Quadrant 4 Touchstones

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The touchstones for Quadrant 4 revolve around the themes of

believing that something more is possible and being in action to

create something new. Quadrant 4 is not for everyone, but those who

gravitate to working in this space become role models of powerful,

creative leadership. The touchstones for Quadrant 4 are as follows:

1. Believe in possibilities

2. Have faith

3. Build connections

4. Demonstrate clear commitment

1. Believe in possibilities. It is not possible to work in the fourth

quadrant without a willingness to believe that something more

or something different is possible. People who habitually argue

for the status quo will not enter into this territory.

When Clare reflected on the dynamics of the leadership

team, she could see how some team members had become

isolated in their own areas and tended to see invitations to collaborate

more as threats than opportunities. At the same time,

her contact with outside companies allowed Clare to engage in

conversation with people who had different perspectives. The

insights she gained through these conversations helped her see

new possibilities in the marketplace. Clare could see that if the

leadership team could find a way to collaborate on an integrated

offering, opportunities could be pursued. Without the

willingness to see possibilities, Clare would never have noticed

these openings for growth.

2. Have faith. This touchstone reflects a deeply founded faith that

naturally evolves from the work of the previous quadrants. By

the time a client reaches Quadrant 4, she has a solid foundation

of self-awareness; she knows what is important to her, and

she is aware when her work and her life are in alignment with

her values. The development that she has undergone as she

moved through the earlier quadrants has brought online a full

spectrum of capabilities and perspectives that greatly enhance

the flexibility and fluidity with which she can respond to a

wide variety of situations. Quadrant 4 is the space in which

clients focus on integrating what they have learned and putting

the learning into action in ways that are uniquely their own.

This requires a great deal of faith. For Clare this meant having

faith in herself that her insights have merit, faith that she can

translate those insights into action, and faith that even though

she does not know how events will unfold, she will be able to

handle whatever happens.

3. Build connections. New ideas often require support systems

of some kind to bring them to life. In Clare’s case, she needed

the support of others on her leadership team in order for the

integrated offering to happen. Without the buy-in of others,

Clare’s idea would be destined to die on the vine, but getting

buy-in was just the first step. Clare’s new allies would in turn

need to rally support in their own organizations, defend the

idea to others who might not understand it, and find new ways

of collaborating.

The connections that are created serve like a web of support,

allowing an idea to spread into an organization. Without

enough support, new ideas can be crushed by the fears, resentments,

and misunderstanding of others. For natural creative

thinkers such as Clare, the most significant development

opportunity is often this touchstone of building connections.

This is where the foundation that was built by the previous

touchstones really pays off. Inspiring others to expand their

perspectives is no small task. It requires the ability to discern

subtleties in many levels. Building connections goes well

beyond intellectually convincing someone that an idea is

worth pursuing. Clare needed to win the hearts of her teammates,

as well as their minds.Her conversations about the proposal

needed to reach her audience on an emotional level; the

team members needed to feel positively about the endeavor to

really get behind it. There also needs to be alignment with the

values of others.

The size and scope of the support web depends on the

impact a new idea will have on the organization. The greater

the impact, the more work is needed to pave the way for it.

Impact can be calibrated by the extent to which the idea

exceeds the general comfort zone of those whose support is

needed and also the degree of cooperation and collaboration

required from others to get something implemented. The

integrated solution that Clare proposed stretched her team in

some significant ways, which is why she needed to invest so

much time and energy upfront to build the connections to

support it.

4. Demonstrate clear commitment. It is important for the client to

look closely at what she is committed to. The focus of the

client’s commitment will have a tremendous impact on how

she proceeds in getting something implemented. Previously,

Clare had become so attached to getting her ideas accepted that

she approached the process of gaining approval for them more

like soliciting votes than building a support base. This personal

focus led Clare to perceive feedback as criticism, and not just

criticism of the idea, but criticism of her. Consequently, she

defended her ideas more vehemently, which tended to close

down avenues of communication, not open them up.

With Tressa’s help, Clare was able to discern that her commitment

was to finding an integrated solution that the team

could embrace and that met the needs of the market, rather

than being committed to getting her idea accepted. She saw

herself more as the person creating the space for this to happen

than being the owner of the idea. This broader perspective

allowed Clare to be more flexible in how she approached her

teammates. She tended to listen for openings for the path

forward rather than criticisms that needed to be defended.

This also enabled Clare to integrate the suggestions of others

into the plan more readily, which cultivated support and

enthusiasm for the project.