Vertical Development: Leaders as Pioneers

Feb 7, 2024. By Lori Brewer Collins

Puddles To A Tree by Jerry Park

I’ve been working with vertical development since the mid-90s when I studied adult stage development in grad school. I learned it as a framework for understanding individual growth and development. I quickly realized, however, that its principles apply to groups, teams and organizations, and I’ve been using it in my coaching and consulting practice ever since.

Vertical development explores the ways our interior selves make meaning of the world around us, and how this shapes our perspectives, levels of awareness, and decisions. As we move into later stages of development, we expand our ability to manage complexity – a much needed capacity in our accelerating world of change.

In future posts, I’ll be providing practical examples of how vertical development has helped my clients and me navigate transformation initiatives, organizational relationships, mindset shifts, and never-seen-before challenges.

Leaders have become the new pioneers in a frontier of ever-expanding newness. Vertical development is a helpful compass for moving into this unknown territory – within yourself, within the organization, and across the world.

Stay tuned!


Photo credit: Jerry Park, “Puddles To A Tree”

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