Warren Bennis: On Becoming a Leader

Erik Erikson sees our development as a series of resolved conflicts, one for each stage of life. he further postulates that until each conflict is resolved positively, we cannot move to the next stage or conflict:

Conflicts -> Resolutions

Blind trust vs. Suspicion -> Hope
Independence vs. Dependence -> Autonomy
Initiative vs. Imitation -> Purpose
Industry vs. Inferiority -> Competence
Identity vs. Confusion -> Integrity
Intimacy vs. Isolation -> Empathy
Generosity vs. Selfishness -> Maturity
Illusion vs. Delusion -> Wisdom

Our lives are made less of small truths and falsehoods than of great truths and the truths that are their opposites, which is why the resolution of these basic conflicts is so difficult sometimes. It's almost never a choice between a right and a wrong. For example, hope lies somewhere between blind trust and suspicion, but so does its opposite, despair. Once you have learned to reflect on your experiences until the resolution of your conflicts arises from within you , then you begin to develop your own perspective.

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