A good leader has to be working the whole spiral. – Jeff Salzman

Carl von Clausewitz famously said “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” From a developmental standpoint, Dr. Keith points out, it’s actually the other way around: politics is war by other means. The 1800 election between Adams and Jefferson was the first ever peaceful transition of power in a democracy. Since then, instead of waging war against those we disagree with, we wage political campaigns, (which is a huge improvement though we sometimes have to hold our noses to participate).

In this episode, Jeff and Dr. Keith look at the current presidential candidates through a psychological lense, and then turn it back on us. Some of the things they talk about:

  • The evolutionary roots of our quests for power
  • The difference between getting elected and governing
  • The stages of development from which our politicians are operating
  • What our choice of candidates says about us collectively
  • The tension between trusting “emergence”, and being angry and impatient about the rate of social change


My principle is that the person with the deepest consciousness in the room has the most responsibility for the room. That means that from a second tier altitude, we have more responsibility than anybody to influence the process in a prosocial, evolutionary way. –Dr. Keith Witt

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