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6 Levels Model of Personal Develoment

Visual representation of the HPM Exa-leadership model: Where our Energies come from. Implications for Personal Development and Performance.

Personal Development is a field of interest also for modern holistic approaches to human performance. The Italian researcher Daniele Trevisani identified a "6-Factors Model of Personal Development" in which both "tangible" and "intangible" variables are connected.

The model regards how the single “cells” work, both separately and together, to generate the highest Human achievements.

The main contents of the six "cells" start with the ground level of tangible bodily energies up to the spiritual level of intangible values.

For a better comprehension of the implications for Personal Development and Performance, it will be useful to have a graphic representation of the 6-Vectors Model of Personal Development and Performance.



Quote from Daniele Trevisani:

"The HPM Exa-Leadership Model deals with Self Expression but is really and deeply connected to Leadership and overall Human Resources or People Operations, since only a clear understanding of how Humans can perform (or instead be unproductive at low energy levels) generates effective leadership.

Leadership is the ability to connect people with one or more deep meanings. It is the ability to connect people with the overall sense and life-purpose of an organization.

To generate real and positive leadership we can “anchor” our work to one or more of the 6 semiotic cells.

“Entering” in this Six-Cells Model requires first an overall view, and later the analysis of how the single “cells” work, both separately and together, to generate the highest Human achievements.

The work on the complexity of these “cells” is crucial. When we are able to generate an advance on any of these areas, we are boosting and empowering a portion of the hidden Human Potential.

Here we give a brief summary of what are the main contents of the six "cells".

1.     The Psycho-energetic substrate. This “cell” regards the level and meanings of mental energies, the pure motivational energies that individuals are able to generate, mental states that become very practical mental skills, such as focusing, attention, mental shape, ability to find the right mental approach, freedom from anxiety, freedom from fear. Mental energies determine tactical awareness, clean perception, sensing and intuition, and good strategic reasoning.

2.     The Bio-Energetic substrate. This cell regard the beliefs and importance attributed to physical wellbeing, the time devoted to it, the level of physical energies (organic energies) at which a person can arrive. This “cell” regards the biology of human beings, their body, the well-functioning of organism, and of its bodily districts; we can say that any soul without a body will just fluctuate, and the body becomes crucial as a vehicle for achieving our goals. The better our body works, the better the overall health and the higher the overall energies will be. Beyond a general and overall attention to the body, that is always a good and healthy habit, every role in life and every challenge poses requests that should be analyzed seriously and possibly met, such as improving cardio for athletes, or strength, or recovery time and resting, eating style, and so on.

3.     The Micro-Skills substrate: this “cell” regards the importance and meaning attributed to the details of any performance, the smallest fine points of how actions are put together to generate a performance, up to the details of the thinking process. Every action can be divided into a “chain of actions” that can be improved. Every decision or mental elaboration can be analyzed as a sequence of more subtle mental steps. If we are able to focus on these steps, better actions and better thought processes will derive, and the overall energy, again will increase.

4.     The Macro-Skills substrate: this “cell” regards the importance and meaning attributed to a “holistic” preparation, holistic knowledge and a wide spectrum of skills. It includes all the skills that we possess, all the range of qualities that we are able to master, and their level of mastery; it also includes the ability to connect our skills with the environment that surrounds us, perceive how it is changing and what new skills we must acquire to be effective in the environment where we must operate. When we feel that our skills are greater than the goal we can jump into any challenge. When we feel that we are powerless, even an ant will scare us. The preparation for the Micro-Skills also regard the “Training for the Unexpected”, face uncertainty, the ability to learn always new skills, to become learning machines that will love to know and research, and living as life-long learners with a passion for learning.

5.     The Projects and Goal-Setting Substrate: this “cell” regards the importance and meaning attributed to the “practical aspects” of  a goal, the ability to transfer an unshaped will or “desire” into a well shaped and defined project. We can have a project against anxiety, a project for a specific sports match, a marketing project, a project for a bridge, or for an event. Any project can be aimed at something or against something that becomes tangible. This “cell” therefore regards the skills to transform a desire into action, operational planning and goal setting. Everything in this cell can be learned and trained.

