Elegance is the word that author and coach Rob McNamara uses to refer to the experience of higher, post-autonomous stages of development, or what we might call integral consciousness. Listen as he talks to Jeff about embodying elegance in life, love and leadership.


Rob stopped by a couple months ago to catch up with Jeff and tell Daily Evolver listeners about a leadership course he produced with Ten Directions called Commanding Influence.

Full disclosure: Rob has alternately been my professor, trainer, therapist, sangha brother and friend over the years, and sometimes all of those things at once. I’ve experienced Rob’s loving guidance firsthand so I wasn’t surprised to find out that his conversation with Jeff went from interview to therapy session about halfway through!

In Rob’s own words, the overarching purpose and trajectory of his life has been “inspiring and facilitating…and demanding more elegance in the world.” Elegance is his way of describing higher stages of development, such as Kegan’s “Self-transforming Mind” (which many of us loosely refer to as “integral” and roughly corresponds to teal/turquoise in Ken Wilber’s altitudes of development–yellow in Spiral Dynamics).

Rob’s book, The Elegant Self, never explicitly defines elegance. It’s a finger pointing to the moon. That’s partly because elegance evades a fixed meaning in a developmental sense, and partly because research has demonstrated that purely conceptual narratives about development can erode happiness and well-being in the long term. So Rob shies away from conceptual teachings in favor of embodiment. Whether it’s a world-class athlete or a powerful executive, his coaching is meant to bring about a felt sense of these post-autonomous stages just beyond our habituated ways of constructing meaning.

There’s a bouyancy and a vibrance that is always holding us if we can get outside of the steel trap of our more autonomous mind. ~Rob McNamara

Rob is the coach’s coach. Listen as he explicates some of the core features that allow elegance to emerge in your life and relationships, and helps Jeff embrace life on the other side of laziness.