Home Concepts Adult Development The Big Picture, Civic Engagement and Generativity Four

The Big Picture, Civic Engagement and Generativity Four

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“I take a lot of satisfaction when business leaders in Nevada City say, “This was the best Victorian Christmas we’ve ever had.” I fully understand that a great Victorian Christmas can make their entire season because it feeds families and puts money into the economy, which trickles down and keeps schools and other things open.”

Collaboration: The intense feelings that arise from collaboration and consensus-building, creating trust, seeing a complex plan come together, working interdependently in a positive way, and pulling people together for the common good—all have great, generative meaning for Emerging Sage leaders.

“It gives me great satisfaction when people come to me for help. I can’t always fix everything for them, but I am happy to try and be a bridge-builder between people with problems and people with solutions. It makes me happy to be an accessible resource to people and to feel involved in their lives.”

Growth: Generativity Four can include personal and professional growth—especially for mid-career men and women who are benefiting from work with a professional coach. Many Emerging Sages reflect on such personal benefits they have achieved from being engaged in their favored civic organizations. To one Emerging Sage leader this means having gotten through a long learning curve in becoming an executive director; to another mentoring from the county’s chief financial officer; and to a third having access to new learning opportunities. A professional coach can uniquely serve their clients by focusing on the learning that takes place. This coach can also encourage their client to learn about their own capacity to learning: “apparently I am not too old to learn something new!”

One Emerging Sage leader sums-up the personal satisfactions gained by many of his Sage colleagues: “It is witnessing the limitless possibilities that come when people pull together.” Other Emerging Sages say much the same thing in different terms. One indicates she “likes working through conflict until the group reaches consensus”; another Emergent Sage talks about “giving shape” to an organization that previously didn’t exist, while a third says she derives great satisfaction from bringing “credibility” to her organization. A fourth Emerging Sage reports tapping into the unique gifts that each member of the group brings to a project. All of this seems to be about honoring diversity and bringing everyone together until there is a “finished vision” for the community. These are remarkable lessons to be learned that can help guide a leader through many future ventures.

Tangible Results: Most Emerging Sages are “extreme doers” who seek to produce tangible results. They are impatient with talk, and at the end of the day want to feel a sense of accomplishment. They need to be achieving something all the time, and their civic engagements enable them to meet this need while benefiting other persons. For many of the Emerging Sages, the greatest reward comes from immediately being able to witness the outcomes of their civic involvement.

It’s about getting to an end result from a passionately held idea—as in the case of Generativity Two, when men and women can directly witness the impact on their children or the benefits arising from their projects. Generativity Four is often about identifying a community problem and organizing people to solve it. While many Emerging Sage leaders say they derive satisfaction from translating an organization’s vision into tangible results, another identifies a different kind benefit; he talks about being a “translator” of the organization’s vision to the community.

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