An Undervalued Key to Effective Leadership: Possessing a Willingness for Reinvention

Fill in the blank: I want to be a successful/effective/loving ____________________. I imagine that your ‘blank’ was filled with “leader,” “spouse,” “parent,” “manager,” “employee,” “teacher,” or something similar. I want to propose an idea to you: Your ability to become truly successful/effective/loving is contingent on your willingness to reinvent yourself. I am not talking about […]

The Most Vertically Developed Leaders See Themselves as Gardeners

Hands with small plant

Any good gardener knows three things: The gardener cannot transform a seed into a tree The gardener can create the conditions for a seed to transform into a tree The more appropriate the conditions are for a given fruit-producing tree, the more fruit the tree will produce The best and most vertically developed leaders understand […]

The Value of Vertical Development to Leadership Development and Effectiveness

Tom Brady

Vertical development is as essential to leadership effectiveness as Pliability is essential to peak athletic performance What does it take to be the best player that has ever played in one’s sport? It takes consistent top-level performance over a long period of time. Look at Tom Brady. No one would ever say that he is […]

Vertical Development Should Come Before Horizontal Development

Operating System2

Last year, I did a study of 153 organization’s leadership development efforts. One of the things that was revealed was the topics that organizations most commonly focus on in their leadership development programs. Here are the results: Communication & Interpersonal Skills – 72% of organizations Developing Management Skills (e.g., planning & decision-making) – 54% of […]

Gauging Your Vertical Development Altitude – Part 2

In a Relationship With

(If you are already familiar with my vertical development framework, skip down two sections) There are two different forms of development that we can focus on to develop ourselves: horizontal development and vertical development. Horizontal development is increasing our knowledge, skills, and competencies. This form of development is valuable because it allows us to DO […]

Gauging Your Vertical Development Altitude – Part 1

Penguin Cover

(If you are already familiar with my vertical development framework, skip down two sections) There are two different forms of development that we can focus on to develop ourselves: horizontal development and vertical development. Horizontal development is increasing our knowledge, skills, and competencies. This form of development is valuable because it allows us to DO […]

The Value Difference between Vertical and Horizontal Development

Sharpen Ax scaled

My experience is that nearly all people responsible for developing leaders in organizations are only aware of one form of development: horizontal development. Horizontal development is adding new knowledge, skills, and capabilities to a leader. It is similar to downloading a new app onto an iPad. It is designed to broaden leaders’ functionality, to help […]

The Three Levels of Vertical Development

Mind Levels

Vertical Development Law #1: Different people make meaning of their world with varying degrees of cognitive and emotional sophistication. Vertical Development Law #2: People with greater ability to make meaning of their world in cognitively and emotionally sophisticated ways possess greater ability to navigate complexity, be more agile, and lead more effectively. Based upon these […]

Vertical Development – Mind 2.0

Mind 2.0

Vertical development is a form of development that focuses on upgrading one’s internal operating system (i.e., becoming better). It is all about enhancing one’s ability to make meaning in more cognitively and emotionally sophisticated ways.