Feature Article: Leadership and the Interpenetration of Structure and State Stages: A Subjective Exposé

Feature Articles / November 2007

So much of my own experience of myself is that of intellectual epiphany, not necessarily always correct, but often self-satisfying. I feel like a 10-year-old, or a teenager – certain of my own absolute truth and intelligence with an ego-centered disregard for the wisdom of others in the face of my own. (Participant in the GTC Program)

Terri O'FallonThis quote is one of several I have placed in this paper. Each one represents a space of illumination related to a particular person’s interpenetration of their state stage realization and their structure stage. The inquiry this paper is delving into relates to how this interpenetration occurs in the experience of working with leaders over time and how we have made our own meaning out of it.

The Context

Over a period of about four years, my partners, Geoff Fitch and Dana Carman and I are fortunate to have been working with participants of five cohort community of learners who have been engaging together in a program that teaches the application of the Integral Frame (Wilber, 2006) over a period of about four years. In addition we have been consulting in business, and have been using these processes in this field as well. In particular I want to describe what we have noticed from engaging with people who have taken the Sentence Completion Test (Suzann Cook-Greuter 2002), which situates people in a structure stage and its relationship to their gross, subtle, causal and non-dual practices and capacities. We are involved in two empirical fields where we are experiencing the interpenetration of the structure stages and state stages.

Pacific Integral offers a 21-month program, Generating Transformative Change in Human Systems (GTC). Over the past several years we have evolved a curriculum that engages the Integral Frame (Wilber, 2006) in an applied way utilizing a variety of effective practices that fall within its borders (Torbert’s Developmental Action Inquiry (2004), The U Model (Scharmer, (2007), Kegan’s seven languages (2002) The Action Logics (Cook Greuter, (1999)) the Wilber Combs Matrix (Wilber 2006) and others. We work in practice with quadrants, levels, lines, states and types as they apply to generating transformative change in human systems.

Fifteen-to-twenty people come together in a cohort to learn an Integral practice as individuals, as a community and applied into the world of human systems beyond the cohort’s boundaries. In each of two ten month segments there are three, five-day intensives at a retreat center with three months of online courses and applied engagement in the inter-session. Participants learn how to use the Integral philosophy as a frame that holds many other practical and useful approaches.

The process begins with learning how to do an integral assessment on a human system, where the transformative process begins with the first encounter. Later in the process, transformative implementation related to the assessment is engaged. The cohort begins to learn how to live in the embodied process of being in an integral transformative team doing implementation work. Eventually, they learn to apply the processes they have learned with other implementation teams they may be working with. Over a two-year period there is an abundance of opportunities to witness the changes in each participant and in the group process.

This is the context within which the Leadership Maturity Framework, (Cook Greuter, 1999), is applied. The Leadership Maturity Framework is a sentence completion protocol with thirty-six sentence stems, which the participants complete. Using a rigorous qualitative and quantitative scoring process a determination is made as to the center-of-gravity, ego structure -stage of the individual completing the protocol.

Every GTC participant takes the LMF (Cook Greuter 2007) as a part of their entrance process and each has a coaching session during each inter-session related to their own growth and development through the program and its many processes. Thus we have an opportunity to engage with each participant from the beginning and over time, experiencing them as unique people expressing both the center of gravity of their structure stage and also experiencing the range of structure stage voices they were able to express in their inventory. It has been a profound expedition to begin to notice how the Action Logic structure stages of each person present with such variety over time as individuals continue to develop.

In addition we teach state stage practices to our participants many of whom have considerable experience and practice in awareness training before they arrive at our program. For example, we begin each day with 45 minutes of meditation introducing different approaches for those who are interested. We work with state training throughout our work together, including Insight Dialogue (O’Fallon & Kramer, 1998), a group meditation practice. We have had Big Mind Practice (Merzel, 2007) teachers work with our participants, and Integral Thematic Practice led by John Kesler (2007). A number of our participants begin an awareness practice when they come to our program, if they aren’t already involved in one. We encourage a daily practice as a part of each person Integral Personal Practice, which also involves a weekly buddy check-in.

When we first began using the LMF we had some expectation that the participants at each level would be similar in ways the model might have suggested. We were quite puzzled when this, in our lived experience, didn’t seem to materialize. Also, before we got the profiles back we thought that some people would test later than their final profile indicated. Some people also tested later than we expected, and there were times when there didn’t seem to be rhyme nor reason behind the scores that arrived in our mailbox.

