Industry Magazine C•Suite Atlantic Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 11

from high VUCA to high SCSC ( stability , certainty , simplicity , and clarity ). They always choose high VUCA .
This is our leadership context . We all know it , and we all know it is not going to lessen but accelerate . The acceleration of complexity makes a demand on consciousness that it evolve . Most of us are running an inner operating system that is not as complex as the challenges we face . The complexity of our context requires Windows 10 and we are running DOS .
Our inner game — the structure of our internal meaning-making system , our decision-making system , our level of selfawareness and emotional intelligence , our mental models , and the inner beliefs and assumptions by which we define and deploy ourselves moment to moment — is not complex or mature enough to thrive amid complexity . We are in over our head . The very context in which we must lead continually challenges us to evolve . If we do not , we become increasingly less relevant . Meeting Limits To Scale We recently met with a very successful senior leader ( John ) in a large organization in Europe to debrief him on his Leadership Circle Profile ( a 360-degree assessment that provides feedback on a leader ’ s effectiveness and the Creative and Reactive elements in his or her leadership ). John walked into the meeting and started it by saying , “ You ’ re not going to turn me into one of those touchy-feely leaders .”
John had a very Reactive ( Autocratic , Arrogant , Critical ) leadership profile . We suggested that , despite all his success , his leadership was capped out — it had reached limits to scale . He did not understand . We pointed out his low Work- Life Balance score and asked , “ How long are you working each day ?” What unfolded was the story of a man who works constantly . Work defines him , it makes him feel valuable . He achieves a sense of self-worth through work and being the one who gets the results .
He is also passionate about what the organization is up to , and he wants to contribute all he can to its mission and growth . As we talked , he came to the realization that “ more , harder , faster ” was no longer going to scale . In fact , he was long past the point at which the way he had achieved his success was optimal . He was now in his own way and canceling himself out . The limitations in his leadership at scale were canceling out his tremendous talent .
John is being challenged — by his very success , by the organization ’ s choice for rapid growth , and by the complexity of the business environment — to develop a more complex way of knowing and leading . Complexity of mind is not a more complicated , convoluted mind . It is the elegant mind of mastery .
John needs a way to scale his genius . Scale can only be achieved by developing capacity and capability in others . Effective leaders , at scale , develop other leaders . John is now at the point where this is a non-negotiable item . John is facing his development gap . His operating system has reached its limits to scale , and he is challenged to grow beyond it , to evolve it . Compassionate Development Let ’ s be clear . John is neither a problem nor a problem to be solved . There is nothing wrong with John or his leadership . John is facing the inevitable . He has succeeded to a level of scale , but when combined with his organization ’ s need for scale and the escalating complexity of his context , this has put him in over his head .
Success has a way of doing this . Escalating complexity has a way of doing this . We all — if we are succeeding — face development gaps . There is no shame in having them . They are the inevitable consequence of leading successfully in an increasingly complex world .
The inherent beauty in all this is that leadership becomes a kind of spiritual boot camp . The very pressure that success , scale , and complexity bring is a force for our own transformation and evolution . It remains for us to make the development agenda a priority .

