Project Management

The Time to Start Vertical Development Is Now

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by Conrado Morlan

 

Not everyone is born a leader. Some must be groomed. This is where the vertical development comes in. In my previous post, I wrote about how it can lead to a better understanding of challenges, more innovative thinking, improved emotional intelligence, and increased ability to resolve conflicts constructively in the VUCA world.

 

As humans, we experience stages of development: infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Just as we progress through those stages as humans, we make similar progress moving through varying stages as project leaders.

 

David Rooke and William R. Torbert developed a  model that outlines seven styles of leadership. Although it was introduced in 2005, I find it still relevant in today’s VUCA times:

 

  • The Opportunist wins any way possible, is self-oriented and manipulative
  • The Diplomat avoids conflict, wants to belong, and follows group norms
  • The Expert rules by logic
  • The Achiever meets strategic goals and juggles managerial duties
  • The Individualist creates unique structures to resolve gaps between strategy and performance
  • The Strategist generates organizational and personal transformations
  • The Alchemist generates social transformations

 

When you started out as a project manager, you most likely were in the Diplomat or Expert groups.

 

Becoming a project manager jumpstarted your vertical development with an unprecedented experience. That should had been complemented with meeting new peers with different perspectives and consolidating your experiences and knowledge to start acquiring a new POV.

 

The natural path to follow next is to become an Achiever, turning yourself into an action- and goal-oriented individual. Evolving to Strategist or Alchemist requires you to explore disciplines that will create projects, teams, networks, and alliances on the basis of collaborative inquiry.

 

So go ahead and step out of your comfort zone: Look for a stretch assignment, start exchanging your perspectives with other people within your organization, and consolidate that knowledge. This will help your development—and prepare you to face the VUCA challenges that many individuals and organizations are already facing.

 

How are you using vertical development? Share in the comments.

 

Posted by Conrado Morlan on: October 15, 2020 12:12 PM | Permalink

Comments (5)

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Excellent reminder in these times of pandemic when everyone is facing the VUCA challenge, well a lot depends on an individual’s attitude & perspective to face the challenge.

I strongly believe while accomplishing tasks, completing projects, mentoring, conflict resolution etc, we are switching the shoes of Opportunist, Diplomat, Expert, Achiever, Individualist, Strategist, Alchemist etc…

Thank you, I like this model for leadership styles, Cheers !

Thanks Conrado. This article explains a practical stepping stone of the development of a leader.

Thanks Conrado,
This is quite interesting,

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