Integrity, Emotional Maturity, and Leadership: From Crazy To Creative in Corporate America with Dr. Ed Morler
Money, Mission and Meaning
Mark Michael Lewis

Episode 3 - Integrity, Emotional Maturity, and Leadership: From Crazy To Creative in Corporate America with Dr. Ed Morler

Integrity is often considered a Pollyanna moral issue that is at odds with business success. This week we explore the practical necessity of integrity in creating businesses that thrive, with Ed Morler, author of The Leadership Integrity Challenge. Join us as we discuss his 30 plus years of practical experience working with businesses and the provocative model he uses to assist them to achieve greatness. Learn how he harnessed the craziness he found throughout corporate America to create a new understanding you can use to fuel your own business success and fulfillment. We examine how to recognize and respond to 6 levels of emotional maturity in your organization, and their impact on your company culture. As we conclude, he reveals the most important and demanding choices you can make to powerfully propel your company into excellence.



Integrity, Emotional Maturity, and Leadership: From Crazy To Creative in Corporate America
with Dr. Ed Morler

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Mark Lewis:  Welcome, to Money, Mission and Meaning – Passionate Work, Purpose at Play.  Where we explore how we can integrate our personal values and our professional skills to create pleasure and profit in the business of life.

I’m your host, Mark Michael Lewis, CEO of Smart Energy Enterprises Inc. or See Inc.  A Beautiful Future Now.

Today’s show focuses on the importance of integrity from a practical point of view in terms of how you and your company can get the job done and make a profit and make a positive contribution to the world.

Our guest today is Dr. Ed Morler, Ph.D., MBA, corporate trainer, speaker and the author of the no holds barred book, “The Leadership Integrity Challenge – Assessing and Facilitating Emotional Maturity”.

Dr. Ed Morler:  When we are brave enough to share our feelings and act on our feelings and use those feelings and share them with other people and communicate even if we are a little bit afraid a little bit more, that synergy has such an incredibly powerful and positive impact that we literally can change the world.

When I do some consulting work, in 15 minutes, if I run across a situation by asking some questions and ferreting out certain things, I can start predicting behavior that amazes people.  It’s not because I am particularly bright or anything else.  It’s just that this is a very powerful and a useful model to do that.

[Music ends]

Mark Lewis:  So welcome Ed.  It’s great to have you on our show.

Dr. Ed Morler:  My pleasure.

Mark Lewis:  Today I want to talk to you about a number of things including the importance of emotional maturity of employees and how we can assess that as well as the critical nature of integrity and responsibility, and some hard-hitting, practical advice on how we can directly and powerfully enhance the quality of our work environment and the productivity of our teams.

First, you’ve been working with businesses to improve their processes and productivity for several decades now.  How is it that you got started studying and teaching the practical importance of integrity in the workplace?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Well early on in my career, I was offered an opportunity to handle something that a lot of people had failed at handling.  They gave me pretty much carte blanche to handle it.  They told me I could probably spend the rest of my life doing it. 

I wound up being very fortunate through a bunch of circumstances.  I could do a cost-benefit analysis.  I was pretty good at organization.  I wound up handling this thing to the extent of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization.  I did it in a short period of time, actually in about six months.

I got a lot of pats on the back.  Interestingly enough, to me, I was surprised I got a lot of knives between the shoulder blades.  I said this is crazy.  I can do those cost-benefit analyses and do some good organization but I don’t understand crazy.

So I took some courses with the intention of finding out about this crazy stuff.  Why are people acting so dysfunctionally when things are going well and they should be happy and successful?  What’s going on?

That started the whole process of looking into human dynamics and why people are motivated the way they are.

Mark Lewis:  And through the years you’ve taken a number of courses.  You ended up getting your Ph.D. and your MBA.  How did that come about?

Dr. Ed Morler:  I had the MBA before this incident I’m telling you about.  That’s how I even got into the field of organizational stuff.  Getting the Ph.D. was when I was trying to find out what caused all these crazy symptoms.  Going through that process, it was mainly and that’s where most people address.  They address the symptoms.

They don’t like the symptoms, so they try to suppress them either through drugs or some kind of activity.  It really doesn’t handle the cause.  In fact, most of the courses out there in the world and most of the programs are how can we suppress the symptoms, medically and every which way?

