Big vision requires deep growth 

 
 

I’ve coached dozens of leaders and change agents from six continents and across business, government and civil society. From grizzled executives and fast-track disrupters to impact investors and boundary-pushing scientists, what they share in common is a profound commitment to transforming themselves to be even more effective in pursuit of their deepest purpose. Step by step, we’ve accomplished that.

“As the CEO of a large social change organization working across 20 countries, I navigate complicated leadership questions each day. Barrett helps me build my skills to do this in both profound and practical ways. As a result of our work, I understand myself better and am able to take in the complexities across the whole, complex system that we work in. The result: More peace inside me and more progress for our organization.“

— Lois Quam, CEO, Pathfinder International

 

WHO

I work with a select group of senior leaders and global change agents each year. Typically, these are accomplished executives and leaders in their field who hunger for bigger and more meaningful impact in their organizations and the world. I also work with a handful of emerging leaders each year who are committed to significant social or environmental impact.

In rare circumstances, I support top executives facing exceptional internal or external challenges who must make significant behavioral, relationship, and performance changes, fast.

 

HOW

Deep change that results in significant, sustainable impact takes time. I work with leaders for 6-12 months up to several years. We identify and precisely focus on the highest impact areas for their development. These may be existing strengths that they want to become world-class at, blindspots that sabotage them, or new capacities to stretch into.

Through coaching and advisory, in-person and virtual observation, and a development plan that includes regular reflection and practice, leaders measurably shift both their inner and outer games to the next level.

My approach to leadership development is holistic. I focus on how leaders think and decide, manage their emotions and energy, engage with their body, access their gut or intuition, and respond to shadow dynamics that undermine their performance. This integrated approach is what ensures deep and durable change.

 

WHAT

I support executives to achieve to their biggest vision and most important strategic initiatives while living healthy, balanced lives. At the heart of this is learning to: 1) upgrade their inner game, and 2) successfully navigate complexity, uncertainty and rapid change.

Recent clients’ developmental areas have included courageous authenticity, systems thinking, innovation, visionary storytelling, intuitive insight, and team development.

Most leaders I partner with also choose to develop more than competencies and new behaviors. They use our time together to reflect upon and transform how they think and feel about themselves and their work, and how they engage in leadership. This often includes inquiry into their work purpose and core values, pressure-testing whether they are in the right job, team or organization to accomplish their vision.

 

RESULTS

I guarantee improvement for leaders in their overall effectiveness as determined by their peers, their boss, their own perception and through highly-validated assessments. I closely track growth in their effectiveness across the most important leadership competencies and performance on key business metrics.

For leaders that want to go deeper, I also assess and track development on deep changes that are strongly correlated with leadership effectiveness in complex environments.

This includes their capacity to make complex decisions, the complexity of their leadership mental model, or the sophistication of their emotional intelligence.

After decades of doing this work, I am confident that those who whole-heartedly work with me can accomplish these profound changes and become significantly more effective at work and home, happier and healthier.

 

Vertical development and
transformations of leadership 

 
 

How conscious is your leadership? You can measure your leadership consciousness in several ways and it turns out that – for the most part – the more conscious you are, the more effective you are as a leader.

How do you develop your leadership consciousness? The answer to that lies in the new science of vertical development, which has been pioneered at Harvard and is used to develop elite athletes, military special forces, and leaders in progressive organizations.

Vertical development is the transformation of how a leader thinks, feels and makes sense of the world. It radically strengthens a leader’s capacity to think strategically and systemically, collaborate, resolve conflicts, and lead transformational change.

I’ve written extensively about vertical development. My best article about it and how to develop yourself in this way is The Future of Leadership for Conscious Capitalism. I also highly recommend the Harvard Business Review article, Seven Transformations of Leadership.

Nearly all of the executives and change agents I coach are interested in developing themselves in this way, and it is often the heart of my work with them. Since 2004, I’ve been supporting leaders to vertically develop. If a leader is willing to fully engage and take the reins of their development, they should expect significant and accelerated vertical development over the course of our partnership.

 
 
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