Home Concepts Adult Development Essay XXIV:  Generativity Four— Expanding the Space

Essay XXIV:  Generativity Four— Expanding the Space

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Gary Quehl and William Bergquist

Many Sage leaders muse about the ways they are most helpful at the strategic level of their favored organizations. They exemplify the push in Generativity Four toward expanding the space in which they deeply care. This expanding of space comes in two important forms: (1) increased diversity of civic engagements and (2) movement to a broader perspective regarding how to impact on one’s community.

We have found that most of our Generative Four leaders start civic engagement by first working with one or two organizations. They are then likely to get involved in an increasingly diverse set of activities and organizations. This diversification is poignantly portrayed in the narrative on civic engagement offered by Sally, our Featured Player who was once honored as “citizen of the year” in Los Angeles and is now ever-expanding her role as a civic leader in Nevada County:

Generativity Four leaders not only tend to expand their activities once involved with civic activities; they also believe they do their best work when addressing the “big picture.” They are able to sit back and link global perspectives to specific concerns of persons with whom they are working. For instance, Sage leaders often sit on nonprofit boards, and as board members they help to identify the rich resources and diverse perspectives that each board member brings to the table. They also help their board to formulate a unified strategic plan, and that usually draws on their entire life experience in working on behalf of a whole range of organizations.

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