So basically I just took so many courses that dealt with symptoms that I wound up getting a doctorate sort of by accident.  I didn’t really get to really understanding the causes.

That was 35 years ago.  Since then I have been looking at everything you can think of from every management and psych class, from organizational development etc. to what are the causal factors that create these symptoms that we seem to have so much attention on and that keep repeating dysfunctionally.

Mark Lewis:  I read your book, “The Leadership Integrity Challenge” and it seems that you have brought together the threads of the actual causal relationships that you have been discovering over the last 35 years.

When you talk about the craziness and the politicking that you found in business across the country, in the book you break it down into various levels of what you call emotional maturity.  I found this fascinating and helpful but also a bit confronting and provocative.  Could you give a quick summary of the levels of emotional maturity you’re talking about, and perhaps why people are often hesitant to label someone as more mature than another?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Yes I’ll be glad to.  Well first of all, let me just comment that most people kind of have these attitudes or ideas that there are certain good emotions and there are certain bad emotions.  Fear is a bad emotion and anger is not a good one and cheerful is much better.

But emotions are themselves neutral.  They are not good or bad.  We place all those subjective evaluations on them.  And we tend to get caught in our own evaluations of what emotions are.  Emotions are inherently just messages from ourselves, from our unconscious about how well we are doing in life. 

They are messages that we could get and say, “How do we need to respond, to move into being more responsive, i.e. being more responsible in dealing with and making life better for ourselves and those in our environment?”

So when we get overwhelmed and we don’t listen to those messages, we tend to stick in some of these emotions and we get the negative side of that. 

Now real emotions have both positive and negative qualities.  Fear – what’s the positive side of fear, for example?  It says, “Hey, we’re in new territory.  We need to pause here for a second and find out what’s going on because we don’t know this new territory.  We don’t know which snakes are poisonous or not.”  Et cetera.

So they just give us messages.  Grief – what’s the positive side of grief?  It’s an opportunity to feel the depth of compassion for a being that was very important to us.  So it develops compassion.  If we didn’t have those messages we wouldn’t have the resilience and the richness and the potential responsiveness to deal with a lot of nuances of life.

Mark Lewis:  One of the quotes that I like to say is that “Life run by emotion is chaotic and destructive, but without feeling the emotions that are actually there is dry and tasteless.” 

Dr. Ed Morler:  That’s a good one.  I’ll have to get that one from you.  I’ll put it in my next book.

Mark Lewis:  [laughs] Great!  Now with those different emotions - you are saying emotions just are and the question is are we going to feel them, if we don’t feel them and if we get stuck in them, it leads to what you call different emotional levels of maturity.

Could you go through and explain what those emotional levels are and how they relate to one another?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Sure.  There basically is a hierarchy of emotions that tell us how well we are doing as I mentioned before.  In looking at these ranges of emotions and at the ranges of how well they are giving us that message of how well we are basically surviving in life and messages of what we can do to make it better and get through and have our learning experience and grow and mature.

On the very bottom of that level we are totally overwhelmed.  We are feeling that there is nothing we can do about it.  We think why bother and we are feeling hopeless.  We are despairing and caught in our losses.  It’s all about us.  It’s very self-centered, very narrow focused and very victimy.  In fact, I call that level, The Victim.

But as we get a little bit stronger, as we move towards getting our attention away from just totally us and how there is nothing we can do about it, we start looking out into this new arena.  That’s a whole new arena that we don’t know anything about.  It’s actually called fear.  But fear is actually a more expansive emotion in that it is moving from just our self-centered self to that broader something out there.  We are aware of the boogieman that we were not even aware of before.

So from that point, as we continue to get a little bit stronger and a little bit more able to deal with life, now we are going to take some action to handle the boogeyman out there.  But we are still pretty close to fear, so we don’t want to be too overt about it because that could still be perceived to be dangerous.  So we do it covertly.  This is the level of passive aggressive behavior with the covert hostility and all this devious stuff.  It’s the gamesmanship you get when you see people who operate in business or other places who aren’t very secure.  They are trying to cover up their insecurity by putting you down.  That’s the level of what I call The Manipulator.

Mark Lewis:  So it starts off, at the lowest level you’re in a state of apathy, depression and hopelessness.  And then it’s actually a step up into fear.

