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Vertical Development Disconnects NZ & OZ

Mar 07, 2020

Global Evolution Urgently Needs 4.5/Synergists

I'm a thought leader in Vertical Development. Vertical Development means that adults develop through stages of increasing maturity, perspective and presence. They see more subtle patterns in life and can transcend complexity and uncertainty. People with their centre of gravity at later stages have been shown to be more effective leaders. They are more interested in longer term sustainable and equitable outcomes for everyone i.e. we, not me; eco-centric not ego-centric; mutual interest not just self-interest. They want to create the context for all people to enjoy better lives to realise their aspirations without systemic bias.

Please note that everyone has a profile of mostly four stages: a primary and secondary stage, leading and trailing edge. Our centre of gravity is at our latest integrated stage i.e. an x.5 person perspective. It is not a simple linear progression through the stages but a much more complex two-step square dance across stages. Here is a link to a previous post on this and you download a Special Report outlining this here.

Global Evolution Urgently Needs 4.5/Synergists

The challenge inhibiting global evolution is that leaders are largely stalled at self-interest. The majority of executives have their centre of gravity at the conventional high performing 3rd person perspective of the 3.5/Achiever. For 3rd person perspective, think "it", a focus on work, results and profits. The proportion of new 4th person perspectives (think "we") at 4.0/Catalyst has fortunately been increasing at around 11%/decade to reach 33% whereas leaders with their centre of gravity at the stage of 4.5/Synergist is stalled at around 8%.

Even though we have leaders at 4.0 who wish to introduce progressive change, they are not yet more effective than leaders at 3.5 who represent the status quo. This is because they have not fully matured their emerging 4th person perspective: 4.0/Catalyst (change agent) begins the developmental journey that matures once it is fully integrated and can be confidently applied externally at 4.5/Synergist (transformative leader). This requires as much inner work such as shadow resolution, as it does outer work such as wide collaboration.

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I'd like to find a way to communicate more about this significant quantum shift from having a profile centred around the 3.5/Achiever and how things are different when centred around the 4.5/Synergist. I love politics and as these leaders are on the world stage, I would like to use their disconnects as examples of differing person perspectives so that we can learn from them. I applaud that they are standing up as public leaders and I would like to illuminate the growth to 4.5/Synergist, given that geopolitical relationships are important to all of us.

The Deportation Argument between New Zealand and Australia

Take the issue of deportation between Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand (I was born in NZ) and Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia (I lived in Australia for many years as an adult). It illustrates the difference between a 3rd person perspective and a 4th person perspective, and I make some suggestions on how the disconnect could be integrated from a consolidated 4th person perspective anchored at 4.5/Synergist. Here is the link to their media presentation.

They agree that countries should deport non-citizens who commit a crime in their country back to their country of citizenship.

However they disagree on how that country of citizenship is determined. For Australia, it's a 3rd person perspective, black or white, either you're a legal citizen of Australia or you're not. If you are, you can stay; if you're not, you're deported. For New Zealand, it's a 4th person perspective, there is a grey area. If you are a citizen as a matter of fact i.e. it is your "home" to all intents and purposes, then, even if you are not a citizen as a matter of law, you get to stay. To deport you would be inhumane as you have no life or current connections in your country of citizenship.

You see the 4th person perspective wants to do what's "fair" in relation to all aspects of a situation, and wants to make principle-based decisions. For instance, it is not "fair" to take someone away from the only "home" they have ever known, even if they are a criminal and not a citizen, and it is not "fair" for a country to deport a person who has become a criminal in their country. That is their responsibility. Indeed, police in New Zealand report that the deportation of New Zealand criminals from Australia has led to a significant increase in domestic criminal gang activity in NZ. Thus Ardern's request: "Do not deport your people and your problems." Not the answer ... too inflammatory and illustrative of shadow.

The Disconnect in their Relationship

While I am a great admirer of PM Ardern, her argument doesn't come off well. She focused on the respectful relationship between the two countries (a 4th person commitment to reciprocity as 3rd person perspective sees relationships as largely transactional) that is in jeopardy. Her 4.0/Catalyst perspective left her simply putting the finger at Australia saying that they must do better (3.0 shadow) i.e. the same as New Zealand, rather than invite them to talk on the bigger issue as a 4.5/Synergist would do.

Indeed, she described it as a "simple request" but it is not. It asks Australia to act in a more mature fashion than its leader and political system is currently capable of. Scott Morrison operates from the conventional perspective of 3.5. He comes across as confident and strong. In his mind, the answer is simple, New Zealanders in Australia should just become citizens. Then, even if they commit a crime, they wouldn't be deported. However this ignores all the surrounding implications which only a 4th person perspective explores to better appreciate the inter-systemic reality.

I was curious to see both Prime Ministers were inauthentic and condescending at times: PM Morrison at 1.00 min when he shakes his head to protest his espoused "respect" for the positions put forward by the PM of NZ i.e. he didn't really agree with what he was saying; and PM Ardern's sardonic smile at 1.45 mins re the importance of fairness (defined and interpreted differently at 3rd and 4th person perspectives: 3rd person black or white; 4th person grey nuances). And there we have the disconnect in the relationship.

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The Bigger Picture

What are the other aspects in play?

