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Forbes Magazine writer Dede Henley recently highlighted Julie Chesley and Terri Egan’s research in two separate articles. The first focused on how vertical development can make you a better leader. Why is vertical development important? About 95% of our behavior is out of our conscious awareness: we are all on autopilot.

Autopilot isn’t a bad thing when the road ahead is smooth and every turn is well mapped and predictable. However, that doesn’t define the landscape for leaders faced with turbulent, rapidly changing environments. Vertical development strategies help leaders change the way they think and behave. “In vertical development, you pay attention to becoming more adaptable, more self-aware, more collaborative, and able to span boundaries and networks.”

Once you have a vertical development program in place here are five things to consider to make that program effective:

  • Educate senior leads on the value of vertical development
  • Create an environment where openness and vulnerability are welcomed.
  • Make sure you have facilitators and leaders who are skilled and personally experienced in vertical development.
  • Get your business processes aligned.
  • Build a culture where risk-taking is encouraged and applauded.

The second Forbes article highlighted the importance of neuroscience and vertical growth. Noting our research offers specific and practical actions you can take to integrate vertical development into your organization’s assessments, individual development plans, expert knowledge sharing, mentorship, coaching, and experiential learning opportunities. You can find out more in the full papers published in The Journal of Values Based Leadership and The Journal of Leadership Education.