There seemed to be people who tested at the Achiever (level 4) that quickly obtained reputations among the other participants as being very wise and deep while others who tested at later Action Logics (for example, level 6, the Strategist) were considered intelligent but not necessarily described as wise. As we continued to work we began to notice other differences.

For example, we offer a module on personal shadow, and what we began to notice is that on a general level some of those who tested at the Achiever level had less capacity to really grasp and grapple with blind spots or shadow. However, through time we began to see that those at the Achiever stage who had engaged in some kind of awareness practice through the years tended to have greater capacities to face shadow material than those who did not. At the Achiever stage looking for one’s blind spots is not ordinarily a focus; however, with the support of their past awareness practices Achievers seemed to be able to grasp their own projections, introjections, projective identifications and splitting much easier than those who hadn’t had an awareness practice.

This led us to begin to make our observations of the interrelationship between the structure stages and the state stages, finding that those who had prodigious state practices seemed to have wise thoughtful contributions that were as creative and useful as those at later stages but who had not had awareness practices. Those at the same structure stage seemed to have a wider consciousness space to roam around in when they had an awareness practice. This context sets the stage for offering a brief background of the theoretical basis we began with.

Theory and Practice of the State and Structure Stages

The combination of this engagement of the LMF structure stages and the states training is our way of putting to practice the Wilber Combs Lattice.

QWilber Coombs Lattice

Figure 1: Wilber/Combs Lattice (Wilber, 2006, p.90)

In this lattice, states are depicted horizontally and the structure stages are depicted vertically. This lattice is based on a premise that individuals whose center of gravity is at any particular structure stage will interpret their states through the lens of that structure stage. Thus there appear to be nine or more ways to interpret state experiences.

In our work we use the Leadership Maturity Framework, (Cook Greuter 2002) which has nine levels, to represent the vertical axis and the participants spiritual, meditative and contemplative practices to represent the horizontal axis in this lattice. In order to give a description of our experience with this lattice in our grounded work with our participants, I first offer a brief description of each of the nine levels of Action Logics and then a description of what we use as the five levels of the state stages.

Seven dozen decisions, problems cascading into problems, creating movement from inertia, unexpected turns in every direction, a conversation that upends a direction on a project, noticing feelings wash through me – of overwhelm and excitement and tiredness, and joy, feeling at the edge of my competence to hold what I am holding, dozens of emails – mostly mundane, setting up meetings, going to meetings, talking on the phone. People, people, people.

Disjointed, chaotic – staccato rhythm where as this space feels like a flowing river. Ahhhhh…..(Participant of GTC)

The levels of Development in the Leadership Maturity Framework

The Action Logics, (Cook-Greuter, 2002) involves three streams: behavior, affect and cognition:

…the Leadership Development Framework describes a psycho-logical (sic) system with three interrelated components. The operative component looks at what adults see as the purpose of life, what needs they act upon, and what ends they are moving towards. The affective component deals with emotions and the experience of being in this world. The cognitive component addresses the question of how a person thinks about him or herself and the world. It is important to understand that each Action Logic emerges from a synthesis of doing, being and thinking despite the term logic, which may suggest an emphasis on cognition. (P.2)

These three streams or lines as they are referred to in the Integral Model, (Wilber 2006) are expressed in the words of the participants in the sentence completions on the inventory. Different sentence stems invite responses in these three areas, but together they are all scored as a whole to illustrate the final center-of-gravity, ego development designation.

The framework measures nine well-documented developmental levels that the adult ego matures through (Cook- Greuter, 2002). They are, Pre-conventional (Impulsive, Opportunist) Conventional (Diplomat, Expert, Achiever), Post conventional (Individualist, Strategist), and Unitive (Magician and Ironist).

The Opportunist, Expert, Individualist, and Magician stages are transitional stages, stages in which the individual differentiates from one perspective of self to a new one. The Diplomat, Achiever, Strategist, and Ironist further integrate this new perspective. For example the Expert Action Logic brings a new and early third person perspective, differentiating from the second person perspective of the Diplomat. The Achiever further integrates this perspective into a mature third person perspective.

Percentages in the descriptions below relate to a mixed population of 4510 people in the US and a population of 497 managers and supervisors in the US who were tested using the LMF (Cook-Greuter, 2002).


Impulsive: In adults this is an undifferentiated stage with beginning language and is concerned with meeting one’s primary needs.

