Archive - February 2024

Being different - and vertical development

We are living in times of unprecedented, and growing, complexity, which it is the leader’s role to manage, negotiate and enable their people to flourish in.   Vertical development recognises that adults develop, from childhood onwards, through stages of cognitive, attitudinal and emotional development which research over decades has shown to be definable and predictable.  As leaders move through the stages they can develop their capacities to deal with com­plexity, ambiguity, uncertainty and volatility.  Children mature, and, as adults, they become capable of doing more complex tasks through further stages of development and new capabilities and perspectives. When leaders have a sense of not fitting in, the reason can be a dislocation between their individual stage of development and the stage of development of their peers, their seniors or the organisational culture as a whole.  The leader at a later stage can feel lonely and isolated, but they may find that they can relate more easily by, on the one hand using concepts and language that will be meaningful to their colleagues at the stage those colleagues are at, and by finding or creating outlets for themselves – new, interesting activities, especially with others at a similar developmental stage.

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