6.     The Spiritual Substrate of Personal Development: Degree of Connection with a Vision, inspiring principles, Values, and Life-Purposes. This cell regards the important and meaning attributed to a spiritual life, to higher values, life-purposes and principles, the internal will of generating a contribution for real and not only in public speaking. Any project or idea can be “full” or “empty” depending on how it relates with our internal values, moral principles, our dreams, and our deepest fears. Human Potential derives its highest form of energies in feeling a connection of our action with strong life-meanings. It requires sense and deep missions. This cell regards the most intangible spiritual and existential flow of energy. The content of this cell is very “culturally dependent” (meaning that every culture brings in a given set of values), but we can learn fantastic tools of “Reverse Engineering”. Memetic Analysis, Means-End Chains, and several other tools are there to help our journey towards Full Potential.

Each of these states, or "cells" may have a certain level of "Power", be "full", "abundant", well cultivated, well exercised, or be instead "empty", deprived, weakened, impoverished, or even neglected and abused, malnourished, abandoned.

When we say “empty” in a Semiotic term, we really refer much more to a condition of “emptiness of meaning”, rather than physical emptiness.

If you see fat leaders, that clearly show, externally with their body, an internal lack of real meaning in the bioenergetics cell. That means lack of perceived importance of physical conditioning, and the continues procrastination of physical activity “due to other concomitant commitments”.

I have seen any kind of people and leaders in my life, from Army Generals to Business Leaders, across any sector, and found that the amount of physical activity done had nothing to do with their rank or other concomitant activities. It was a choice generated by deep internal beliefs.

 Other leaders show very clear absence of meaning in the cell of “higher values” (cell 6), and speculate on drugs that harm people’s health, or could sell landmines made that target kids (landmines that look like toys) without having any trouble sleeping at night, while they should not sleep at all but rather die before committing other crimes against humanity.

The overall energy of the person gets enormous benefits from “injections” of energies, skills and knowledge into the single cells. And as any fuel, it must be the good and right fuel, not whatever fills the tank.

In turn-every “Injection” resonates into the entire system shaking it and liberating further energies.

All the 6 Cells of the Exa-Leadership Model do communicate with each other and are open systems.

From a good work on each cell, we can see very tangible effects: improved mood, anxiety and depression quickly and progressively vanishing, and higher results, performance, ability to decide, to be effective and produce positive change in the Self and in others.

Human results depend on the energetic state of the different human systems, the ability to cultivate and nurture them, and - at the very foundation of all work - we have the sacred decision to work on them, the decision that “it’s my turn to work on myself”.

Local status and the interaction between the various "cells" can produce the maximum of the potential or provide negative synergies, damages and malfunctions that prevent human beings to express themselves, when we do not take care of our “internal engines”.

Personal resources and the individual potential can be "read" but also amplified through some serious work on the six areas.

Any trip starts with a small step, and the decision to start to work on our “internal engines” and cultivate our best inner energies, getting rid of any pointless burden, is already a huge, gigantic forward step."


Source: Trevisani, Daniele  (2015). Semiotics for Leaders. The Exa-Leadership Model for Leadership and Human Potential Development, Medialab Research Publishing, Ferrara. ISBN: 978-1-329-59007-6.

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Dr. Daniele Trevisani International Trainer, International Coach, International Speaker, Sports Coaching, Life Coaching, Business Coaching. Mail Address

International Trainer, International Coach, International Speaker Dr. Daniele Trevisani, Sports Coaching, Life Coaching, Business CoachingMarketing Research & ConsultingConsultants in Marketing and CommunicationCommunication and Marketing Training, Human Resources TrainingHuman Potential, Resources Development, Counseling Specialist in Europe

Dr. Daniele Trevisani - Master of Arts in Mass Communication, University of Florida (USA) - Fulbright Scholar, Intercultural Communication, American University of Washington, DC (USA) - Certified Advanced Coach by STEP™ - Certified Counselor by STEP™ - Certified Coaching Supervisor by STEP™ - Certified Counseling Supervisor by STEP™ - Master Trainer HPM™ Human Potential Method - Master Trainer ALM™ Business Coaching Method - Master Trainer HPM™ Intercultural Communication Method

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I Master Metodo HPM (Sviluppo manageriale del potenziale personale) e Metodo ALM (Master privato in Marketing Management) condotti direttamente dal Dott. Daniele Trevisani

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