The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervenor.
—Bill O’Brien, former CEO of Hanover Insurance Company
We’re in the race of our lives. It’s not between the “good guys” and “bad guys” but between the complexity of our world and the capacity of our minds to manage this complexity—and the amount of energy we have to fuel us.
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We know from Jim Collins’s survey of 1400 companies that transforming from “good to great” requires Level 5 leadership: a paradoxical blend of professional ambition and personal humility. We also know from longitudinal research of small- and mid-sized organizations that organizations’ capacity to transform is directly related to top executives’ ability to integrate different perspectives, use a broad repertoire of power approaches, and self-correct.
That’s where leadership comes in.
The higher you rise and the larger your field of influence, the more complex the challenges that cross your desk and screen. The challenges are strategic, organizational, political, environmental, cultural, financial, technical, legal, and interpersonal (yes, a mouthful). And the complexity is growing every day, isn’t it?
That’s why so many of us feel in over our heads. It’s hard to “wrap our minds” around problems. Our bodies feel “drained.” And our organizations don’t quite have the mojo we know they are capable of.
The good news: everything our brains and bodies need to master complexity is already within us as unrealized potentials. And a growing vault of research shows us how to access these potentials.
So here are two secrets:
- Growing up doesn’t end at adulthood. Our bodies may not get much bigger, but our minds have the capacity to grow through several stages of greater agility. Research in the field of adult developmental psychology tells us that not all of us get there, but we all have the potential.
- We have the ability to increase our physical, emotional and mental energy far beyond what we think possible. A growing body of interdisciplinary research show us how ingrained habits drain our energy and how shifting our habits can elevate it.
My project is to bring these secrets out into the open for the clients I serve. I think of it as helping you upgrade your leadership operating system so it can handle a blizzard of new applications. So your mind, body and—yes, heart—grow to meet the level of complexity around you.
To do this, we take an integral approach. Rather than rely on a single model or discipline, I integrate a large body of wisdom and research from many models and disciplines. Like a travel agent selecting destinations for a family’s vacation, I don’t show you the whole catalog of options but pick and choose the destinations and routes that will be most meaningful and practical for you. And then set you off on your journey.