Dr. Ed Morler:  The step up into the next level is a step up into manipulative behavior.  But it’s actually trying to take some action.  It’s still destructive.  It’s still not a very helpful but it’s actually in the direction in which you want to be moving. 

Growth is about moving up the scale.  Maturity is about moving up the scale.  We are becoming more proactive, more and more responsible.  We need to go through this.  The way out is the way through.  You can’t just drop.  Some people have, for some reason, apathy and are about to commit suicide and while they’re doing all this people tell them life is wonderful and can’t you see the flowers growing out there.

No they can’t because their attention is so stuck where they are.  They need to go through this phase.  In fact, leadership is really about assessing where somebody is on this scale, understanding the characteristics and behaviors and the attitudes associated with whatever, relating to them in a way that is real to them. 

But leadership is drawing them to the next higher level.  And as they get up to the next higher level, we keep that process going to where they can get into a very productive level.

Mark Lewis:  OK, so we can say the lowest level is apathy.  And then a step up is in to fear, where we start to look at the outside world and we start to actually take action to do something about it but we are still in fear so we are doing a more covert passive aggressive action.  What comes after that?

Dr. Ed Morler:  What comes of that is, as we get stronger we are a little braver and we are a little stronger but we still view the world as hostile.  But we are willing to be overt in that hostility and that’s where anger and antagonism come into play.

That’s not too socially acceptable, but if you observe them moving from an apathetic or hopeless state into fear, and then into covert behavior, and into more willing to be overt at least the person is moving in the right direction.  They may not be very comfortable.  This is the level of the intimidator or of the opposer, of the aggressor type personality.  It has a certain workability.  Ultimately it is destructive, but the collateral damage is always more destructive than it is constructive.

Mark Lewis:  Right.  OK so after you’ve moved from apathy into fear into covert passive aggressive behavior into actual overt hostility, where you recognize there is a problem but the way you deal with it is to treat the world as hostile, where do you go from there?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Well as you move from the generalized hostility, which is anger – these are people that talk in terms of ‘you always, never’ and it’s a blaming energy – as they move into the more focused aspects of that hostility which is defined as antagonism.  It’s the focused hostility rather than the anger of generalized hostility; they get to see more specifics of what really needs to be done.

If they are listened to, and they take action in that direction and things get happening, they actually move out of their hostility, initially into a neutral state.    But as they continue to grow, you will find they have more and more interest on expanding the horizon and to start expanding the activities and the options, and just keep expanding.  That gets more and more exciting.  And if they keep on that path, and they are open and willing to look at new things, life becomes much richer and exciting and fulfilling.

Like Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss”, this is where bliss is, up here.  People are no longer fighting the monsters.  They are into their creative and innovative modes.   This is where real productivity and real morale is, and happiness and joy.  Everything else below that is kind of struggling to get there.

Mark Lewis:  Right, so when we are in the more destructive emotions of apathy and then increasing into fear, which I still find fascinating, and then increasing into covert and then overt anger – which actually expands our awareness and has us be more effective in the world and also in a sense makes us easier to deal with because we are moving. 

Sometimes I like to say it is hard to steer a parked car.  When someone is actually speaking their mind, even if it is hostile, at least we know where they are.  And then we go into this neutral state where we are in comfort.  We have this freedom to look at what really excites us.  What are we enthusiastic about?

Dr. Ed Morler:  There you go.

Mark Lewis:  These are the upper levels.  Now we are about to take a short break and when we come back, I want to talk about what it is, that allows us to move from the lower levels.  We are in acute experiences of fear and anger and we can then confront that and move up into the higher levels of enthusiasm and integrity.  We’ll talk about that when we come back.

I’m Mark Michael Lewis.  I’m with Ed Morler. And we’ll be right back.

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Mark Lewis:  And we are back.  You’re listening to Money Mission and Meaning.  I’m Mark Michael Lewis and we’re speaking with Ed Morler about the practical value of integrity in our work and in our lives.

Now, before the break we were talking about the different levels of emotional maturity.  On the one hand, this could be just a bunch of more psychology, just interesting theory.  How is it that this becomes practical in assessing and facilitating the success of your organization?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Well what got me into this whole area is, I’m a businessman.  I was a business consultant before everything else.  And I was interested in how to get through the craziness and to be very practical.  How does this get down to brass tacks and bottom-line and all that nice stuff we can get overly caught in?

