Customer Review

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique approach to developing leaders that works!, February 27, 2009
This review is from: Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good) (Hardcover)
I write this review from the perspective of an Executive Coach who has been practicing for 15 years and who has used this methodology with executives/leaders over the past three years. I can vouch that it works, not only with individual leaders but in a team development context as well. Working well means that individuals have changed behaviors; in the case of the team, that it learned to overcome difficult communication challenges resulting in a measured increase in trust among its members.

In clear language, Kegan and Lahey lay out a step by step methodology that facilitates a person's conscious understanding of his or her intentions, aspirations and goals to an identification of hidden "competing commitments", which may unintentionally hinder reaching these goals. The articulation of these competing commitments ultimately lead to an uncovering of the assumptions, beliefs and systems of meaning which can then be critically evaluated for their ability to promote or hinder success in the achievement of the goals and aspirations that anchor the process.

Their methodology helps people to reflect on themselves and their competing committments in a clear way. As an Executive Coach, I have repeatedly observed that leaders are limited most significantly by their inability to not only take the time to reflect but to know how best to use this reflection space. I also appreciate the fact that Lahey and Kegan link their methodology to a theory of development,demonstrating the process of increasing complexity of mind. This important link between practice and theory moves the user from an increase in self awareness (a very important step) to a broadening of how the leader thinks and acts.

I and my clients find their methodology very user friendly, specific and actionable. There are distinct actions one can take, experiments to design and run. It is an active process; the act of designing and running learning experiments while engaging others in the process puts the developer in the driver's seat encouraging agency and ownership for learning. Many of my clients have expressed excitement at their self generated discoveries. Other contributions: the positive frame and non-judgmental stance of their methodology bring people to their big assumptions gently, maximizing receptivity to learning and change. "Defenses" potentially can relax, respecting individual needs relative to the pace of change.

This is a very important tool for any Executive Coach's tool box, yet it is more than at tool. It is a way into developing a "bigger" world from which to lead others and that's what leaders need most.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 7, 2010 8:45:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2010 8:48:01 AM PDT
Metaworld says:
Considering that you are a Senior Associate with the authors' company, this is probably not the most unbiased review I have read. It the spirit of transparency, I would prefer that you state your relationship with Minds at Work in the review. Nevertheless, you do provide a solid testimonial for your experience with the process. My big question is, would a non-trained psychologist be able to achieve the same results you have? I am an organizational development practitioner with an MSOD from American University/NTL Institute.
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