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StageSHIFT partners with executive leaders to inspire and accelerate a quantum vertical shift in conscious leadership capacity and effectiveness, embracing the opportunity in systemic complexity and rising volatility to co-create more sustainable, healthy, and equitable business ecosystems where everyone and all of life flourishes as a community.

StageSHIFT Coaching is 4 times more effective in 10% of time invested

executive coaching strategic leadership vertical development Apr 26, 2020

StageSHIFT Coaching in Vertical Development to later uncommon stages is 4 times more effective than most 20-Day Leadership Programs with just 10% of the time investment.


  1. In a multiple case study of 12 strategic leaders at Achievist (high performing corporate leaders) who undertook a 12-month StageSHIFT Coaching Program numbering an average of 8*90-minute monthly coaching sessions, 80% shifted one stage in vertical development to the next stage of Catalyst, a change leader, and 20% shifted two stages to Synergist, a visionary, inspiring, transformative, collaborative, aspirational leader. That’s a 120% stage shift.
  2. In a prominent enhanced, psychosocially challenging community leadership program, 28% of leaders at Achievist and Catalyst shifted one stage in one year following an intensive 20-day 9-month program (Vincent, 2015).
  3. StageSHIFT Coaching is therefore four times more effective than this 20-day Leadership Program in just 10% of the time spread across the year: 8 * 90-min sessions = 2-days. I suggest that this program is representative of or better than “most”. The exception are Integral Leadership Programs e.g. Pacific Integral, that also realise 100% stage shifts in 1-2 years but also over 4*5-day retreats pa.
  4. More of the research participants had shifted to Synergist three years later. Their average aggregate profile at Catalyst and Synergist shifted from 12% at the start, to 46% after one year, and onto 88% three years later.


  1. Half of senior leaders believe that their investment in leadership development does not build critical capabilities despite the $164b annual investment in leadership development in the United States alone (Beer et al, HBR 2016; Moldoveanu & Narayandas, HBR 2019). I agree with them. Turning to online learning is not the answer if the content remains the same.
  2. Academic leadership programs do not yet utilise vertical development to measure the effectiveness of their programs despite the fact that they profess to develop leadership capacity amongst executive leaders. Their risk is of course that they will fall short when evaluated based on actual leadership development rather than customer perception.
  3. Synergists make up less than 10% of executives yet they have been shown to be significantly more effective leaders.
  4. Most concerning, the proportion of Synergists amongst executives is rising at a snail’s pace of 1%/decade in each of the last two decades.


  1. Only leaders at Synergist can rise above disruptive times to lead with aspirational purpose and visionary intent and reset the structural foundations of a complex business model or inter-systemic economic system. 
  2. Synergists can transcend the turmoil and cut through complexity, trust emergence to navigate uncertainty, and transform their world with strategic ingenuity. They also shift their life experience from striving and thriving to thriving and flourishing.
  3. Synergists can think inter-systemically with future generations in mind and lead successive organisational transformations while increasing people engagement, business performance and corporate reputation (Rooke & Torbert, 1998).
  4. As they consolidate their Centre of Gravity at Synergist and lean into Alchemist, they can reengineer complex national systems such as the economy, to reinvent life as we know it today so that everyone is able to thrive and flourish.


  1. StageSHIFT integrates personal holistic individual development with strategic business collective development i.e. personal evolution and org evolution. Few coaching programs undertake the latter – they’re more focused on working effectively in the system than working on or transforming the system.
  2. StageSHIFT personal holistic development reaches for the highest purposeful aspirations, leverages neuroscience and positive psychology, and delves deeply into shadow resolution to eliminate, not just regulate, emotional triggers and reactive patterns at source i.e. window and shadow.
  3. StageSHIFT strategic business development also reaches for evolutionary aspirations and critically, also reengineers the organisation’s strategic framework and internal operating system to engage, empower and liberate the people to become authentically aligned in mind and genuinely accountable i.e. strategic and operations.
  4. The StageSHIFT coaching approach is transformative coaching drawing on 3rd generation coaching (Stelter, 2014) with a later stage coach at Synergist*. The * signifies that their Centre of Gravity or autopilot is at Synergist, not just that their primary stage is at Synergist and still developing.


  1. Shadow can only be resolved through transformative coaching with the relevant expertise, not developmental coaching. It requires a deep and expansive meaning-making partnership, beyond an open-question person-centric approach.
  2. Monthly coaching sessions offer the opportunity to immediately apply and implement what has been learned. This is much more conducive to vertical development than offsite distant teaching programs far removed from the workplace.
  3. Teaching is mainly about knowledge and intellect; coaching is more about knowhow and inner being. Transformative coaching explicitly designed for later stage vertical evolution takes this to a whole new level.
  4. Only Synergist* coaches and beyond, are able to effectively guide evolving coachees. The proven approaches of StageSHIFT frameworks and processes expedite the journey.

Today’s crisis is probably higher on the Richter scale than the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. We urgently need more corporate leaders at Synergist. We urgently need more transformative coaches at Synergist. We urgently need more political leaders at Synergist. As Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.”

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Online StageSHIFT Coaching Programs can deliver on their promise to realise a stage shift in one year for anyone who is committed to their vertical development and prepared to take inspiring action. 20% can shift two stages to Synergist. Conventional organisational processes and economic policies inhibit vertical growth. The potential is latent.

More StageSHIFT Programs for leaders and coaches begin this coming week. To find out more and make the most of free resources, go to There you will find videos, webinars, articles, blogs, online programs and a live webinar each month including this Tuesday 29 May at 7pm BST. I’ll present new ideas and insights into vertical leadership development and respond to your questions, thoughts and wonderings. There’s also a current 30% discount for those financially affected by the pandemic. Go to

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Antoinette J Braks

Antoinette Braks is a thought leader in Vertical Leadership Development and a Master Certified Executive Coach with >3,500 coaching hours with over 250 strategic leaders from across the private and public sectors. She has a proven track record in expediting rapid shifts to later stages enabling strategic leaders and executive coaches to realise transformative outcomes. She has presented at many coaching and leadership conferences and led strategic workshops and coaching masterclasses in recent years. Her new book: Executive Coaching in Strategic Holistic Leadership: The Drivers and Dynamics in Vertical Development will be published mid-2020 by McGraw Hill.

  • Brilliant, confident, bold, generous. Impressive command of subject.
  • A brilliant opportunity to uncover insights into how leaders develop and where they need to be to create sustainable profitable organisations that work for employees, customers and wider society.
  • Elegant and sophisticated in its simplicity. Antoinette presents a congruent and holistic model of vertical development that helps us make sense of how we engage with the world at each stage.
  • A powerful model for personal growth and transformative d

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