Episode 37: Susanne Cook-Greuter On Leadership Maturity, Part 2 [The Amiel Show]

In Part 1 of my interview with Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter, she gave an overview of the stages of adult development and what they mean for our capacity to handle life’s complexity.

This week, in Part 2, we explore how her model of Leadership Maturity reframes two everyday leadership challenges:

  • How do you approach your job or career?
  • What is it like to be in a pivotal or difficult conversation?

Susanne pic

Master difficult conversations

Learn my best tips for staying cool under pressure and elevating your leadership in complex times.



  • 6:00 How three conventional stages of adult development (Socialized Self, Specialist Self, and Independent Self) experience work and career
  • 20:30 Why people at the Relative stage often step outside of the rat race
  • 27:00 At the Interdependent stage, you make sense of historical patterns and construct integrated strategies
  • 31:00 Susanne and I disagree about membership criteria for the Denial of Death club
  • 32:30 How development stages approach pivotal conversations differently
  • 34:00 Why someone may interpret even the most skillful feedback as disapproval of him
  • 44:00 Helping leaders at the Independent stage see how they are not fully responsible when something goes awry
  • 45:30 At the Relative stage, you realize what you can gain by understanding others’ perspectives
  • 48:00 Why Millennials may seek out difference as part of conforming to the emerging culture’s norms
  • 50:00 When paradox becomes the norm–and then the main source of juice

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The depth and capacity of what a person can notice can expand throughout life.

–Susanne Cook-Greuter  Tweet this quote

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