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The Case for Maturity

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Another way to think of maturity in leadership is as the capacity to comprehend and work with complexity that comes with multiple and often conflicting demands, personalities, and system dynamics.

IBM’s 2010 study, Capitalizing on Complexity: Insights from the Global Chief Executive Officer Study identified complexity as the number one challenge facing business leaders. A similar study, conducted by Korn Ferry, found that the ability to work across multiple perspectives, cultures, and ambiguous realities is one of the top development opportunities for executive clients. The Korn Ferry strudent surveyed hundreds of experienced coaches. The term VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity), originally coined by the military, now brings up almost half a million references on Google and is the topic of hundreds of business articles. Perhaps that is why Nick Petrie of the Center for Creative Leadership has identified Vertial Development as the number one trend in Leadership Development.

Maturity and the vertical path of development that can get us there presents much needed advantage. In the same way as hiking up a mountain offers increasing degrees of perspective while also providing a grounded appreciation of the terrain involved, maturing as a leader provides both an expanded perspective of options, opportunities, and dynamics mixed with deep knowing and empathy for what is real.

Imagine the complexity and uncertainty of a steep, foggy mountain climb under the leadership of someone without hiking experience and without the willingness to consider alternative routes and solutions when the going gets rough.

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