StageSHIFT enables strategic leaders and their organisations to unlock and actualise their latent potential as Synergist leaders. This leadership capacity is found amongst less than 10% of executives today yet is very urgently needed to transcend the complexity and turbulence in today's world and lead an ecosystemic renewal for everyone to flourish.

1. StageSHIFT is Explicitly Intentionally Vertical


Much is said about holding vertical development "lightly". This "lightness" is important to honour each individual's personal organic intrinsic evolutionary developmental trajectory. 

However, StageSHIFT does not hold vertical development "loosely". We are explicit and intentional in our purpose to enable vertical leadership development and enterprise evolution.

Based on my 40 years of corporate, consulting and coaching experience, and my education in law, political science, management, research, coaching and developmental psychology, it is my view that this leadership capacity lies latent, dormant amongst us. 

Some are shy of being explicitly and intentionally vertical because they cannot promise vertical outcomes. This is because their solutions are not sufficiently comprehensive or integrated to enable and activate Synergist leadership capacity. The StageSHIFT research has pioneered a proven pathway.

Further, while StageSHIFT takes an explicitly vertical approach, this includes expanding horizontal development through the stages. Indeed, vertical development is not linear as the two concepts of vertical and horizontal in juxtaposition suggest, leadership development is more complex than this.

The 2-Step Square Dance

Research in Vertical Leadership Development has been pioneered by three leading scientists - Jane Loevinger, Susanne Cook-Greuter and Terri O'Fallon. They present an integral holistic approach to ego development that encompasses yet expands the concept of vertical growth beyond the dominant line of cognitive complexity in adult development.

The 2-steps in Vertical Development relate to the embodiment of each new person perspective. The first step of INDIVIDUATION is the inner development of awareness. The second step of INTEGRATION is the outer demonstration of leadership.

These 2-steps for each new Person Perspective (PP) alternate between a primary INDIVIDUAL orientation and a primary COLLECTIVE focus. While we each hold an average spectrum of 4 stages, the Square Dance of Vertical Development is this alternating process in primary focus.

2. StageSHIFT Honours the Whole Person


There is a saying that we must "honour the person where they're at".

Let's shift this to honouring the person "who they are today". While the difference is subtle, there is a sense of resistance coupled with the first, while acceptance accompanies the second.

At StageSHIFT, we honour the whole person, their current way of being and their potential that we perceive lies within and is emergent.

We also challenge their current way of being if it does not simultaneously honour and respect everyone they interact with or affect, either in the moment or in relation to realising shared aspirational outcomes for the future.

3. StageSHIFT Hones the Centre of Gravity


In SCT-based Vertical Assessments, the person is generally shown to have a Primary Stage, a Secondary Stage, a Leading Edge and a Trailing Edge. These comprise their spectrum of 4 stages.

The default is that their Centre of Gravity is in their Primary Stage, the perspective from which they answered the majority of the Sentence Prompts.

However, given the 2-step process, this is flawed and leads to a misunderstanding of vertical development and developmental outcomes.

A person's Centre of Gravity can only be in an INTEGRATED stage of development i.e. either their Primary or Secondary Stage. It is only from this embodied stage of vertical development that they can truly demonstrate their leadership capacity.

The Spectrum Stage SHIFT

The StageSHIFT approach to Vertical Leadership Development integrates:

  1. From work to play, grow to flow, calm to care and free to love
  2. The Centre of Gravity at each subsequent integrated stage of development for each successive Person Perspective
  3. The correlation of the stages with our human faculties as we each one rises in ascendance through the course of our holistic journey
  4. The association of the energy fields of our life experience reflecting our level of self-expression as we travel through the stages 
  5. The prioritisation of the Individual or Collective grounding our perspective while we lean into our evolutionary trajectory.

4. StageSHIFT has Mastered Vertical Complexity


StageSHIFT takes a comprehensive integrated approach to Vertical Leadership Development.

Through our research and experience, we have discovered a range of drivers and dynamics that, when carefully interwoven, expedite vertical development. These factors are artfully orchestrated, cultivated and integrated as would a Master Chef making a perfect unique soufflé.

While the comprehensive integrated process appears complex, it can be masterminded by later stage experienced perspectives. It incorporates holistic leadership development and strategic enterprise evolution while listening into the organisation to realise its organic purposeful conscious emergence.

