By Shanti Clements
A Homage to Two Pioneers of Personal Development:
Susanne Cook-Greuter &
When you read Business literature or research into Ego Development, we often think of well-known writers such as Ken Wilber, Robert Kegan and William Torbert. However, it’s not always a ‘man’s world’. Two women have inspired my knowledge and passion for leadership … Jane Loevinger and Susan Cook-Greuter.
Who are they?
Susanne Cook-Greuter is an author and researcher from Harvard University. She has worked with Robert Kegan and William Torbert – two influential authors in the field of Adult Development and Business. She also designed the Leadership Maturity Framework, based on the ego development model researched by Jane Loevinger in the 1970s.
Jane Loevinger was an academic researcher who developed the first adult model of ego development. She integrated Eastern psychology perspectives of growth within a Western context, challenging the way that psychologists viewed adolescent and adult learning. She was the first female researcher to link cognitive, social and emotional intelligence with levels of consciousness. She also successfully improved on Jean Piaget’s 1932 framework of adolescent development- which had become the basis of Western educational systems in the 20th Century.
Loevinger’s work inspired Ken Wilber’s book, Spectrum of Consciousness, and has become the basis of ego development frameworks in the Western world. Cook-Greuter’s research has also been a major influence to the Corporate world, innovating 21st Century strategies in the way that leadership profiles and executive coaching are used to develop middle managers and leaders.
On a professional level, I’ve gotten to ‘know’ both Jane Loevinger and Susanne Cook-Greuter very well through my Masters and Ph.D research. On a personal level, I’ve learned a lot through Susanne’s mentoring/support of my research project. She taught me a tremendous amount as I used the Leadership Maturity framework and profile (the SCTi-map) to assess and explore the leadership journeys of school principals in NSW.
So thank you, Susanne and Jane! Without you, the fields of Personal and Corporate Development would not have a validated framework for adult ego and leadership development … plus you’ve proven that it’s not always a ‘Man’s world’ in the Corporate domain.