Opportunist: (with Impulsive about 4 % of the 4510 sample). The Opportunist has a first-person perspective and pre-operational actions. The time span they are aware of is “now”, and the self is seen in single concrete features. Their competition is for power, goods, etc. Their experience is self- against-the-world. Opportunist’s needs rule their impulses so the focus is on their own immediate desires and a need for self-protection. They scan for opportunities and feedback is seen as a threat or attack. Their influence is through coercion, fighting, taking over, or manipulation behind the scenes. About 2 % of managers and leaders in the sample of 497 leaders fall at this level.


Diplomat (about 11% of the 4510 sample) Diplomats take a second-person perspective, understanding past, present and future with conformity to the past. Their experience of self is primarily external, with simple internal states (e.g. sad, happy). Group norms rule their needs so their focus is on socially acceptable behavior and approval from their group. Feedback is given as disapproval or as a reminder of norms and they have an in-group-out group focus with in-group conformity. Black/white options with nothing in-between rule their choices. About 8% of the sample of 497 leaders scored as a Diplomat. This level is sometimes related to the Traditionalist view or a fundamentalist belief system.

Expert: (about 36% of the 4510 sample; in the US, the largest percentage fell here) Experts have an early third person perspective using abstract operations (symbolic representation). It is a self-conscious stage with beginning objective self-reflection because there is a new differentiation from others, so an internal self appears. They begin to understand linear time and can generate multiple ideas but they have trouble prioritizing them. Experts have an early world centric perspective and can make simple comparisons (too much, not enough). They take feedback from other craft experts. “I know it” is a common term. This Action Logic had largest percentage of the leader’s sample of 497, at 48%. Thus, one might speculate that the Expert Action Logic might be the center of gravity of the United States given these two samples.

Achiever (about 30% of the 4510 sample) Achievers have a solid third-person perspective. They grasp linear time, causality and systemic thinking with the mind set of a 5-year plan. Thus goals, achievement, effectiveness, analysis, contracts and agreements become important. Self in society and a world centric focus emerges. Truth is found through science and they begin to see contradictions, opposites and possible increments in-between. Achievers accept feedback if it helps them grow and improve. Their either/or thinking occurs in opposites often being seen at the same time within their experience, and often they “agree to disagree”. 35% of the sample of 497 had leaders at this level, which is sometimes equated with Modernist.


Individualist (about 11% of the 4510 sample) Individualists take a fourth-person perspective, perceiving meta-systemic operations and relativity. They can see multiple pasts and futures. Thus there is interest in how the “now” unfolds, bringing a greater interest and focus on process, relationships, and non-linear influences than on deliverables. Personal blind spots become of interest so they welcome feedback as a requirement to know their inner self. Dialogue with internal voices is common and multiple contradictions are recognized, so both/and thinking arises. “ It depends”, is a common phrase. 5% of the leaders in the sample of 497 were Individualists who are sometimes seen as Post-modernists.

Strategist (about 5% of the sample of 4510) Strategists take an enlarged 4th person perspective and can engage with general systems thinking (paradigmatic) They think in terms of a moral, principled and authentic self that can self-regulate independent parts within a larger context. Their awareness of time is historical, of their lifetime, and of their parent’s past and children’s future. They invite feedback as means to authentic personal development where conflict is seen as an opportunity and they lead by reframing and re-interpreting such that decisions reflect over-arching principles. Strategists are aware of multiple polarities within themselves at different times and can begin to see their integration so an understanding of paradox arises. Their focus is on self-development and growth. 1.4% of the sample of 497 was Strategist leaders.


Magician (about 1.5 % of the 4510 sample) Magician’s have a 5th- to nth-person perspective with cross-paradigmatic thinking and awareness of the constructed nature of thought, cognition, and reality including three- dimensional time and space. They think beyond their own lifetime with a global-historical perspective, and recognize that the ego has functioned as the primary center of their self-identity, so they are in touch with their egocentricity, and its nature of self-preservation. For the first time they “look at all experience fully in terms of change and evolution” (Gook-Greuter, 2002, p. 29). They become profoundly aware of existential paradox inherent in all thought recognizing the “two sides to a coin.” Less than 1% of the sample of 497 leaders fell at the Magician level.