  • New Zealanders' reputation for moving to Australia to enjoy the sun and its social welfare benefits - addressed by PM Ardern by sharing evidence that NZers are Australia's best migrants
  • The growing local gang activity in NZ due to criminal immigrants from Australia who are NZers on paper but aren't at home in NZ, have no community there
  • The increasing inequitable treatment between Australia and New Zealand to each other's citizens in relation to education and social welfare benefits; Australia has in recent years been withdrawing benefits New Zealanders received previously that Australians still receive in New Zealand
  • The more open immigration policy in New Zealand that enabled non-citizens of either country to first immigrate to NZ and then immigrate onto Australia due to the more privileged access for New Zealanders compared to other countries
  • Australian was first inhabited by convicts who were deported from England - this is a collective cultural shadow that Australian leaders have yet to perceive and realise is at the core of their ill treatment of immigrants and local indigenous peoples - the pattern continues to repeat by doing to others what was done to them ...
  • The New Zealand PM has been lauded in Australia by Australians in the press, social media and even in advertising, suggesting that she come and lead Australia
  • New Zealand's more compassionate interest in accepting detainees in Nauru as immigrants showing up Australia's lack of compassion and even concern for fellow human beings who are citizens
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's glowing global reputation as an astute and compassionate leader e.g. Christchurch mosque massacre, UN speech, dress in Maori cloak at Commonwealth Heads Meeting in the UK
  • Australia's flagrant inhumane treatment of the so-called boat people, refugees and asylum seekers arriving on their shores, in violation of human rights laws
  • While the balance shifted for a while, more NZers immigrate to Australia than vice versa despite New Zealand's more generous provisions for Australians

NB the above reflects a generally informed and brief understanding of the history of the two countries in relation to immigration, reciprocity and citizenship matters - it is not intended to represent an evidence-based brief nor have I been professionally involved in these matters. My perspective draws on the nature of the leadership being demonstrated given the complexity of the bigger picture.

What to do?

So, in summary, New Zealand is the bigger person. More generous and more compassionate, yet not as inclusive, respectful, collaborative and strategic as it could be in building synergy. NZ needs to revisit its strategy vis-a-vis Australia. Why give more privileges to a country's citizens when these are not reciprocated? What universal level of immigration controls and supports can New Zealand put in place to protect its people, ensure human rights and be the type of good citizen in the world that it has long been renowned for? These policies may be universally applicable or reciprocally appropriate and equitable, based on the quality of relationship it has with different countries.

A leader at 4.5/Synergist offers tough love but not condemnation or insinuation. A Synergist sets standards of behaviour that are actually mutually respectful i.e. using only constructive language to recognise what is good, see what is not and build on what is useful. A Synergist does not use negative or pejorative language at any time as it only inflames situations and harms relationships. A Synergist will call out inadequate responses or accountability but in a gracious and conciliatory fashion. New Zealand cannot change Australia's laws on deporting non-citizen criminals; it can only ensure that New Zealand sets and implements its own high standards in serving and protecting its own residents, citizens or not, now and in the future.

I believe it is important to develop a more explicit presentation that sets out in easy-to-understand terms what the bigger issues are, and why and how they are complex to unravel and understand. The answer is not that a relationship is in jeopardy, but that the relationship needs to mature and progress. Australia and New Zealand need to build more mutual understanding by each country first looking at its own bigger picture and then finding the higher common ground on which to collaborate on the issues that implicate them both.

My suggestions may seem to be inadequate to the situation as it is only through the emergence of engagement that new insights and solutions can be found. The underlying principles of Vertical Development Theory (VDT) that I have recently articulated are INTENTION, INTERACTION and INTEGRATION.

While the 3rd person perspective wants immediate resolution, the 4th person perspective realises that a purposeful, evolutionary and aspirational INTENTION brings people together and creates the emergent space for new possibilities. Open respectful and orchestrated INTERACTION provides the ongoing opportunity for deeper listening to enable more mutual understanding of the underlying issues and shadow patterns. And caring, courageous, collaborative INTEGRATION facilitates deep healing and a transformative way to move forward together in the future while continuing the emergent conversation.

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What other suggestions do you have?

Thanks for reading - I would love to hear your thoughts.

Click on this link to find out more about Vertical Development. There you will find a new report on the Spectrum Stage Shift. This is my most popular post on the stages of development and this one is more recent on the nature of stage development.

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If you're interested in becoming certified as a StageSHIFT Coach, click here. I also have a one-off special birthday offer for executive coaches right now (exp. 9 March 2020).

Antoinette Braks PhD(c) MCC MBA.LBS

Antoinette Braks is a thought leader in Vertical Leadership Development. She has a proven track record in expediting rapid shifts to later stages for strategic leaders to realise amazing career and business outcomes.

She is a master executive coach, strategic facilitator, leadership consultant and coaching supervisor who brings deep insight and a global transpersonal perspective to her transformative coaching work with C-suite leaders, executive teams, high potential leaders and whole-of-organisations to realise amazingly swift transformative outcomes. Antoinette is renowned for coaching others to transcend the turmoil and cut through complexity, trust emergence and navigate uncertainty, and transform their world to spark ingenuity.

Antoinette presents at global Coaching, Leadership and Integral Conferences to share her Vertical Development Theory. She also leads StageSHIFT workshops for advanced coaches and strategic leaders, and her StageSHIFT Leadership Coaching & Certification Programs are accessible online. They can be customised and scaled to match the organisational context by blending e-learning with group workshops, executive team and executive coaching.

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