But it’s part of what makes the world go round.  And of all those models that I studied trying to figure out crazy, this is probably the most useful one I have ever run across.  And there are hundreds of management and psych models out there.

The reason this is so useful and practical is because we are talking about understanding what motivates people to do what they do.  It explains the whole dynamic of what is crazy.

Crazy is basically not responding, being reactive instead of responsive to what is going on right in front of you.  If you understand this hierarchy, and understand that you can see through the social façades a little bit faster, where people are, if you want to relate to them, if you want to be effective with them, if you want to communicate effectively with them, if you want to motivate them, whatever it is. 

Whether it’s a leadership sales situation, a customer relation situation, a family situation, dealing with your teenager, whatever it is, you need to understand where they are coming from.  Through the social façade and through their defenses you can see that a little bit faster.  This model helps to clarify and to differentiate where someone is in a social response and where they are actually coming from. 

So if you can do that a little bit faster, you are going to be able to relate to them.  The only way you can relate to somebody is to do it through their emotions.  If you match their emotions, you will be very real to them.  If you come across as honest and authentic and real, you can match their emotional level.

You need to know what that means.  Now if you match them you will be a buddy to them.  You will establish rapport.  But if you want to lead and motivate them, in a leadership situation, in a sales situation, in a customer relations situation, in an adult teenager situation, you need to be able to know where they are.  You still stay within their emotional framework, something they can relate to emotionally, but go slightly above them and that will tend to draw them up.

Why will it draw them up?  Simply because people want something more.  They want to feel more empowered.  When they are down that scale they feel less empowered.  So if you can relate to them at a level without going too far out of their emotional range - you can’t be enthusiastic, when they are in apathy.  That’s not going to relate.  You are going to be like from Mars.

So if you can stay within their emotional range, but slightly above them, they will tend to follow and you will be a motivating factor.  You come across as real to them.  Yet you are offering them in effect something that they want.  They want to feel better.  They want to feel more empowered.  They want to feel more in control of their lives, rather than less.

So that acts as a leadership and persuasive and a sales kind of function.  So it has many applications in all kinds of relationships that obviously can have bottom line, practical applications and do.

Mark Lewis:  Right.  So when you can assess where someone is at, and this model helps you do that, you communicate with them in such a way that you can systematically bring them out of the lower levels and into the higher levels of creativity and enthusiasm and integrity?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Right.  One of the things I believe I mentioned before, is that at each of these levels, you can predict that each emotional level is associated with – say there were certain people who have certain attitudes and behaviors that are associated with where they are emotionally.

By understanding these levels, and their characteristics, you wind up being able to understand and predict behavior that hasn’t even been observed yet.  You become quite astute.

When I do some consulting work, in 15 minutes, if I run across a situation by asking some questions and ferreting out certain things, I can start predicting behavior that amazes people.  It’s not because I am particularly bright or anything else.  It’s just that this is a very powerful and a useful model to do that and for understanding what is really going on through the social façade.

Mark Lewis:  Right, I like how you put it.  The crazy that is out there in organizations – the bigger the organization often the more crazy that is allowed because people don’t understand this model and they don’t know how to deal with it so they communicate in such a way that doesn’t lead people out of it, but rather has people more defensive.

Your model is really about how to bring sanity and productivity to the work environment.  When we are successful, and when we have people, who are actually responding to their more acute and destructive emotions of fear and apathy and anger, and they are dealing with them directly, they become more conscious of them.  They have more integrity around them.

What does it look like when someone is dealing from a position of integrity, when they are dealing constructively with their emotions?  We talked a little bit about what are the common behaviors of people in the lower states.  What about when you’re in the higher states of emotional maturity?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Well this is where what comes into play is what I call essence values.  This is the real core of who we are.  Lack of integrity and emotional maturity is when we are separated from these core values of being more loving, of generosity, caring and compassion and all those wonderful qualities that we talk about in many terms and seldom live in. 

So that is emotional maturity, when we are able to live and act in those things.  That is integrity.  So integrity is living essence values.  Integrity is being emotionally mature.  And being emotionally mature is living with integrity.

When somebody is not acting with integrity, is not being spontaneously responsible, that’s the definition for integrity, they just do the right thing because it is the right thing.  They are not caught in all the political shoulds and oughts and all those old things that we buy into and feel guilty about.  They are just doing it because it’s the right thing.

