8/31 – Anderson and Adams on Mastering Leadership and the Integral Self


“The Integral Self is both fierce and compassionate. Fierce compassion heals. David Whyte says: ‘The blade is so sharp it cuts things together, not apart’ (Whyte, 1997). The inner work of the Integral transformation is shadow work – work that integrates shadow elements into a larger, more inclusion construction of the self. This ‘cutting things together, not apart’ can only happen with searing honesty, self-compassion, and forgiveness. It is just this honest compassion for the inner conflict and unresolvedness within oneself that enables the leader to hold the conflicted visions and redundant polarities in the outer world with equanimity, tolerance, and compassionate forgiveness. This fiercely embodied compassionate leadership is now mature enough to call forth conflicting stakeholders and hold them in a dialogue with the level of tolerance, urgency, acceptance, resolve, forgiveness, humility, and courage that allows for higher-order systemic resolution to emerge. When leaders reach this stage, they are capable of orchestrating a high level of collective effectiveness and intelligence. As a result, new, sustainable future visions, as well as the systemic design innovations required to realize them, naturally emerge.”

Robert Anderson and William Adams, Mastering Leadership – An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results, 2016, p. 287.

David Whyte, No One Told Me. 1997, p. 57.


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