Download Episode Hereright click link and select “Save Link As…”

In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the Graves Model of development created by Clare Graves.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Developed by Clare Graves, the Graves Model focuses on Self-Actualization.
  • After studying Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Clare asked himself, what does Self Actualization mean and happens when we self-actualize?
  • He asked a group of people for over 50 years – ‘how would you define a healthy person? He noticed that their responses show a pattern. People were going on different stages of growth and development. He saw a model emerging that both worked on a micro and macro level.
  1. Beige – Survival Level. Everything is about me and my personal survival. Examples – birth to 4 years old, people who are homeless and have little sensitivity to other people, feral children.
  2. Purple Tribal Level. More about our survival as a tribe. Micro – this is where a toddler starts to identify survival as a family/group. Macro – Focused on a group. It’s important not to be kicked out of the tribe. Spiritual development can be observed (how gods impact us as humans, magical thinking).
  3. Red – Warlord. 15,000 – 20,000 years ago. When one or two people stand out from the rest of the group, they begin to get a lot of attention and are regarded as leaders, they move up to level 3. Goes back about getting ‘me’ again. This is where the rebellious years come. Example – Teens get into fights for no reason. They assume that they know everything and everybody else is halfwit. People learn how to stand-up for themselves. They don’t really believe that they have any right.
  4. Blue – Civilization. Started about 5,000 – 8,000 years ago. We learn to identify something bigger than us. When territory boundaries are created. Law and rule are made. If we all live under certain rules, we live in a better society. Civilizations create armies and better force. Because everything is in order, we’re seeing relationships between tribes that create institutions and civilizations. Example – World War II.
  5. Orange – Achievement. Leaders begin to emerge. Developed 150 – 200 years ago. Leaders see resources as limitless, something they can manipulate and master. This is where you find a lot of capitalism. Example – anybody who’s going through any massive achievement. We learn that there’s no reason to limit our selves. Many people keep themselves from going to this level casting limitations on themselves. Science and technology is very important for individuals who are in this level.
  6. Green – Ecology. 20-50 years ago. Starts to take in a much bigger territory.These are individuals who have met their goals. Example – Bill Gates. They have a more ecological perspective.They start to think in terms of community and how they can give back to the world. They’re more concerned about the impact on a holistic manner. They learn how to give back. The idea of tolerance is introduced. Individuals in this level find it very challenging to accomplish their mission because they’re busy listening to everyone’s perspectives.
  7. Yellow – Thought Leader – A person who has realized that not every voices needs to give the exact same honour. They are able to communicate with individuals in different levels in order to get what they want in a faster and more productive way.
  • Every transition from one level to the next (on a macro level) has been bloody.
  • 2 reasons why we go to the next level:
  1. When the problems we’re facing can’t be solved by our current level so we’re forced to go to the next level.
  2. When they have fully explored their current level and are not sure what to do.
  • The more we go up the level, the more we see things get done on the planet, the less warfare we see in a global level.
  • We as individuals have a lot to gain by going up these levels. Even though it causes trauma during transition, our consciousness open up and we see a bigger picture.
  • Growth does lead to happiness. People are happier when they are growing.
  • If you are interested in the Graves model and understanding where you fit and the implications of it in your life, please feel free to check-out our Your Personality: Owner’s Manual Program.

Exercises we recommend in this podcast about the Graves Model:

Take a piece of paper and draw a vertical line going up and down. Draw 7 horizontal lines (to create 8 horizontal sections) going up. Number each box beginning at the bottom (first little box on the left hand corner) on ascending order (1-8) and use the space adjacent to each number to jot down a few notes and learning points discussed on this podcast.

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the Graves Model of development created by Clare Graves. #gravesmodel #spiraldynamics

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Subscribe with iTunes
Non iTunes Link
Download The Android App
Subscribe on Soundcloud
Subscribe with Stitcher

If you like the podcast and want to help us out in return, please leave an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes immensely! We would be eternally grateful!

Want to learn more?