We have realised quantum shifts for organisations in leadership effectiveness, people engagement and business performance at later stages of evolution for people and the enterprise. We enable you to thrive and flourish by leveraging the uncertainty and transcending the complexity to discover new horizons.

Making a Perfect Soufflé with Vertical Development


Strategic Enterprise Evolution

At StageSHIFT we have realised that the embodiment of the rare and urgently needed Synergist leadership capacity is activated simultaneously with Strategic Enterprise Evolution to Green/Teal. 

Most Leadership Programs do not take account of this and thus fall short of generating Synergist leadership capacity. Synergist Leaders have only been growing at the rate of 1% per decade in the last two decades. The issue is not the lack of latent talent but the inadequacy of the programs.

5. StageSHIFT Coaching Delivers Proven Outcomes


The StageSHIFT approach is based on the distillation of a 10-year Doctoral Research Project. 

The quantitative research showed that 80% of the strategic leaders shifted a single stage in one year after just 8 coaching sessions with Dr Antoinette Braks to either Catalyst or Synergist, and the other 20% navigated a double stage shift in the one year to Synergist. This amounted to a 120% StageSHIFT, 4 times the ROI of other Leadership Programs, over 2-days spread across the year or just 10% of the 20-day timeframe often invested in offsite leadership programs.

The qualitative thematic research identified 8 Drivers of Vertical Development stretching across strategic and holistic leadership, and across Intention and Interaction, to lead to synergistic Integration. These 8 drivers roamed across all four quadrants of the Integral AQAL framework in a particular order. 

The final phase of research delved more deeply into why this combination of drivers was so effective by exploring the inter-systemic dynamics of the factors involved. It became evident that the StageSHIFT solution is more of a dynamic inspiring evolutionary movement within and across the organisation.

The StageSHIFT Vertical Holistic Leadership Model

The 3-D VHLM integrates 4 Lines of Horizontal Development, 5 Leads of Activated Leadership and 6 Levels of Vertical Development. It correlates the Stages and Styles of Leadership with Role Levels and Role Types.

The associated VHLP Report offers a sophisticated automated Self Assessment against 144 leadership capabilities and shadow elements.

Find out more about the VHLP

6. In the System, On the System, As the System


Much leadership development has taken place off-site. This was appropriate for individually orientated development at 3rd person perspective to Achievist.

However, vertical development into the 4th person perspective is collectively oriented. While there is still significant inner work for the individual, vertical development is accelerated and activated in context. 

7. With the People, By the People, For the People


Vertical leadership development at 4th person perspective also needs to be activated alongside strategic enterprise evolution initiatives with a view to realising aspirational ecocentric outcomes.

These initiatives are overseen through group and team coaching with a later stage StageSHIFT coach experienced in Strategic Enterprise Evolution.



There is a new generation of Executive Coaching advanced by David Clutterbuck, Hetty Einzig, Peter Hawkins and Reinhard Stelter, amongst others. StageSHIFT blends these emergent perspectives to incorporate mutual dialogical inquiry; a blend of consulting, coaching, facilitating and guiding; and a process of direct invitations to experiment with proven frameworks, techniques and processes.

Synergist/Alchemist StageSHIFT Coaches partner with CEOs and Strategic Leaders to take shared accountability for igniting and realising aspirational ecocentric outcomes. We bring our full selves, our later stage perspectives at later levels of consciousness and leadership capacity, to activate potential.

Set up a meeting with Dr Antoinette Braks to explore the StageSHIFT approach
Top Ten Insights into Vertical Development 2020


The StageSHIFT Coaching Certification Program

1 Sept 2021 - 27 July 2022
Live Discovery Dialogues 4pm CET

A 12-month intensive immersion into Vertical Leadership Development, Vertical Enterprise Evolution and Transformative Coaching for Executive Coaches and OD Consultants.

Learn More and Register

VHLP Certification Program

From 31 July 2021

This Program takes you through an intensive weekly program over 5-weeks to review StageSHIFT Vertical Evolution, the Vertical Holistic Leadership Model, the VHLP Report and Discovery Debrief. This includes two complimentary VHLPs to practice with and continuing monthly Discovery Q&A Dialogues.

Learn More and Register

The 40-Day StageSHIFT in Consciousness to a Lighter You, a Freer Mind, a Warmer Heart, a Wiser Way and a Simpler Life

Monday 6 Sept - Friday 15 Oct 2021

Revitalise your wellbeing and uplift your consciousness to bring more light and love into your life with ease and grace.

Learn More and Register