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  • Writer's pictureNick Petrie

Why Wise Leaders Regress Stages When They Change Roles

I once learned a valuable lesson on ‘range’ from a Fortune 500 executive. While discussing the results of his vertical assessment with the group, he shared that whenever he changed roles and departments he would regress several vertical stages.

“I didn’t realize this until I saw these stages, but whenever I start a new role, I fall back to the conformer mindset. I want to fit in and get accustomed to how they do things around here. Once I am settled, I take on the expert mindset and try to learn everything I can about the operations, products, systems and customers. Once I have the required expertise, I switch into achiever mode and start driving hard for results. I will stay in this mode for a good period but there will come a point where I’ll make a switch to the self-questioning mindset. I then challenge the status quo, question our market approach, and push my teams to find more innovative methods. You can’t come straight in and do that, or the business will reject you. You need to work your way through the stages to earn the right.”

These are types of brilliant insights you hear from leaders once you give them a vertical map, a vertical assessment and you let them start talking. This is all new territory for the leaders, and they love it.

Do you notice that you shift into different stages when changes happen in your life?


To speak to Nick about bringing vertical leadership development into your organization send a LinkedIn message or email


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