of hanging out at—and acting from—Self-Actualizing/Strategist

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Harvey Weinstein And Healthy Masculine Power [New Post]

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has prompted many important conversations about power, privilege, complicity, and shame. I’d like to weigh in with several observations that complement what I’ve been hearing and stretch it an extra inch.
  • The scope. The #metoo campaign on Facebook revealed what all women and some men already knew: sexual harassment and abuse are ever-present in our culture. Every woman I know has experienced it. The stories I’ve heard this week leave me feeling sick in the stomach.
  • The impact. Harassment and abuse are intrinsically damaging. They hurt human beings. But this is not just about individual pain and individual careers. Here I differ from the tone of media stories that are rooted in our individualistic culture. When bright and talented people get ensnared in webs of abuse, we all suffer. Consider women leaders. Great leadership is about serving others. A career cut short or constrained by harassment harms both these leaders and the people they would otherwise be serving. We forget this sometimes.
  • Beyond implicit bias. When men ignore women’s contributions, interrupt them in meetings, or overlook them for promotions, implicit bias is often at work. The actions are unconscious and outside of the person’s control. Sexual harassment and abuse by Weinstein and other men don’t fit into this category. We’re talking about conscious behaviors  arising from darker pathologies. The answer isn’t more self-awareness, but removal, treatment, and perhaps imprisonment.
  • Political and psychological complexity. Women who experience harassment and abuse—as well as interruptions in meetings—face extraordinarily complex situations. Speaking up can lead to social ostracism and professional punishment. Lost friendships and social networks. On a psychological level, many women report feeling shame and self-blame that causes them either to stay and remain loyal or to leave silently.
  • Innocent guys. Just because all women have experienced sexual harassment or abuse doesn’t mean all men have committed it. There are innocent guys. Many of them. Some would like to wish all of this away. Others realize it’s time to step up their game as men on behalf of women and all of us.
  • Good guys. Innocence and goodness are different. As Janet Crawford and Lisa Marshall have taught me, being a good guy requires more than clean hands. In our interview last October, Janet described numerous positive steps men can take that go beyond avoiding harm. Some actions won’t pose risks to our public identities or careers. Others require breaking with the Bro Code.
  • Healthy masculine power. If you stop going along with the Bro Code, what’s left to do? I have an idea. Let’s stop being bros and start being men. Channel that vital male energy into courage, blend it with empathy and savvy, and use the resulting mixture to rise to the challenge. This is really important. Virility and virtue need not be in opposition. As Robert Augustus Masters discussed on the podcast, when we bring these qualities together, we discover a deeper and healthier version of masculine power. What would it be like to speak up not only for the sake of women, but because that’s who we are as men?
I’ll soon be doing another interview with Janet Crawford about this topic, so send me your questions and comments.
And please share with others.

Episode 69: Executives’ New Promises With Bob Dunham [The Amiel Show]

Bob-Dunham

This week on the podcast, I welcome back Bob Dunham to discuss the transition from manager to executive.

Bob heads up the Institute for Generative Leadership, where for three decades he has developed leaders and coaches.

In episode 7, he described how to make reliable promises and the importance of listening for commitment.

This time, we explored how becoming an executive involves a new category of promises. Skillfully managing these promises requires new conversations, skills, and presence. Why do many people fail in transitioning to the executive role? What does it take to cross this chasm successfully? How can you prepare yourself for the transition?

Join Bob and me as we delve into these questions and more.

And, as always, share with friends who might enjoy these insights.

Highlights

  • 9:00 People are often blind to the outcome
  • 17:00 When you have plans but no promises
  • 21:30 Not having honest conversations is a setup for failure
  • 28:30 Blind spot: the learning path for new managers
  • 40:00 Good managers assess their direct reports’ assessments
  • 42:00 Executives’ new promises and conversations
  • 53:00 It’s all about what we listen for

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Episode 66: Men’s Sexual Shadow At Work With Keith Witt [The Amiel Show]

Dr Keith Witt

Men who are conscious of their sexual shadows at work are better leaders. They are less likely to do stupid things like sexually harass women or have illicit affairs. By spending less energy fighting their shadows, they can use their human superpowers to do good things like build great teams and guide them toward a better future.

People don’t talk a lot about this. Not in day to day work. And not even in classes about diversity and inclusion—or women in leadership.

That’s why I was so excited to talk with this week’s guest, Keith Witt, about his new book Shadow Light: Illuminations At the Edge Of Darkness.

