Listen here to Jack Butler interviewing Rob McNamara:
When someone comes highly recommended from a bunch of people in my network whose opinion I value, I pay attention. Over the last couple of years, one of the names that has most come up in this way is performance coach and developmental psychology expert Rob McNamara.
What if the real 1% were those reaching the highest developmental aptitudes? Those with the greatest ability to handle complexity, the most attuned interpersonal intelligence, the most capacity to invite emergence and the deepest levels of embodiment?
Rob has made these questions of the focus of 20 years of life energy – how to measure and develop these capacities. He has recently joined the Harvard faculty where he is working side-by-side with arguably the greatest developmental psychologist of our time, Robert Kegan.
Rob is the creator of the Commanding Influence program, which I recommend you check out and want to give a bit of airtime to here. I only give shout outs for stuff from people I resonate with.
Commanding Influence* is designed to give you a crystal clear understanding of how your developmental capabilities—and those of everyone you work with—are impacting your professional life every day.
By illuminating how so many of our everyday challenges at work are actually developmental opportunities waiting to be utilized, Rob reveals how we can grow more effectively and more quickly simply by responding differently to the everyday demands of working life.
He explains why “confidence” has more than one type, and why it is so important to ensure that your professional confidence isn’t actually a form of dependency. (A subtle yet incredibly insightful distinction.)
Rob unpacks the essence of management, and reveals which attributes of management signal the presence of a complex thinker and more developed leader.
He also dives into an area that so many people struggle with constantly—managing their professional relationships.
As it turns out, our relationships are one of the most significant developmental challenges we have—but once we learn how to start managing them, we immediately gain significant momentum and greater influence in the workplace.
And (in my opinion) one of the most exciting by-products of your development is greater freedom to be yourself at work.
As you grow, you’ll discover that you can put yourself out there more easily, and as a result, you’ll command more influence, exert greater authority, and have a far more positive impact on the people you work with.
So, if your curiosity is piqued, check out Rob’s Commanding Influence program
I got to riff with Rob for over an hour on developmental psychology, peak performance, commanding influence and the higher stages of adult development.
Rob gives generously and we cover a ton including:
– what are the highest leverage practices, environments and interventions which allow people to access the higher levels of development?
– the difference between conceptual, intrapersonal and interpersonal perspectives on development, and why there is a growth path from one to the other
– how getting into relationship with people with higher aptitude can have you internalize from the interpersonal to the intrapersonal – a faster developmental track
– why being in the complexity of the world grows you – more than removing yourself or being on spiritual retreats
– why spiral dynamics is a poor developmental model – surface features vs underlying structures of meaning-making
– the need for deliberately developmental organizations
– facilitative leadership as the main lever point for more developmental cultures
– leadership allowing for emergence vs the old industrial model of replication [and the problem of hiring based on experience]
– Rob’s Commanding Influence audio program – the bridge between the socialized mind and the self-authoring mind – a rigorous experiential developmental curriculum
– and, as always, much more!
Enjoy! and look forward to your questions and comments.
And don’t forget to check out Rob’s new program Commanding Influence.
– 0:30 – who is Rob Mcnamara?
– 2:40 – which developmental literature he recommends and how to tackle it
– 3:40 – why you need to look into Robert Kegan’s work and In Over Our Heads (but only for the next decade!)
– 4:00 – Rob’s book – The Elegant Self
– 4:30 – what are the highest leverage practices, environments and interventions which allow people to access the higher levels of development?
– 8:20 – the difference between conceptual, intrapersonal and interpersonal perspectives on development, and why there is a growth path from one to the other
– 10:50 – the big risk! – why understanding development conceptually but without embodiment has people’s development go backwards! – aka the importance of ‘experiential growth narratives’
– 12:50 – how getting into relationship with people with higher aptitude can have you internalize from the interpersonal to the intrapersonal – a faster developmental track
– 15:00 – your number one move to develop yourself (treasure people with 5th order aptitudes!)
– 15:30 – why being in relationship with self-centred jackasses is an invitation to developmental regression
– 17:05 – overcoming the Goldman Sachs problem – can people at higher stages of development bring as much focus as hardcore profit-centred bankers?
– 19:55 – why being in the complexity of the world grows you – more than removing yourself or being on spiritual retreats
– 22:00 – what is the fifth order in developmental psychology?
– 25:00 – why developmental psychology at its best is a measure of performance
– 26:00 – why spiral dynamics is a poor developmental model – surface features vs underlying structures of meaning-making
– 28:00 – why ‘conscious’ places like Boulder and the ‘integral community’ may not be as developed as some people think!
– 32:00 – how if you’re not innovating your own unique take on integral, then you are just relying on external authority
– 35:20 – why Rob treats embodiment as its own line of development
– 40:20 – not efforting to make transformation, having it be always and already who you are
– 42:30 – why Rob is suspicious of the evolutionary worldview
– 45:25 – how do we get more conscious leaders into politics? how do we sculpt more developmental cultures?
– 47:15 – deliberately developmental organizations
– 48:30 – why what we are doing in the public sphere (aka work) needs to yield more complexity vs rinse and repeat
– 49:30 – facilitative leadership as the main lever point for more developmental cultures
– 51:15 – how unskilful humans are with power
– 53:30 – leadership allowing for emergence vs the old industrial model of replication [and the problem of hiring based on experience]
– 56:30 – Rob’s Commanding Influence audio program – the bridge between the socialized mind and the self-authoring mind – a rigorous experiential developmental curriculum
– 58:32 – where are we going as a species and what can we do to help the highest emergence
– 1:02:00 – what our failure of leadership is handing our youth
– 1:03:30 – why we need to be ready with better solutions for when the political will is there on back of global crises
– 1:04:30 – how youth can have surprising developmental achievements and how we need not to squeeze it out of them
* Please note this is an affiliate link.