The Inner Development Goals (IDG) initiative arose from an awareness that a blind spot existed in the work to create a more sustainable, global society. This blind spot consisted of a lack of appreciation of the qualities, skills and abilities to bring about the changes that are needed and often discussed, but rarely implemented.
The starting premise of the IDG is “when facing challenging tasks, there is a need for a range of cognitive and emotional skills and other qualities that go beyond what most people normally learn in schools and higher education.” The IDG Summit in Stockholm (and around the world) marked an important milestone in starting to close the gap between where we are and where we need to be.
The IDG framework organizes 23 skills into five clusters:
- Being — Relationship to Self
- Thinking — Cognitive Skills
- Relating — Caring for Others and the World
- Collaborating — Social Skills
- Acting — Driving Change
The Summit brought together speakers like Bob Kegan, Jennifer Garvey Berger, Otto Scharmer, Amy C. Edmondson, Aftab Omer, and Renée Lertzman – it was like Woodstock for personal and collective development activists.
Jennifer Garvey Berger, exploring the cluster of Relating, invited the audience to think about a relationship which grows you. She then asked us to share with a partner “what is it about this relationship that enables you to grow?”
From here she invited us to explore a relationship which was waning. She challenged us to identify what we could individually bring more of to that relationship to allow it the opportunity to flourish again.
Unpacking the audience’s responses, she named eight characteristics which “thriving relationships that grow us” require:
- Expressing appreciation
- Empathy and compassion
- Openness and an learning mindset
- Perspective skills
- Collaboration and trust
Why does all this matter? Leadership is about taking responsibility for your world, but how you lead requires you to be in relationship with others. No one can lead in a vacuum. If you are leading from the front, you need to create direction (vision) and connection (relationship). If you are leading from behind, you are engaged in servant leadership, growing and supporting others. If you are leading from the side, you are co-leading, again in relationship with others. If you are leading from the field, again you need sense the relational field of which you are part. The heart of leadership is relational – with self and with others.
The path to creating a more sustainable, global society requires us to grow and develop how we be, think, relate, collaborate and act.
What can you do to take a first step?
Think of a relationship you are in (work, professional, personal, romantic) which feels like it is waning. What is the most important thing you could bring to this relationship to shift the dynamic?
Share your thoughts in the comments below and take that first step today.