It may not be practical in some senses and in some considerations.  But they are doing it because it is the right thing.  These are the people that stand tall in the world.  Unfortunately they seem to be few and far between.

They are the Martin Luther Kings, the Gandhis, the Lincolns, and the Mandelas who do the right thing, sometimes at some practical costs.  But ultimately they are our great leaders and they have this capacity for incredible compassion and understanding and can see beyond the mundane and beyond the little social needs.  They are the social needs of being accepted and all that sort of stuff.

These are really indications, to the degree that they are in place of some kind of needy compensation for feeling insecure.

Mark Lewis:  One of the things that I have noticed is that when people can bring enthusiasm, when they can bring what they really care about to their work, not necessarily spiritual transcendent values like a Martin Luther King but just being present to what needs to happen in their job.  Recognizing what they can do to make a difference, that’s where the real creativity and genius of the various employees come together.

That’s when companies become really effective at pursuing their goals.  They are not being crazy.  They are not getting lost in the politics and the fear of the situation but rather seeing what needs to be done and taking action on it.  I’m wondering if you could talk about your experience in terms of people with integrity making a positive difference in the Company’s ability to react to the market conditions they find themselves in and really become profitable at times when, if they were being crazy, it would lead to the breakdown of the company.

Dr. Ed Morler:  Yeah, yeah, that’s critically important.  What’s interesting is the impact and the effects of that kind of a presence are so profound.  They have such an incredible impact. 

The reason is not only is creativity and innovation where that thrives and lives because the open communication is there.  When people are far enough away from fear that they are not being defensive, they are willing to share.  They realize that they are part of a whole.  They are not the isolated being.  They are part of a whole and everything they do has an impact.

If they put something out they are positive that affects the whole of which they are a part.  So there is a realization and a cognition and a love and an allowance that goes along with that and the corresponding actions.  When that happens, not only is the creativity and innovation there, but also the ability and the willingness to get things done and to contribute to that greater whole, which is the definition of power.  It’s the ability and willingness to act.

That’s an empowering process.  The reason it is so empowering is because as people communicate more they are away from fear, they are more willing to share their thoughts and ideas and not worry about being made wrong.  As they do, those ideas act synergistically.

So when you get one plus one equals more than two, it equals three, and you get one plus one plus one is more than, it’s an exponential expansion.  So we have to start thinking beyond ourselves and thinking, what is the impact, what do we need to do, what is the right thing to do, which is what all integrity is all about?  That comes from emotionally mature people.  People who are insecure get into their self-centered things and all that synergy is lost.

But when we are brave enough to share our feelings and act on our feelings and use those feelings and share them with other people and communicate, even if we are a little bit afraid, a little bit more, that synergy has such an incredibly powerful and positive impact that we literally can change the world.

Mark Lewis:  Right.  And when people are in the lower levels chronically, and they are not speaking the truth, they are working to fulfill their fears and protect themselves from the dangers of their experience around them they are not contributing positively to the organizational goals or of the goals of the organization in terms of the overall world and making the world a better place.

So this model of assessing and facilitating emotional maturity allows us to work with them, to meet them where they are at such that we can begin to tap into more of their creativity by bringing them out of fear.  And bring them into the reality that we are facing.

So one of the ideas I think about when I think about business is that when people are dealing with reality, when they are responding to what is actually happening rather than the craziness of running from fears and being covert and not telling the truth.  Then you have the possibility of actually solving the challenges that are on the table.

For an organization that’s going to mean a greater profitability.  It’s going to mean responding to the market.  For a community it’s going to mean making of the community a safer and more beautiful place that can support people.

Now, we are going to take a break in just a moment.  When we come back, I want to talk to Dr. Morler about some provocative and bold ideas that he promotes in terms of how you can deal with people who are chronically in the lower levels of emotional integrity, and what it can mean for your organization.

I’m Mark Michael Lewis and you are listening to Money Mission and Meaning.

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Mark Lewis:  And we are back. You are listening to Money Mission and Meaning – Passionate Work, Purpose at Play.  I’m Mark Michael Lewis and we are speaking with Dr. Ed Morler, author of ‘The Leadership Integrity Challenge’.

