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How might leaders use Ken Wilber’s 4 Quadrants Model?

Ken Wilber’s 4 Quadrants model is a much loved and utilised framework for helping individuals and teams understand their blind spots.

Ken’s curiosity to understand and see how the world works were the driving force behind his creation of the 4 Quadrants framework. When people study this model they cultivate their capacity to develop greater levels of awareness.

Lack of clarity or self-awareness has a personal impact and an impact on those you lead.

Four common blind spots are listed below. Studying and applying this framework allows leaders to realise their capacity to see more.

1.Being unaware of and undervaluing what is happening inside

Self-awareness is to know moment to moment how you are feeling and thinking, what you are seeking, what drives you, what you are resisting. When leaders have low levels of self-awareness this can impact their ability to influence and collaborate. When unaware of all that is happening within, words and deeds may be counter-productive to what the true intentions are. It may also be challenging to authentically relate and communicate with others.

2. Thinking individually and being less focussed on the power of the collective

When leaders preference task over relationship, there are consequences. When leaders are not clear how to cultivate the power of culture, or how culture works, that has an impact on their ability to engage people and inspire them to follow their lead.

3. The drive to keep doing is not purposeful

When leaders are lost in cycles of endless doing not related to leading the vision, they can become blind to the deeper purpose of what truly matters to them. Burnout can be the result of efforts that were not sustainable due to the why not being meaningful enough.

4. Unclear of the specific impacts of the environment and ecosystem

When leaders focus on efficiencies in silos, unaware of how various contextual realities advantage and disadvantage the individual and the collective, they can miss the opportunity to optimise the whole system. Ongoing leadership development ensures that leaders continue to mature and expand their capacity to envision and lead more complex universal systems and processes.


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