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An unsettled business climate – characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) –  requires companies to scale up leadership. “What kind of leadership, if it existed, would enable the organization to thrive in its current marketplace and into the future?” ask authors, Robert J. Anderson and Bill Adams.

In Scaling Leadership, Anderson and Adams share the best methods collected from over 50,000 leaders and employees worldwide, asking the question posed above. Their findings are centric around the concept of scale equals growth (i.e., life’s most essential dynamic). Because of this inevitable progressive evolution, businesses need intelligent effective development for new leaders.

Anderson and Adams recommend the following three steps for scaling leadership and positive transformation:

  1. Start with yourself by examining your leadership strengths and weaknesses using an industry-standard self-evaluation tool; it is also helpful to identify a “one big thing” focus as a key motivator in unlocking your leadership potential.
  2. Develop leadership teams with a development agenda for team members. Assess each team member to gauge individual effectiveness and their effectiveness as a group.
  3. Build leadership systems across the organization by institutionalizing your development agenda.

Leadership types range across a full spectrum of types from “Reactive” to “Creative” to “Integral.” Reactive leaders are personified by a defensive position, often micromanaging and styling creative imputes and those of their team members. Reactive leaders’ preference for hierarchical, bureaucratic environments leads to less productivity and returns. Most leaders fit into this category. Creative leaders move beyond conventional norms and common wisdom, are imaginative and open-minded, entertaining new ideas. Creative leaders tend to be more agile, innovative, and high-performing. The top echelon is integral leaders, who stand apart as effective, mature, and wise visionaries (they make up about 5% of current leaders). Integral leaders detach from their egos and embrace lofty motivations in accordance to a more spiritual perspective around a higher purpose.

To continue progressing towards the nirvana state of integral leadership levels, specific conditions are required, including dedicating yourself to self-improvement, nourishing your team, and hearing what others have to say. Leaders can take the first step by seeking objective feedback and constructive reviews, as well as gaining further insight through the “Leadership Circle Profile Self-Assessment.” Today’s VUCA business world asks more of leaders. With this comprehensive write-up by Anderson and Adams, businesses can continue to find the flow for success by scaling leadership and embracing transformation.