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22 Top-Notch Robert Kegan Quotes

Robert Kegan is an American developmental psychologist and author. Serving as a professor in Adult Learning and Professional Development at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Kegan is most known for his books, ‘The Evolving Self’ and ‘In Over Our Heads.’ Here is a look at some of the most notable Robert Kegan quotes to know.

“At the simplest level, any particular expression of the immunity to change provides us a picture of how we are systematically working against the very goal we genuinely want to achieve.”

“Better Me + Better You = Better Us”

“But reflection without action is ultimately as unproductive as action without reflection.”

“Decurion exposes and overturns the assumption that work is public and the personal is private, and so the personal should not be part of work.”

“Do to make my setting the most fertile ground in the world for the growth of talent?”

“Even small changes in our Big Assumptions can have big implications for permanently altering our once-captivating equilibrium.”

“Finally, subject-object theory makes operational the criteria for determining whether one position is actually more complex than the other or merely fancies itself so.”

“If one position is actually less complex than the other, it should not even be able to understand the other on terms that allow the other to feel that its being is adequately understood.”

“If you disagree with the principles, you gotta fight like hell. There’s no behind-the-corner talk.”

“If you have wanted to lose ten pounds for ten years and a diet finally helps you do it, you might well assume you have accomplished your goal.”

“In the algorithms of its proprietary systems, the company has recorded all its technical investment knowledge—a set of principles to guide investing.”

“Over time, I came to formulate my purpose as providing contexts for people to flourish.”

“Successfully functioning in a society with diverse values, traditions and lifestyles requires us to have a relationship to our own reactions rather than be captive of them.”

“The company’s other primary commitment—to radical transparency—goes much deeper than the glass office walls.”

“The team’s diagnosis of a problem this morning centers on Sergio. The entire group has just spent time discussing Sergio’s most recent review.”

“The thing that we found . . . in our business, and I think for most businesses, you have to have better ideas than other people. That’s basically what it comes down to.”

“To resist our tendencies to make right or true, that which is nearly familiar, and wrong or false, that which is only strange.”

“Until this current traumatic hospitalization, Cathy hadn’t realized the fear she was carrying around, how burdened she was by it, and how that fear kept her in a mode where she had to continuously prove her value to others and herself.”

“We all know that change is hard, but we don’t know enough about why it is so hard and what we can do about it.”

“We may feel less a part of a cohesive society today not so much because of all the outrageous behavior we see reported in our media but because we are deprived of an accompanying sense of collective offense in response to the outrageous behavior.”

“What the eye sees better the heart feels more deeply.”

“When we are working on truly adaptive goals—ones that require us to develop our mindsets—we must continually convert what we learn from behavioral changes into changes in our mindsets.”

Here is a lecture by Robert Kegan as he discusses his theory of adult meaning making and how it has influenced theory across many disciplines.

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