Home Concepts Adult Development XIV. The Enactment of Generativity Two: Legacy and Leadership

XIV. The Enactment of Generativity Two: Legacy and Leadership

14 min read

Gary Quehl and William Bergquist

[Note: The complete book (Caring Deeply: Engaging the Four Roles of Life-Fulfilling Generativity) is available for purchase. Use the following link:  Caring Deeply.]

In preparing most of our essays in Caring Deeply, we have turned to our own research findings about Generativity Two, relying primarily on the 100 interviews that we conducted with Emerging and Senior Sage leaders in Western Nevada County California. In later essay, we will review some of the analyses that have already been done on Generativity Two—including a few excerpts from several Eriksonian researchers about this second generative role. In this essay we turn not to the Eriksonian notion of Generativity Two, but rather to some of the insights offered by our Sage leaders about the broader notions of generativity we identified in our previous essays.

Generativity: The Alternative Definitions

Our Sage leaders seem, at some level, to fully appreciate this broader definition. For instance, the following observation is made by one of our Senior Sage leaders when asked to indicate what he most values in other leaders:

I most admire leaders who pay attention to the key facts of a situation, who don’t rush to judgment. I also admire people who are intellectually strong and know their subject, who can speak with accuracy at various levels, who make themselves relevant to others, and who lead others to a consensus decision and help others own it. I believe and hope these qualities characterize my leadership style, which have been augmented by the gifts given to me.

Another Sage leader identifies similar factors that have enabled leaders with whom she has worked to be successful:

My experience is that leaders of most organizations think they know their organization’s full potential, but actually have no idea. Just like we as individuals think we know ourselves. So, there usually is so much more that we can accomplish as an individual or as a group. Our possibilities are limitless, and all it takes is visualization, actualization, and execution.

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