The Stages of Leadership

From work to play, grow to flow, calm to care and free to love …

The stages of leadership development are a series of levels through which we grow as leaders. As we grow, we build on the strengths of earlier stages, and increasingly expand and deepen our perspective to develop wisdom and discernment, compassion and a sense of community.

SHIFT Coaching adopts the groundbreaking Stages International model of leadership development incorporating the four tiers: Concrete, Subtle, MetAware and Unified, and the repeating cycle of four learning styles: Receptive, Active, Reciprocal and Interpenetrative.

Most executive leaders are anchored at the early Subtle Tier or at conventional levels of leadership termed the Specialist and Achiever. As Specialists we become Subject Matter Experts and apply our expertise and skills to the challenges we encounter and initiatives we pursue. As Achievers we become more externally focused on 3-5 year strategic plans, achieving results for customers and strong commercial returns.

However, to meet today’s challenges, it is essential to join the shift to the next two stages of collective leadership, termed the Catalyst and Strategist. At these levels we develop the capacity to collaborate with diverse stakeholders and co-create synergistic, systemic and sustainable solutions that yield long term benefits for all.

At present just 15% of all executive leaders realize these later levels of leadership capacity. SHIFT Coaching and Leadership Development Programs have been designed, tested and proven to enable high performing Achievers become inspiring strategic leaders at Catalyst and Strategist. Here is a pdf by Stages International with a comprehensive outline of the stages of development.