Levels of Leader Development

The distinction between more common types of horizontal, skills-based leadership development and increasingly necessary, vertical, capacity-developing experiences for leaders is becoming more evident every year. The vertical development process must be vertical both ways, or else it is mere sham and delusion – mere talking of a new talk. It is not merely a matter of developing ‘altitude’ or ‘headroom’ – a new awareness of contexts, uncertainties, and possibilities – a more panoramic view. It is also a matter of transforming one’s embodied, conversational processes in our on-the-ground, moment-to-moment organizing actions of each day.

Our AQ measure, of which of the seven leadership action-logics a client currently works from, does not merely result in a label we authoritatively pin on the client from on high: instead, the process invites the client to do his or her own leadership action-logic diagnosis.

The benefits of the AQ lie not only in the insights provided to both individuals and organizations but in the nature of the process; respectful, inviting and adult-to-adult.

The approach creates movement because it actively engages individuals and groups. Development to the later action-logics cannot be taught from the top down or the outside in, but rather requires a person’s deepest motivation and most inventive strategising to blossom. We actively support this process drawing on our extensive experience in the research, leadership and organisational transformation.

The scale on the left gives a brief understanding of the capacity of the thinking at each level of the AQ. Where other systems offer elaborate labels and in-depth descriptions, the AQ shows you what needs to change specifically within your thinking in order to grow vertically.


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