In this episode, we talk to Ryan Gottfredson, Ph.D., a cutting-edge leadership development author, researcher, and consultant, about vertical leadership development, what that is, and how organizations can help vertically develop their leaders primarily through a focus on mindsets.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Why Engineering Firms Need Vertical Leadership Development:
- Mindsets are the most foundational aspects of why we do what we do. We have an encoding process in our minds that automatically encodes any situation we find ourselves in. How our mind encodes the situation shapes how we think, learn, and behave. We do not talk about mindsets enough, and we do not engage in enough effort to try to awaken the quality of our mindsets.
- Our mindsets are neural connections in our brains. We each have a fixed mindset neural connection and a growth mindset neural connection. The stronger neural connection we have determines how we automatically react to situations. Neural connections are like muscles in the way that the more we use them, the stronger they become. Working and exercising our growth neural connections for five minutes a day for a month will result in changes in how we think, learn, and behave.
- There are two forms of personal development: horizontal development and vertical development. Horizontal development is adding new knowledge and skills. Vertical development is elevating our ability to make meaning of our world in more cognitively and emotionally sophisticated ways. It does not focus on doing more, but rather on being more.
- To further develop your vertical development, you need to adjust your focus from gaining new knowledge to working on your mindset in more cognitively and emotionally sophisticated ways. Evidence that you are not being cognitively and emotionally sophisticated is when you get defensive or self-protective. It means we must heal our body because we get self-protective due to damage to some part of our nervous system, which is often rooted in some form of past trauma. So, if you want to upgrade your vertical development, you must focus on healing yourself.
- There are three adult development stages; rising from one level to another is called vertical development. The three development stages are called mind 1.0, mind 2.0, and mind 3.0. At each stage, our bodies are programmed to fulfill different needs.
- At the mind 1.0 level, our bodies fulfill the needs of safety, comfort, and belonging. Research shows that 64% of adults operate at this level.
- At the mind 2.0 level, the progress makers need to stand out, advance, and get ahead. Our bodies allow us to be unsafe, uncomfortable, and not belong to fulfill these needs. It means you move from being a dependent thinker to an independent thinker. Thirty-five percent of people will reach this mind 2.0 level. Eighty-five percent of executives operate at this level.
- At the mind 3.0 level, the needs are to contribute, add value, and lift others. We shift our focus from ourselves standing out to something bigger than ourselves. You must be an interdependent thinker to reach this level. Only 1% of adults and 8% of executives get to this level.
- For people to start moving up the mind levels, they should first apply them in their families and test them out. It is a more forgiving environment than the workplace, and you can practice them before bringing them into the workplace.
- Characteristics of vertically developed people are things like patience, humility, intellectual humility, psychological flexibility, emotional intelligence, vulnerability, and empathy. Horizontal development will never get you these characteristics. These characteristics are reflective of us simply being better people.
- The starting place of leveling up your mind to elevate your leadership is awareness. The deeper you go inward, the higher you can go in terms of vertical leadership altitude. Use assessments that will give you objective feedback on your vertical altitude and the quality of your mindset. Once you awaken to vertical leadership, you can see what level you are at and how you can progress forward.
More in This Episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, Ryan talks about what you can do to start elevating your vertical leadership development.
About the Guest, Ryan Gottfredson, Ph.D.
Ryan Gottfredson, Ph.D., is a cutting-edge mindset author, researcher, and consultant. He helps organizations vertically develop their leaders primarily through a focus on mindsets. He helps improve organizations, leaders, teams, and employees by improving their mindsets. Ryan is currently a leadership and management professor at the College of Business and Economics at California State University-Fullerton (CSUF). He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Indiana University and a B.A. from Brigham Young University
Ryan is the author of “Success Mindsets: The Key to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership.” (Morgan James Publishing), a Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-seller, and the author of The Elevated Leader: Leveling Up Your Leadership Through Vertical Development.
He also works with organizations to develop their leaders and improve their culture (collective mindsets). He has worked with top leadership teams at CVS Health (top 130 leaders), Deutsche Telekom (500+ of their top 2,000 leaders), and dozens of other organizations.
As a respected authority and researcher on topics related to leadership, management, and organizational behavior, Ryan has published over 15 articles across a variety of journals including the Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Business Horizons, Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, and Journal of Leadership Studies. His research has been cited over 2,000 times since 2014.
About the Host, Jeff Perry, MBA
Jeff Perry is a leadership/career coach for engineers, building mindsets, leadership, and career intentions to unlock hidden potential and remove self-imposed roadblocks for career and life. For years, he has had the pleasure of supporting engineers and software pros, from new grads to director level. Having been on the front lines in the technical world, he has been able to map out the necessary skills for becoming a quality leader in the field.
You can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffcperry/ or visit his website, https://morethan-engineering.com. Jeff also has a new, FREE, on-demand training course for engineers who are job searching or in job transitions. You can see it at https://engineeringcareeraccelerator.com.
Books Mentioned in This Session:
Resources and Links Mentioned in This Session Include:
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on why engineering firms need vertical leadership development.
Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Jeff Perry, MBA
Host of The Engineering Career Coach Podcast