ABOUT BOB ANDERSON

BOB ANDERSON has dedicated his career to exploring the intersections between leadership and personal mastery , and between competence and consciousness . The creator and author of The Leadership Circle Profile , an integrated and innovative leadership assessment tool , Bob is a true pioneer in the field of leadership development and research . As the founder of The Leadership Circle , and co-founder of Full Circle Group , Bob lends his expertise to developing practitioners around the globe to carry on the powerful work derived from the tools and offerings these two companies provide to leaders .
Bob has a master ’ s degree in organizational development and a bachelor ’ s in economics and business administration . Bob and his wife of 30 years make their home in Toledo , Ohio , and are the proud parents of three successful adult children .
TheLeadershipCircle . com
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from high VUCA to high SCSC (stability, certainty, simplicity, and clarity). They always choose high VUCA. This is our leadership context. We all know it, and we all know it is not going to lessen but accelerate. The acceleration of complexity makes a demand on consciousness that it evolve. Most of us are running an inner operating system that is not as complex as the challenges we face. The complexity of our context requires Windows 10 and we are running DOS. Our inner game—the structure of our internal meaning-making system, our decision-making system, our level of self- awareness and emotional intelligence, our mental models, and the inner beliefs and assumptions by which we define and deploy ourselves moment to moment—is not complex or mature enough to thrive amid complexity. We are in over our head. The very context in which we must lead continually challenges us to evolve. If we do not, we become increasingly less relevant. Meeting Limits To Scale We recently met with a very successful senior leader (John) in a large organization in Europe to debrief him on his Leadership Circle Profile (a 360-degree assessment that provides feedback on a leader’s effectiveness and the Creative and Reactive elements in his or her leadership). John walked into the meeting and started it by saying, “You’re not going to turn me into one of those touchy-feely leaders.” John had a very Reactive (Autocratic, Arrogant, Critical) leadership profile. We suggested that, despite all his success, his leadership was capped out—it had reached limits to scale. He did not understand. We pointed out his low Work- Life Balance score and asked, “How long are you working each day?” What unfolded was the story of a man who works constantly. Work defines him, it makes him feel valuable. He achieves a sense of self-worth through work and being the one who gets the results. He is also passionate about what the organization is up to, and he wants to contribute all he can to its mission and growth. As we talked, he came to the realization that “more, harder, faster” was no longer going to scale. In fact, he was long past the point at which the way he had achieved his success was optimal. He was now in his own way and canceling himself out. The limitations in his leadership at scale were canceling out his tremendous talent. John is being challenged—by his very success, by the organization’s choice for rapid growth, and by the complexity of the business environment—to develop a more complex way of knowing and leading. Complexity of mind is not a more complicated, convoluted mind. It is the elegant mind of mastery. John needs a way to scale his genius. Scale can only be achieved by developing capacity and capability in others. Effective leaders, at scale, develop other leaders. John is now at the point where this is a non-negotiable item. John is facing his development gap. His operating system has reached its limits to scale, and he is challenged to grow beyond it, to evolve it. Compassionate Development Let’s be clear. John is neither a problem nor a problem to be solved. There is nothing wrong with John or his leadership. John is facing the inevitable. He has succeeded to a level of scale, but when combined with his organization’s need for scale and the escalating complexity of his context, this has put him in over his head. Success has a way of doing this. Escalating complexity has a way of doing this. We all—if we are succeeding—face development gaps. There is no shame in having them. They are the inevitable consequence of leading successfully in 7&V6vǒ6Wv&BFRW&VB&VWGF22F@VFW'6&V6W2Bb7&GV&B6FRfW'&W77W&RF@7V66W7266RB6WG'&r0f&6Rf"W"vG&6f&F@WfWFB&V2f"W2FRFPFWfVVBvVF&&G$U@$"DU%4$"DU%42FVF6FVB06&VW"FW&rFRFW'6V7F0&WGvVVVFW'6BW'67FW'B&WGvVV6WFV6PB666W6W72FR7&VF"@WF"bFRVFW'66&6P&fRFVw&FVBBfFfPVFW'676W76VBF&"2G'VRVW"FRfVBbVFW'6FWfVVBB&W6V&62FPfVFW"bFRVFW'66&6RB6fVFW"bgV6&6Rw&W&"VG22WW'F6RFFWfVp&7FFW'2&VBFRv&RF6''FRvW&gVv&FW&fV@g&FRF2BffW&w2FW6PGv6W2&fFRFVFW'2&"27FW.( 2FVw&VR&v旦FFWfVVBB&6V.( 2V6֖72B'W6W70F֖7G&F&"B2vfR`3V'2RFV"RFVFB&RFR&VB&VG2`F&VR7V66W76gVGVB6G&VFTVFW'66&6R6