Leadership Transformations


Leadership Development Profile
Leadership Development Profile

Marlatt Coaching & Consulting is accredited to deliver the Harthill Leadership Development Profile

The Leadership Development Profile describes crucial sense-making processes by which people interpret and give meaning to their experiences, and then structure them into more-or-less coherent worldviews and characteristic patterns of action. We describe these worldviews and characteristic patterns of action as Action Logics.” – Harthill Consulting

Why Are Transformative Leaders So Rare?

Have you ever wondered why leaders fail to change broken, dysfunctional, workplaces. Or why they don’t know how to deal with conflict? Or why they seem to just play politics, and think about their own self interest? Check out the Leadership Development Framework to get some clues about transformative leadership.

Understanding Leadership Through The LDF

One way to understand leadership is through the lens of human development. The Leadership Development Framework (LDF) is based on the theoretical work of Jane Loevinger, William Torbert and Susanne Cook-Greuter. It was developed by the Harthill Consulting Limited to help individuals, teams and organizations to understand how adult development can impact leadership style and efficacy.

The Leadership Development Framework takes human developmental stage theory to a practical application.  It depicts a leader’s unique way of meaning-making and logics-of-action in response to encounters with other people or situations.

The framework provides a way of understanding how an individual’s cognitive, affective and inter-relational responses to life-events can reflect on their leadership effectiveness.

Leadership Development and Sense Making

The LDF framework is based on rigorous research and claims that individuals in western society adopt different ways of meaning making and logics-of-action.

What is your Leadership Logic-of-Action?

The general sequence of adult cognitive development is mapped sequentially from early to late stages as:

Opportunist > Diplomat > Expert > Achiever > Individualist > Strategist > Alchemist

Opportunists see the world through a lens of self-service.  

Diplomats act in a way that honours rules in service of authority.

Experts belief in their correctness as problem-solvers.

Achievers focus on serving and achieving organizational goals and objectives.

Individualists are a transitional type and often show up as excellent coaches and consultants.

Strategists are adept at creating personal and organizational transformation. 

Imagine how your organization might operate with a few Strategists in the mix.

The Diplomat, Expert and Achiever modes are most common in the world-of-work. The Achiever is the ideal developmental target for many leaders, and business. The rare Strategist can be adept at leading organizational transformation because of their ability to understand and engage with the complexity of organizational systems.

An example distribution of individuals in the world of work by action logics is presented in the following table.

Action Logic Sample of 4510 students, managers and supervisors Key Characteristic
Impulsive & Opportunistic 4% Wins any way possible.
Diplomat 11% Obeys group norms.
Expert 37% Rules by logic & expertise.
Achiever 30% Meets strategic goals.
Individualist 11% Innovates processes.
Strategist 5% (RARE) Creates personal & organizational transformation.
Alchemist & Ironist 2% Creates social transformations
Total (rounded figures) 100%  

Table: Example distribution of individuals by action logics (after Harthill Consulting Limited)

The Value Proposition

The LDF can be used to understand existing and potential leadership style and capacity.

The LDF can be used to build self-awareness and to understand team-dynamics. 

The LDP can be used to map leadership capacity and develop talent strategies.

Your Leadership Development Profile Assessment

Are interested in obtaining your personalized Leadership Development Profile? Are interested in understanding how the LDF can be integrated into your leadership development program? 

Contact Jim for your Leadership Development Profile and coaching debrief session.

You can also learn more about the leadership development profile at Hartill.

Click here to check out the HBR article: Seven Transformations of Leadership

Click here to download the pdf article by PwC: Ten ways to identify and retain transformational leaders



Goldhaber, D. (2000). Theories of human development: Integrative perspectives. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Torbert, W. R. (2004). Action inquiry: The secret of timely and transforming leadership. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Rooke, D., & Torbert, W., R. . (2005). 7 Transformations of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, 83(4), 66.

James Marlatt, Ph.D. is an Executive Coach and Leadership Development Consultant. He specializes in telephone and Internet based coaching, and in the development and facilitation of leadership development programs. He is an accredited coach for the Harthill Leadership Development Profile.

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