Models of human development start at the level of meeting basic needs. If all goes well this is followed by learning, growth, and fulfillment. Sometimes these models are depicted as pyramids, such as the ubiquitous Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, with the base of meeting survival needs, extending upward to the realm of ‘self-actualization.’
Generally speaking, the move in most of these and related progressive models is one from personal-local-egoic (the “I need” mantra) to the outer-global-spiritual (the “we can be more” or the “greater good” model).
A great example of this is the Seven Levels of Consciousness® developed by Richard Barrett of Barrett Values Centre. It correlates the stages of psychological development (what he calls personal consciousness) and the developments required for motivating groups and organizations. (His team offers assessments comparing the leaders’ personal values, the organization’s current values, and the organization’s desired cultural values.) Here is a graphic that connects the dots.
It’s no accident that individual and organizational growth correlate with higher consciousness and levels of psychological well-being. It’s hard to soar if you are hungry, unhappy, or unseen. Old-school leadership was focused on the low end; the survival bargain: “If you show up, do what I say, your job and paycheck are safe.” This was supported by the conformity bargain: If you do what I say AND you don’t cause any trouble, you can come back tomorrow.”
It’s no wonder we have arrived at an inflection point in leadership and organizational development where teams and team members are showing up expecting to be seen as “whole humans” not chattels. The talent that everybody wants first, expects greater humanity and well-being in the organizations they choose to serve. They want to be celebrated for their brain power, talent, individuality, and ability to serve, not for showing up and keeping their mouths shut. And they want to be shown an opportunity to change the world, if only in a small way.
To attract and keep top talent, leaders need to accelerate their development on three fronts: values, humanity and consciousness.
The leader must have and convey a set of values that can be trusted no matter the challenge du jour. Core values like integrity, honesty, equanimity, nonjudgment and forgiveness. Team members that know the rules can play by them, and model their own behavior to be consistent with their peers. It’s never a guessing game.
Humanity means a leader who can be seen (and perhaps even approached) as a member of the same human race as the rest of the team. Trying to get better, flawed, authentic, with good days and bad days, and some humor.
The big one is consciousness. The outstanding leaders of people in the 21st century are profoundly aware that their own developmental journey must go beyond the mind and body. Spiritual development is on for active exploration and progress. By discovering the awareness independent of thoughts, emotions, and the insistent but ambient noise, the leader can tap into the deepest well for next-level energy, inspiration, and creativity.
These leaders are actively exploring the higher levels of every development model to be as complete as they can. They are seeking and finding ways to quiet the voices in their heads, mute the distractions, subordinate their egos, use their breath for meditative thought, and explore the great truths that cross all races, cultures, religions and geographies.
What are you willing to do to be among these eagles? Would you like to make a move? https://calendly.com/will_one-on-one/convo