Ironist (about .05% of the 4510 sample) “Ironists individuals experience themselves and others as part of ongoing humanity, embedded in the creative ground, fulfilling the destiny of evolution”. (Cook Greuter, 2002, p. 32). They have the capacity to look at sentient beings as they are related to the evolutionary flow of nature and time and “in terms of the passing of ages, of near and far in geographical, social, cultural, historical,

intellectual and developmental dimensions.” (p.32) Their time frame is the earth’s history and its future. Truth is immanent and they “are more likely to have a balanced, integrated sense of both their belongingness and separateness as individuals because they feel part of the ongoing evolution of the universe in all its aspects and cycles of creation, destruction, and recreation”. (p.33) The two sides of the coin are unified, with resolution of paradoxes. At this level there were less than .05% of the sample of 497 leaders.

I want to ask more questions, more than that, I want to be open to the responses they generate, the opportunities they create. How can I apply my love of insight, and clarity to asking more/better questions? How do you think in terms of questions rather than solutions? Certainty for sale, cost: good ripe question seeds…

One question that has come up for me in this is this…are more questions really all that much more valuable? What I really desire to see and experience is more opening. Are questions really the invitation for something to be filled? Do questions simply set up the condition for something that was open to become closed? (Participant)

Certain themes run through these different levels, depicted in the chart below.

Action Logic Themes

I Individual Stage Person Perspective Pursuit of Goals Approx Time Horizons Approx Space Frame Strategy Focus What Rules Feedback Systems View
OpportunistConception 1st What “I” want Now Ego-centric Get what I want None Defend Fight back None
DiplomatInvestments 2nd One Right way Past and today Ethno-centric Norms and rules Norms rules needs Disapproval & remind of rules Closed
ExpertExperiments Early
Most Logical Or Effective Way Months Early World-Centric (all humans) Quick efficient error-freetasks Craft-logic rules norms Take personal. Defend position Reject non experts Early Systems
AchieverSystemicProductivity 3rd Most Successful Or Effective way 1-5 years World-centric Achieve org goals through complex coordination System effective-ness rules craft logic Accept feedback regarding goals and performance Systemic
IndividualistSocial network Early
All ways Equally valid 1-10+ years Early Planet Centric Maximize individual satisfaction Within the network Relativism takes single system view Welcome feedback to uncover hidden behavior Complex Adaptive Systems Meta-Systemic
StrategistPrincipledInquiry Expand
All views Considered Prioritized By viability And long-Term effects Own history or lifetime Planet-Centric (all sentience) Collaborate with diverse stakeholders Most valuable principles rules system Invite feedback to learn one’s own impact on others & self. Developmental
MagicianInquiry ofConstructs 5th
The way can be known but not by one reason alone More than one generation; global historical Kosmos-Centric (manifest and unmanifest) Optimize among competing goals across generations Deep processes rule principles Natural part of living systems Cross-paradigmatic

Figure2: Action Logics

The idea of being in the moment and not using a map is, indeed, a map. Any way in which we consider our behavior before the fact (and possibly after) is the application of a map as it is not the specific instance. However the practice of being present to the whole of being (I recognize the dynamic nature of “whole”) is not a map. In order to “seek other than what is” we must first make a determination about “what is”. To collapse the entire whole of reality into a conceptual “what is” is in fact the first step in any map making. While I do not discount the value of maps (really I do love them) I contest the idea that they are integral to leading a full rich life.

We can choose not to create the intentional fallacy of reducing the limitless reality to a structure (however well thought out) of limited capacity. One danger of not doing so is that we might create a map so comprehensive that it could easily include all concepts. Such a map could be quite seductive and could easily entice us to surrender the actual experience of reality in favor of the safety and comfort of a well thought out model. (Maya anyone?) (GTC Participant response)

The State Stages

Everyone has access to experiences of gross, subtle, causal states and non-dual states irrespective of their structure stages (Action Logics). Everyone wakes, (gross) dreams, (subtle) and sleeps (causal). One ordinarily experiences the gross, subtle and causal states but is unaware of them. Later they may become aware of them after an experience with them and at some point they develop the capacity to witness the states while they are occurring. When the witness is one with one of these states or with all of them, it is said to be a non-dual experience. (Wilber, 2006)

Gross states

A gross state involves experiencing of awareness of concrete sensations; things you touch, taste, see, smell, and hear. First people experience the sensation without awareness; next they become aware after the fact that they have had a sensory experience and finally they are aware in the moment that they are experiencing sensory experience.

