The Reason Organizations Don’t Change

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Robert Anderson and William Adams have written a book with big promises that invites leaders on a journey of transformation. They promise to provide readers with the first fully integrated model of leadership develop.

What follows is a narrow, inadequate glimpse into their work.

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“Leaders develop, if they develop, through a series of sequential stages …. To ignore this reality is to jeopardize our efforts to transform organizations….”

“Much ‘resistance to change’ is actually the struggle people have with reorganizing their identity.”

Five Levels of Leadership

“Each new level is a triumph of development.”

#1. Egocentric leadership

  1. What can you do for me?
  2. Overly independent.
  3. Lack of self-awareness. You do not see that you live to get your own needs met.
  4. Lack of shared reality.
  5. Autocratic and controlling. “My way or the highway.”

#2. Reactive leadership

  1. Living up to and into the expectations of others.
  2. Defined by outside in, not inside out.
  3. Worth and security are based on strengths and capabilities.
  4. Three forms of reactive leadership:
    • Complying. Need to be seen as kind, caring, and supportive.
    • Controlling. I am my achievements.
    • Protecting. Intellectually superior and emotionally distant.

#3. Creative leadership

  1. Who am I?
  2. What do I care most about?
  3. What do I stand for?
  4. How can I make my life and my leadership a creative expression of what matters most?

#4. Integral Leadership

  1. Capable of leading amid complexity.
  2. Systems thinking.
  3. Concern for the welfare of the whole system.
  4. Focus on vision both inside and outside an organization.
  5. Servant leadership fully emerges.
  6. Avoid quick fixes and over-simplification.
  7. Hold opposing viewpoints. Embrace rather than avoid compexity.

#5. Unitive Leadership

“… the astonishing oneness underlying and just behind diversity becomes obvious.”

Transforming Organizations

You must grow and develop if you expect your organization to do the same. The journey begins, for most of us, at level one.

“… personal transformation precedes organizational transformation…”

Organizations transform as their leaders transform. New structures and systems succeed when they express who we are.

“The evolution of the individual and organization are interdependent….”

What levels of leadership have you seen?

How do leaders grow and develop?

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