Beena Sharma is one of the leading practitioners in the field of adult integral human development, specifically in mapping and assessing the levels of adult maturity.

Beena has founded The Center for Leadership Maturity, in collaboration with Susanne Cook-Greuter, internationally known authority on adult development. Beena and Susanne have been working together since 2004. They work with individuals, teams, and organizations to facilitate vertical adult development. She is also a dear friend, who I have known and worked with for over 10 years. Beena brings to her work the rigor of a practitioner-scientist focused on good theory, concrete evidence, robust research and lived experience. She combines that with the reverence of a true spiritual practitioner who is herself in awe of the dynamics and the miracle of human growth.

In this podcast, Beena and I discuss what she and her team are learning about how adults grow through the predictable stages of adult development while still remaining true to their own journey. We examine how we can consciously participate in our own evolution and growth in a way that creates a more fulfilling, healthy, conscious and fruitful life. I particularly appreciate Beena’s focus on mapping the later, Integral stages of development and how they show up in herself and people she works with. She offers some insights on how we can actually grow to those later reaches of maturity while also appreciating the triumph of where we have already arrived. Beena and I also touch on one of the essential tools of the developmental journey, that of working with polarities – the interdependent and seemingly opposite qualities we continually encounter on our path – and how we can begin to meaningfully navigate those qualities and paradoxes in an increasing profound way.

Beena, as you will hear, is actively engaged with advancing both the theory and practice of vertical development in practical, profound and creative ways. For those of us who fancy ourselves as Integral practitioners, Beena provides illuminating insight into the territory that we aspire to explore and ultimately inhabit. If you are interested in engaging with Vertical Development, you can contact Beena Sharma at


About Beena Sharma
President, Center for Leadership Maturity

Beena is the President of the Center for Leadership Maturity (CLM), an enterprise she co-founded with Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter, committed to facilitating vertical development in individuals, teams and organizations. Partnering with Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter since 2004, Beena leads a community of Leadership Maturity Coaches, who use the MAP (Maturity Assessment for Professionals) and CLM’s well-developed Leadership Maturity Coaching process to support their clients worldwide.

The above graphic shows the new stage names in the Leadership Maturity Framework. (After many years of deliberation these names were introduced; among other things they help reduce the possibility of labeling others – for example, as an ‘Expert’ or ‘Achiever’).

Beena has also worked deeply with Dr. Barry Johnson over the past 16 years in learning, teaching, applying and embodying Polarity Wisdom, which she is certified in at the Mastery level. The Polarity perspective and tool-kit is a significant body of work that Beena integrates with ego development theory. Beena’s unique contribution has been to expand on the idea that working with Polarity WisdomTM is a high leverage approach to catalyze the move from conventional to post-conventional levels of development. Beena has consistently used Polarities in systemic change and culture development efforts in large organizations.

Beena is actively working with Sidra Stone using Voice Dialogue for her own development, and developing her ideas about the relationship between Hal and Sidra Stone’s aware ego theory and Cook-Greuter’s ego development theory. She also practices Clean Language (symbolic modeling) as a modality to facilitate both horizontal and vertical development in her coaching clients.

Beena is a certified Holacracy Practitioner, bringing additional value to Leadership development through integrating maturity and polarity theories in concert with Holacracy. Beena has partnered with Dr. Robert Kegan in delivering consulting assignments to international clients and also trained with him in the Immunity to Change methodology (ITC). As a resource in the Polarity Mastery community, Beena has uniquely contributed to the understanding of the relationship between Polarities and the ITC process in the Coaching and Leader Development process. She is trained in RTSC (Real-Time Strategic Change) methodologies and continues to work with the practice in partnership with its author, Robert W Jacobs. She is a certified Action Learning Team Coach and has led several projects in Leadership Development using Action Reflection Learning (ARL™) as an associate of Ernie Turner and Dr. Isabel Rimanoczy, authors of Action Reflection Learning.

Beena has led efforts as an international consultant for leading private sector companies and governmental agencies in the US, Europe, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, UAE and in India. She has been recognized for her achievements in successfully conceptualizing, developing and delivering systemic Leadership Development efforts. In her role as Project Director faculty of Notre Dame University, Beena designed and delivered the W.E.L.D (Whole System Executive Leadership Development) program for a branch of the US Navy, which was chosen as one of the six most innovative in executive education worldwide by the International University’s Consortium for Executive Education in 2007. This project was also the recipient of the 2008 Under-Secretary of Defense Silver Award for excellence in Learning and Development, an award recognizing exceptional learning efforts and achievement of significant results within the US government.

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