Subtle states

Subtle states involve the state space between the gross waking state and the causal deep sleep-like experiences. This includes dreaming, imagination, thinking, emotions, shamanic experiences, psychic experiences, experiences of non-embodied beings, experiences of light, archetypes, etc.

Many subtle states are not ordinarily experienced (non-ordinary states) unless they are trained or practiced, such as shamanic states, stream of consciousness, subtle flow, and many meditative states.

As in the gross state, one first experiences subtle states without awareness. An example of this would be dreaming or daydreaming. Later, after dreaming, they become aware that they were dreaming and may remember the dream. Lastly they become aware in the moment of dreaming and can actually direct the contents of a dream (Lucid dreaming)

Causal States

The causal state is one of vast openness, emptiness, and formlessness.

One ordinarily experiences the causal without awareness first as in deep dreamless sleep, then later becomes aware of it after the experience and finally one develops the capacity to witness the causal states while they are in them (e.g. aware during deep dreamless sleep)

Witnessing consciousness

The fourth state of consciousness is that which witnesses all states. This is the ever-present transcendental state, which we sometimes call the Witness, simply because it can witness all the changes of state. This witnessing can be of a gross state or body, or a subtle state or body or a causal state or body.

Non-Dual State

The non-dual might be described as the Witness being One with everything that it’s witnessing .

My practice for the upper left is one of stilling. This has been so for some time. I find that this process is much like waves on the beach and also the tides. Recently I feel like I am experiencing the quality of high tide, there is more stillness these days.

The true practice for me is that of witness, to remain on the beach watching these waves of intentional stillness, seeing as these waves creep up the beach towards greater stillness, and also as they recede towards periods of greater mental agitation. Watching from the beach, not being lost in confusion and fear as the water boils tumultuously on the shore. (GTC Participant)

States and Stages

Even though all states can be experienced through all structure stages, any gross, subtle or causal, witnessing or non-dual experience will be interpreted through an individual’s structure stage Thus two people who have a similar state experience will interpret them differently according to the structure stage they each hold.

For example: A person holding the earliest Action Logics might see people in a dream (subtle) state as a visit from a mythic or magic world. A person holding Achiever views may interpret the same dream rationally, as random neurons firing in the brain. Someone holding one of the later Post-conventional views might interpret the individuals in the dream as an archetype from the subconscious bringing a symbolic meaning.

For me, I fear most that I will not have moved fast enough, far enough, bold enough. It is a fear I try to not remember sometimes. But when I do, I live at the razor’s edge. Both unfathomable opportunity to create impact AND this fear is fueled by my sense that we are rapidly approaching irreversible systemic collapses. Do I have the courage to live constantly in the fire of this hope and fear – and thus do what is necessary from there. Some days I do, some days I don’t. It is necessary though and so am growing into what this means for me.

For us, I fear the same thing. And I fear whether we will be able to evolve humans/leaders in sufficient quantity and quality fast enough to be able to lead the reconfiguration of societal/world systems and cultures that heads this off at the pass. And then also has the capability to create a sustaining & generative future. (GTC Participant)

Here I would like to distinguish between states, and state stages. As mentioned earlier everyone is always experiencing some kind of state though they may not be aware of it. When we enter a practice involving states it usually involves bringing awareness to states that are already there and training oneself in states that aren’t ordinary with the intention of bringing additional insight into our way of perceiving the world and ourselves.

In the GTC program we encourage the awareness of states and support the development of the state stages in the Integral Personal Practice each person develops. We encourage a rich range of capacities that include the domains of awareness, intention and action that develops as a result of these practices, and impacts the kind of leadership we are encouraging. Thus we actively work with both the structure stages and the state stages. We have had the opportunity to observe their interpenetration in our participants long enough that we have been able to notice certain patterns emerging.

Embodiment of the State Sages and Structure Stages

Keeping in mind this background context, the short descriptions of Action Logics structure stages and the state stages I can describe our personal experience of being involved for nearly three years with people who have tested at various levels of development in the LMF structure stages. We have had over 70 people in our program and 54 of them have taken the LMF. Of those, about 30% have scored as Achievers, 26% have scored as Individualists, 30% have scored as Strategists, 7 % have scored as Magicians and 7 % have scored as Ironists. None of the participants have scored at the pre-conventional levels, or at the Diplomat or Expert levels so our lived experience has been with the later five levels of development in the GTC program.