Discover Your Personal Genius


We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…


  • Laurie J Rice
    • Laurie J Rice
    • April 19, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    I’m hooked in your podcast. Discovered it about 6 months ago, as I was delving further into EI work. Can you recommend I place to find out what “color” one is on the Grave’s Model? Looked into your Owners Manual that was recommended at the end of the podcast but it doesn’t seem to be available any longer. I have taken 2 online tests but not sure they are “accurate” or “reliable” – is there such a thing?
    Thanks so much … loving every minute of your podcast!!

  • Joseph Stein
    • Joseph Stein
    • May 6, 2019 at 6:38 am

    I listened to this podcast slowly and I have to say that you really contradicted yourselves. You started off by saying that one cannot say that any level is better than any other level. You then finished by saying that the higher levels are the most developed.

    From my perspective, I’ve learned that people need to first focus on themselves, then their families, then their communities. This means that people who are too obsessed with their layer can sometimes forget that their are lower layers, closer to their lives over which they can have much more control and influence.

    A large part of changing the world means changing people which people resist. Do you really think that you can fight against the world? What makes you so special? What gives you the right to change people? Change small things first.

  • Myra Shelley
    • Myra Shelley
    • August 20, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I’m new to Personality Hacker, and I’ve been listening to the podcasts from the beginning. This morning I was listening to this one and I had a thought that may not even be relevant, but I’m enjoying thinking about it. I was struck by level one being about the “me” phase of life, but I’m wondering if it could more accurately be described as a “oneness” phase. Infants are born totally dependent and unable to separate themselves from the “minds” of those around them, but they’re quickly enculturated and learn to believe in separation. This scatters that state of oneness, or wholeness, that we then spend the rest of our lives trying to recreate so we can get back to it. I think it would be fun to sort of identify infancy as a state of oneness and see what we see. One of my first thoughts is about the idea that, “What’s best for me is best for everyone,” which could describe the mind of an infant/toddler, but if that belief comes from a state of oneness where there is no separation, wouldn’t this be a true statement? Of course, what’s “best for me” would have to come from a state of innocence (which is the state we’re born into), and it could get pretty bad if we thought we knew what was best for everyone from a state of separation. Clearly we don’t. But when we know what’s truly best for our own most authentic selves, that statement becomes true again, doesn’t it?

  • FriendlySpock
    • FriendlySpock
    • March 27, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Hi there! Love your podcast! I came to this link from episode 156.
    Have you ever thought of correlating this with enneagram’s levels of development? For anyone who doesn’t know this and is reading, every enneagram type has a different level in personal development. Where level ones are free of their fear (Every enneagram type has a specific core fear) and use their strengths for compassionate gains. Where level nine can be so bad that people can have mental illnesses, be suicidal or even commit great evil acts.

    I read that level 3 (the start of the healthy levels) is where the need to help others with their strengths lie. 4s would share to others their creativity and uniqueness for others. 8s would help others with their decisiveness, bravery and ability to stand up to themselves.

    I actually found myself to level 3 recently as a type 5 INTP. Which tends to produce someone who wants to share their knowledge to others. I find myself trying to practice explaining information to myself so I can teach others like when I read really complicated books. I’m starting to have the urge to share what I’ve learned and thought about in random forums rather than lurking all the time. And moving up from the average levels in level 4 seems to have graduated me to the Graves model level 6 – ecology. I can deeply relate to model levels of 5 and 6 really but not like I’m a rich billionaire but in my own personal development and goals in learning out of curiosity.

    I felt so excited I stayed up late to listen to this. But now I’m going to sleep. I’ll probably be listening to the rest of the Graves Model podcast tomorrow. Well, thanks guys, for making this accessible. When I googled the Grave Model, I didn’t see much online.

    Might I ask for a podcast view on correlations of the Grave model with Mbti and/or enneagram? That would be awesome.

  • Angela Cardwell
    • Angela Cardwell
    • January 28, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I just had the pleasure of listening to this podcast. It is so timely right now with everything that is going on with our politics in this nation. I bet this is eery to you how accurate it is now and how history repeats itself. Seems like just yesterday we, as a country were strolling along pathway to Graves 6 when, who should appear but Donald Trump….hmmmmm. I’m guessing he is a 4. He is playing on the fear and anxiety of all the other 4’s. Looks like the 6’s are fighting back. I hope this isn’t too bloody. #revolution #Graves6 #socialevolution

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.