Now, Ed, in my experience one of the trickiest and most sensitive aspects of dealing with employees and colleagues is how to deal with people who are acting with less integrity or are lower on the emotional maturity scale.  Not just acutely, as a momentary lapse of reason when they are under conditions of extreme stress, but more chronically as an ongoing way of interaction within the company.

Your advice about this is bold and, I believe, important.  Could you give our listeners some practical advice about how to deal with this issue?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Well, I think it’s important to keep in mind that we are dealing with emotions and these messages of emotions where people are.  If people get stuck for whatever reason in these chronic lower levels, their behavior is ultimately more destructive to themselves and to their environment when it is.

So if you have an organization and are keeping those people that are chronically down there, you’re creating a negative energy situation which acts like an energy vampire situation.  It creates all sorts of problems.

This is something you don’t want in your organization.  You want to draw in people who have that higher, more integral energy that contributes more positively to the organization.

Now, that being said, we want to keep in mind that dysfunctional behavior is associated with a lower level of emotions.  When somebody is down there chronically, all that says is that they are really scared.  All dysfunctional behavior, no matter how despicable and obnoxious - we tend to want to kick them out and kill those people and hang them and do all sorts of nasty things because they did do nasty things.

But they did those nasty things out of their own insecurities.  Like I say, all dysfunctional behavior ultimately is a cry for love. People will end up doing things in the exact opposite of what is getting them what they really want, which is more love and affection and caring.

So, that being said, when somebody is making choices to stay at that chronic low-level, that is an individual choice.  They are making that choice, which is to some degree understandable because they have found that with this behavior at least they survive.  They may not feel very good, but at least they are surviving.  They tend to stick to the devil I know rather than some Devil that I don’t know and they stick in that behavior.  Ultimately that is a personal choice.

Real leadership is about to being able to understand and have empathy for the underlying need and the underlying concern and the underlying cry for love and balance that with boundaries of acceptable behavior.

So, we want to honor a person’s decision.  If somebody has made that decision to stay there, that’s ultimately their decision.  But it is not going to be in our space.  So any time we see chronically dysfunctional behavior, we can do our best.  We can help them move up the scale using what I call influencing level and moving them up as we described before.  But if they chronically keep moving back down there, that is ultimately their choice.  We are going to want to honor that.

But, we can’t allow it in our space because that negatively impinges on not only the company and profitability, but also all the people involved there.  And ultimately keeping people, who choose to make that, is ultimately a disservice to them for what it is doing is actually allowing.  And by allowing that to stay in place, it is reinforcing that behavior which is ultimately destructive to that individual.

So, another definition of tough love is saying, “Hey, you made that choice.  But I’m not going to support it because I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest including yours.  So you change, or you are out of here.”

Companies need to have managers that can one, differentiate that, can see that, have the skills to try to help the person help themselves, and if they don’t, if that person isn’t willing to make those changes, that is strong enough to move them out and to do it with compassion, legally.  But do it.  Otherwise you hear a lot of times that people are just making excuses like, “Well, I didn’t want to hurt their feelings”, and all sorts of things.  That’s just an excuse for covering up your own fear of –

Mark Lewis: Of doing the right thing.  And the right thing is to take care of and empower the organization to do what it needs to do in the world by allowing people to choose.  So your model of facilitating and assessing the emotional maturity allows you to assess where someone is at, communicate with them in such a way that you can meet them where they’re at.  You can offer them something slightly higher on the emotional scale so that they can move forward.

But if they chronically choose not to do that, to have the courage to do what is right for the organization and right for the person so that you’re not supporting them in that behavior, and to let them go.

Now, at the same time, I can imagine that being able to assess where someone is can be incredibly valuable in terms of who you hire for your organization.   Do you have anything to say about that?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Well, if you have the ability to sift through social façades and the person’s ability to write a wonderful resume and all that sort of stuff that we get a lot of pretense in. If you can have a little more skill, which the scale I believe does give people the tools to assess that better and make those choices to hire people on higher levels, you are going to have all this synergy and power that goes with higher-level behavior and less and less of what goes with lower level behavior.

And the effects can be, as I mentioned, these increases, because of the synergistic effect as you get more and more people there, are absolutely and exponentially astounding.  To me, it is a no-brainer that people should use this as a high priority tool to assess and hire and promote individuals in organizations.