In addition we use the LMF for many of our consulting clients, so we have had the opportunity to observe these same patterns in the businesses we work with and have found our observations to reach into the grounded world of work.

What we have noticed is that the interpenetration of the state stages and the structure stages in the world of applied work are difficult to untangle. An Achiever with prodigious awareness often has an equal or greater impact on the work that is being done as a Strategist whose awareness is less developed. Our participants and clients, receiving their LMF results intuitively seemed to recognize this, knowing their own contributions and those of others. At first this was a puzzle to us and as we worked with our experience, our own model, inspired by the Wilber Combs Matrix, began to unfold. We began to look at the space of awareness each client and participant could hold relative to the interpenetration of his or her state stages and structure stages.

Awareness: Consciousness Roaming Space

Figure 3: map 1

Figure 3: Map of Structure and State Stages

Over the past three years I have constructed this map of the structure states and the state stages. Working with the LMF, and experiencing its intersection with the state stages informs it. In this diagram the structure stages are listed on the Left side of the V and the state stages are listed on the right of the V.

If you draw a line from the structure stage of a person’s Action Logic on the left, to their mature state stage on the right, a triangle is formed which depicts a visual representation of the consciousness space within which a person has to roam.

Figure 4: Consciousness Space

Figure 4: Consciousness Space

If you overlay someone else’s Action Logic designation and state stage acquisition you can compare the spaces of the two triangles.

Figure 5: Comparison
Figure 5: Comparison of Action Logic and State Stage

Here you can see that the space occupied by each person is different but the size of the space is similar. In this hypothetical case above, the Achiever “roaming space triangle” represents as much, or more consciousness space as the Strategist has because in this depiction, the Achiever has attained levels in the state stages where the Strategist has not, where-as the Strategist has attained levels in the structure stages, which the Achiever has not.

In addition, the space below the crossing lines depicts the two people’s lower left shared space, showing the likely “we space” the two can comfortably engage in; in this case, the achiever won’t likely be able to take a fourth person perspective and the strategist won’t likely be able to understand the full capacities of witnessing.

Figure 6: We Space
Figure 6: We Space


This diagram, in addition to its relationship to the Wilber Combs Matrix, also relates to Wilber’s Four Quadrants (Wilber, 2006).

The line on the left represents the outside of the Upper Left Quadrant and the line on the right with the State Stages represents the inside of the Upper Left Quadrant. The space beneath the crossover is a shared space and represents the inside of the Lower Left Quadrant. The outside of the Lower Left Quadrant would find its limits between the Achiever and the Strategist Action Logic levels.

This map is a rough representation of our experience of the interpenetration of state and structure stages as they present in real people who are learning to lead and who are working in businesses. With more empirical experience and data collection it is our hope that we will be able to be more accurate in our descriptions of the complex relationship between the structure stages and the state stages as they present in the reality of human beingness.

Leadership Related to this View

A reasonable question of this view is, “How would it affect the various aspects of leadership?” I would like to address this from a first, second and third person perspective.

From a first person perspective, a leader that is aware of this three dimensional depiction of this space triangle comprised of the relationship between the state stages and the structure stages in her or himself can design their personal practices to increase the leadership space they want to occupy.

By increasing their state stage awareness they develop the capacity to be aware of outside events, their own performance, strategies, and/or of their own attention, (Torbert, 2004, p22), and single, double and triple loop awareness, learning and feedback (p.55). This can increase their efficiency and effectiveness, the legitimacy of their actions, and their integrity, producing a profound timeliness of their actions as a leader (p56). They could use the specific practices designed for loop learning, but any awareness practice that causes them to develop the state stages is likely to help a leader spontaneously become aware of single, double and triple loops.

By developing themselves to a later structure stage, (which can be supported by developing their awareness through practice (Wilber 2006), they develop the capacity to see larger and larger systems within which their work is embedded; to engage with and care for all people, all sentience and the manifest and unmanifest worlds; to organize in ways that effect generations as well as the here-and-now.

The combinations of the two allow for a potency in leadership that is far greater than a focus on either the structure stages or the state stages alone for state awareness increases the effectiveness of the structure stages the leader has attained and the later the structure stage the leader has developed the more of reality they will be able to include in their awareness space.

From a second person perspective a leader’s relationships with others could be more astute and compassionate, and their communication more effective with others as a result of their awareness of the shared space that they have with others. They could more easily ascertain where they might stretch someone’s cognitive awareness without putting them over their heads and also seek out others who could stretch them in ways that could support their own development.

