If you are a leader...
In a Family Business,
Corporate Senior Executive
or the Entrepreneurial Leader of
his or her own enterprise,
I am confident that you aspire to Excellence.
Seth Godin says the path toward excellence is an upward climb, and sometimes that climb is cut short when a sudden cliff appears; it is the end and it is a serious fall for you and your people. I've been up and over the cliff a good number of times and it is really, really hard to face defeat. At other times the climb ends in a cul-de-sac; more and more of the same and there just isn't any real progress; everything seems stuck. Groundhog's Day. Then, there are those who climb in pursuit of excellence and they run into a dip - it isn't a cliff and it isn't a cul-de-sac, but it creates a lot of anxiety never-the-less. The uncertainty is upsetting, especially when failure is a possibility. However, when faced with a real dip it is time to pull your resources together and to push through because that is the only path that ends in excellence.
Quit the cliff and get unstuck from the cul-de-sac because they are both big time wasters. Energy drainers. You want to push through the dip.
Wether it is a final cliff, a stuck cul-de-sac, or an anxious dip - it always involves people - people at work and people at home - and maybe both at the same time.
Right there are the challenges of Growth and Development, and they are different one from the other.
Growth is about accumulating more skills, enhancing your leadership competencies so that you become more of a SME, a Subject Matter Expert. There are always more skills to acquire.
Development, on the other hand, is about growing up. It is about enlarging your capacity to handle change and complexity with equanimity. The "leadership pipeline" is about growing as a SME, and developing your capacity to deal with reality in a non-anxious way.
Since 1973 I've worked with people and systems. First as an Ordained Minister in the Reformed Church in America. I worked for a year in a church in Southern California as Minister of Congregational Care. In 1974 I co-founded a nonprofit counseling center - the Marriage and Family Center. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I've worked ever since with individuals and couples who are challenged by their relationships. In 1995 I learned, much to my surprise and joy, that the skills I had learned as a therapist applied to people at work. Over the years I've continued to GROW and DEVELOP my own personal and professional self. Early in my career, under the tutelage of my first Clinical Supervisor, I learned a basic truth:
There is nothing as practical as a good theory.
In 1995 I also was introduced to Integral Theory, and it changed my life. After all these years of working with people at home and at work, I remain convinced that "Integral Theory" is the most comprehensive, dynamic and practical framework the world has ever seen for indexing, diagnosing, and prescribing effective change. Integral Theory defines "excellence" more thoroughly than any other system of thought. And it can help you to identify the cliff, cul-de-sac, or the dip you are facing.
Constructed originally and continuously by Ken Wilber, Integral Theory has been expanded and applied by a growing number of internationally known practitioners. Today, there might be forty unique "Integral Institutes," each with global support, ranging in focus from Art, to Science, to Health Care, to Education, to Business - and so many more.
Part of my uniqueness as a therapist and as a consultant is that I've worked with Integral Theory to bring about practical change through the stages of growth and development. It is a differentiator for me.
And, over the years, I've developed a working knowledge of a good number of models and maps that align with Integral Theory. Each is useful in working with deadly cliffs, stuck cul-de-sacs, and anxiety provoking dips. Here is a list.
Family System Theory
Family Business Succession Planning
The Myers-Briggs Temperament Model
16pf Personality Factors
Human Centered Design
The Competing Values Framework
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars
The Leadership Circle Profile
The Leadership Circle Culture Profile
And more, and more, and more.
Looking back, I can now connect the dots. All of these maps and models have not been an end in themselves, but they have been a means to a larger purpose. Each integrates, thanks to the beauty of Integral Theory. ,
Excellence is one way of talking about it.
Contact me directly if you would like to talk about the challenge facing your organization, your people, your family, or you personally. firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-901-9816. I'll either offer help directly, or help you to find someone who can help you.