Mark Lewis:  I want to say that when I was first encountering your work I was impressed at what I consider its bold premise that in this age in which many management gurus and authors on this subject are really trying to say that anybody can do anything and that what’s really important are the systems and the training and trying to empower people, that there are levels of emotional maturity. 

The more you can get real about that, the more you can face the facts about where someone is at, the more you can really look at what is going to be best for your organization and your organization’s ability to fulfill its mission in the world to provide the particular set of values that it provides to the world to make the world a better place.

Dr. Ed Morler:  Yes.  Organizations with a bottom-line emphasis don’t have any problems with terminating people who aren’t being productive by some numbers, real productivity and contribution.  They tend to be skewed though.

Since they are willing to do that, a more powerful measure – it’s interesting to me that in areas that really do measure much more broadly, real productivity, real contribution, they are reluctant to make these assessments in these softer areas.  They tend to overly rely on these hard numbers that don’t always reflect real contribution and tend to be abused and skewed and manipulated.

Mark Lewis:  Yes and I think it takes a particular type of courage, especially because when we have the experience of higher integrity, you were saying that we get into the essence values of compassion and love and caring and creativity and the desire for beauty.  We want to think the best of people.  We want to give them every chance and we want to empower them to make a difference.

And so, it takes a particular kind of courage when people are simply, for whatever reason, unwilling to step into that and unwilling to become responsible for where they are at.  And unwilling to make the tough choices in the service of the overall development and beauty of the company and the world that the company is in service of.

I want to appreciate you.  And thank you for being willing to step out and say that as clearly as you have in this book and in your talks and your work.  I think it is a message that really needs to be heard by the people who are willing to hear it.  It is by dealing with the reality that we are going to move the success of humanity forward.  I really want to appreciate the work that you are doing around that.

Dr. Ed Morler:  Thank you.

Mark Lewis:  Now we are almost out of time, but before you go, could you speak a bit about what it has meant for you personally in your own life and in your sense of contribution to the world to focus your work and your intention on really facilitating increased integrity through the work environment?

Dr. Ed Morler:  Well, the work environment has been a vehicle.  That’s where my attention was.  My career was in the business world, in consulting and training people in various areas.

And so it forced me to start looking at these fundamental dynamics.  Dealing with symptoms and suppressing symptoms and handling the problems that symptoms represent and very little on the causative side.  So once I started being frustrated with that, and as I mentioned earlier, looking for, what are the causative factors, and ferreting through which has the biggest impact on addressing causative factors, the initial area was business.  How can these have an impact on the bottom line?  Which it did.

But as I’ve gotten older and less concerned about those things about young people tend to be concerned about, me included, I started seeing the impact it had on my personal relationships, including with my wife.  And as you start having these realizations about how you have been caught and blind to what you have been caught in, including myself, where I have been caught, and the guilt stage you go through about, “Hmm, I can’t believe what a jerk I was and how inconsiderate I was and how hurtful sometimes I have been.”

You get more sensitive to that.  That’s going through that guilt stage.  But in that willingness to go through that, the impact on me personally is that I have a better relationship with my wife than I ever did mainly because I saw what I was doing and how I was limiting myself in my relationships and what I needed to do to move towards being more caring, loving, allowing and appreciative of the differences that I hadn’t been before.

So it’s made a tremendous impact on my life personally.  And that hopefully still translates into how I function in the business world.

Mark Lewis:  Absolutely.  Well thanks for coming on the show Ed, although I know there is a lot more we could get into.  You were fascinating and informative as always.  Thanks for being on the show.

Dr. Ed Morler:  My pleasure.  Thank you very much.  It’s been my pleasure.

Mark Lewis:  Great.  To learn more about Dr. Ed Morler’s work or to get a copy of his in-depth book, ‘The Leadership Integrity Challenge – Assessing and Facilitating Emotional Maturity’, go to our show page at for Ed’s bio and links to his site.

Or go to his website directly at

For text and transcripts of this show and other shows on the Personal Life Media Network, please visit our website at

I’m your host Mark Michael Lewis, CEO of Smart Energy Enterprises, See Inc. – A Beautiful Future Now.  And that brings us to the end of our show.  Thanks for listening and join us next week on Money Mission and Meaning – Passionate Work, Purpose at Play, as we interview cutting edge business leaders who are committed to making a positive difference in the world about the motivation and practical ideas to create pleasure and profit in the business of life.

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