From a third person perspective a leader is able to not only see and develop their own “space” capacities, but also with this knowledge to see the space that others are roaming in. This would allow them to ascertain how to put together teams of people who would have a potent, shared space to make meaning through but also to elevate the capacity of the teams by including people who have later development in state awareness and also structure stages. They would also find ways to help those they are leading to develop the space of their triangle and thus increase their leadership capacities.

The Excerpts

I hope you have enjoyed the excerpts from several participants in different cohorts of our GTC program that I have interspersed with their permission within this text. Can you tell which might be Strategist’s postings and which might be Achiever’s postings? All the Achiever postings are from those who have deep spiritual practices.

Scoring the Leadership Development Profile

Over the past four years we have laid ourselves in the illuminating theory of Ken Wilber’s Integral Frame (2006), Suzann Cook Greuter’s deep work with the LMF (2002) and long term grounded experience with our clients and participants. Arising out of this trinity, of theory, research, and lived experience, compassion flooded our field out of which these new healing insights arose regarding consciousness’s “room to roam” and we are grateful for any contribution we can make relative to the embodiment of Integral theory and structure stage research.

I am presently learning how to score the Leadership Maturity Framework with Suzanne Gook-Greuter as my instructor. As I relate the scoring process to my embodied experience of the people who write the protocols, I find that I experience each level having different energetic feeling and this gives me a way of being that feeds back into to the experience I am having of scoring the LMF. I am finding that the more I score, the more I can understand our participants and clients, and the more I am with each unique person, the greater the meditative practice of scoring becomes. The entire cycle becomes a practice of compassion and appreciation for the multiple beauties that humanity can exemplify, for there seems to be both tortured and illuminated Magicians and Ironists as well as wise and confused Achievers, and everything in-between. And as I meet and engage with people at different levels I find pain and pleasure all the way up, and all the way down, each person with their own kind of suffering and joy that just seems to go along with being a human being; at some point opposite poles including the “agony” and the “ecstasy” (though they never disappear in this relative tome), seem to become two words for the same thing.

Can I lay in my life like a new penny
Lays in the tiny fist of a child?
With com-passion for all beings
For each pebble and snail,
Each frog and sidewalk,
Each day and moon?
Tasting the world as one
Touching time with eternity
With ordinary beauty undifferentiated
From mundane divinity?

Can I touch the Kosmos with my compassion
For fear of its recoil?
Will I wrap it in my skin and
Allow its boils to erupt within me?
For these broken bones and ecstatic joys
Are but me
And blessed be as I dive into humanity
Privileged and humbly grateful
That I can breathe into the eye of agony
As I taste the Ecstasy of grace

—Terri O’Fallon


Cook Greuter, S. A detailed description of the development of nine action logics adapted from ego development theory for the leadership development framework. Available at http://www.cook-greuter.com/
Cook Greuter, S. (1999) Postautonomous ego development its nature and measurement. Doctoral dissertation. Cambridge, M A: Harvard Graduate School of Education. UMI Dissertation Information Services UMI #9933122
Kegan,R &Lahey,L.(2001). How the way we talk can change the way we work: seven languages of transformation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Kesler, J. (2007) The genealogy of integral thematic practice: draft, unpublished manuscript.
O’Fallon T & Kramer, G. (1998)Insight dialogue and insight dialogic inquiry. Doctoral dissertation. San Francisco, C A: California Institute of Integral Studies. UMI Dissertation Services UMI # 9824352
Merzel, D; (2007) Big mind-big heart: finding your way. Salt Lake. Big Mind Publishing.
Scharmer, O. (2007) Theory U: leading from the future as it emerges. Cambridge: The Society of Organizational Learning Inc.
Torbert. W. (2004) Action inquiry: the secret of timely and transforming leadership. San Francisco: Barrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
Wilber, K. (2006). Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. Boston: Shambhala.

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Terri O’Fallon, PhD, is presently a principal of Pacific Integral, whose focus is to

1 Develop support for the relief of suffering on our planet
2. Bring together people who are willing to experiment with new effective structures for realizing transformative change in evolutionary systems
3. Develop people in ways that will bring joy and wisdom into their midst through service.

Her interests now lie in the living experiments of evolutionary systems design, adult levels of development and maturity, and the joys of ordinary living.