His book and our conversation are about everyone (not just men) and all types of shadow (not just the sexual one). Still, the part I found most valuable was about straight guys who still haven’t gotten over their teenage crush on Suzie next door. Yes, we actually riff on this for 15 minutes!

Keith and I previously spoke about creating a marital love affair. You might say that this time we talk about loving your shadow.

For integral folks, we also talk about your personal moral system. How does this system change as we grow? What happens to our bodies when we violate it?

As if that weren’t enough, we also look at how healthy and unhealthy nationalism differ. Hint: it has to do with the collective shadow!

Highlights

  • The shame of violating your moral system
  • Constructive versus destructive shadow
  • Human superpowers
  • The roots of sexual harassment
  • Evaluating potential employees for their willingness to be influenced
  • Healthy and unhealthy nationalism

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Episode 64: Overcoming Immunity To Change With Deborah Helsing [The Amiel Show]

Deb Helsing

This week on the podcast, I welcome back Deborah Helsing to discuss Immunity to Change: what it is, why it matters for leaders and organizations, and how to overcome it.

Deb teaches at Harvard and heads up Coach Learning Programs for Minds at Work, the company created by Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey, who coauthored Immunity to Change.

Deb and I previously spoke about deliberately developmental organizations.

This time, we met at her office in Cambridge, to explore why every time we try to change, we look down and discover our foot is on the brakes. Yikes! And, more importantly, how to use our understanding of this messy situation to our advantage!

Highlights

  • 12:00 Seeing the brilliant way your psychological immune system operates
  • 18:00 Hidden or competing commitments, the brakes on change
  • 22:30 Feeling the pit of your stomach is a very good sign
  • 35:00 Some people felt tricked by flipping complaints into commitments
  • 40:00 Designing safe experiments to test your untested assumption
  • 46:30 Which developmental stages benefit from this approach?
  • 49:30 How Immunity to Change approach nurtures developmental change

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Episode 63: Using Worldviews To Explain The Election With Cindy Wigglesworth [The Amiel Show]

cindy-w-2

Still trying to make sense of the U.S. presidential election? Me, too.

This week, leadership consultant and author Cindy Wigglesworth helps us understand what happened through the lens of worldviews. With an approach called Spiral Dynamics as our guide, Cindy describes how worldviews emerge progressively as we grow, what happens when they rub against each other, and how to reintegrate worldviews that we have kicked under the rug.

It’s a rich topic, one with interlocking questions about our political moment. For example:

What happens when the Blue “rules and roles” worldview gets attacked on one side by the Red “powerful self” and on the other side by Green “pluralism?”

Might liberals’ pluralism have underestimated the visceral appeal of the fierce Red within Donald Trump and many of his supporters?

What happens when Orange “achiever” values take the form of crony capitalism–and what would a healthier capitalism look like?

What new and more advanced worldview might be called forth in our culture if the survival of our species is at stake (if it isn’t already)?

This conversation with Cindy is part three of my post-election series. Although I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about parts one and two, I realize that politics—even at this dramatic moment in history–isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If so, stay tuned for future interviews with Deb Helsing about Immunity to Change, Steve Waddell about large systems change, and Sean Casey Leclaire about men and leadership.

But, first, Cindy Wigglesworth. Cindy is a recognized expert in spiritual intelligence and its application to leaders and organizations. She describes her approach as faith-neutral, faith-friendly, and science-friendly. She created the SQ21 assessment of spiritual intelligence and is author of SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence.

This conversation about the election, although informed by Cindy’s wisdom and compassion, doesn’t focus explicitly on spiritual intelligence. On the other hand, I think it will recharge your spiritual batteries as it did mine.

Highlights

  • 7:30 Spiral Dynamics stages: red, blue, orange, and green
  • 15:00 Different reasons people voted for Trump
  • 18:30 How Bernie pulled Hillary more into Green
  • 22:00 Green pluralism often attacks Blue rules
  • 25:40 Strategic approach to societal survival issues
  • 31:30 How to reintegrate the virtues of your Red (Powerful Self) and Blue (Rules and Roles) world views
  • 40:30 How we can disown world views as we grow
  • 45:00 Variety of forms capitalism takes
  • 48:30 Critiques of capitalism—and their limits

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Liberalism often underestimates the value of enforcing society’s rules and roles

–Cindy Wigglesworth   Tweet this quote

Spiral Dynamics worldviews discussed in interview

  • Red: Powerful Self
  • Blue: Rules and Roles
  • Orange: Achiever
  • Green: Pluralistic
  • Yellow: Strategic

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