Inside The Psyche Of Stage Red

By Leo Gura - November 8, 2019

Here’s a candid real-world account of what it’s like to work for a Spiral Dynamics Stage Red leader:

The people who work with Trump on his policies have no idea of his level of cognitive development. They assume he is a stage Orange CEO type (like many of them are). But he’s far less developed. This is only shocking if you’ve never studied developmental psychology.

It was obvious before his election that this would be Trump’s leadership style.

The problem with a selfish leader is that eventually most of his followers and supports get so hurt and disgusted by his selfishness that they turn on him and start a mutiny out of a need to protect themselves. This is proper, as it is the karma which selfishness creates. There cannot be an extremely selfish general on the battlefield, for example, because eventually even his most loyal troops will be forced to turn on him, because his selfishness will threaten their survival agenda.

A leader who is more selfish than his followers cannot last. Sooner or later they will eat him alive. Just like there is a problem with leading from too high on the Spiral, there is a problem with leading from too low on the Spiral. Successful leadership requires that the leader be one or two levels above his followers. Otherwise things become unsustainable. Trump is less cognitively, morally, and spiritually developed than most of his cabinet. If this happened on a ship, they’d throw the captain overboard.

The funny thing about selfishness is, people are too selfish to tolerate a selfish leader for long. Sharks eat their own kind. A leader needs to be someone a follower can look up to and aspire to be like. Otherwise, why follow him? Who wants to follow someone who is less developed than they are? Such situations breed resentment and discontent since they are fundamentally backwards. The more capable resent having to follow the less capable. The more moral resent having to follow the less moral.

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