Leadership Emerging

Russ Volckmann

David V. Day, Michelle M. Harrison and Stanley M. Halpin. An Integrative Approach to Leader Development: Connecting Adult Development, Identity, and Expertise. New York: Routledge, 2008.

There will be an “in depth” review of this book in the January 2009 issue of Integral Leadership Review. Here I intend only to make you aware of this recently published work that I consider to be very significant. It is one of those rare books that bring an integral perspective to the subject of leading and leadership. Yet, it is not explicitly integral in the sense that it acknowledges integral theory in any of its manifestations. In fact the closest it comes to using the word is in the title (integrative) and in reference to integrity. Then, why do I suggest that it brings an integral perspective?

Well, for one (and this directly addresses one of my strong biases), the authors distinguish between leader and leading and being about individuals and leadership as being about collectives. I find this distinction to be compelling in differentiation individual and collective aspects of the social phenomenon of leadership.

Second, while drawing largely on the experience of leader development in the United States Army, they acknowledge the importance of incorporating a range of elements in a theory of leadership:

class=”blockquote”>Any comprehensive theory of leader development must be eclectic in its content. Moral development, values-based leadership, critical thinking skills, self-awareness, identity development, skills acquisition and expertise, adult learning, and mental models are all potentially important theoretical components, as are process-based concerns related to modeling personal trajectories of development, and ultimately, accelerating the leader development process in practice. Such an ambitious practical concern requires a solid basis in good theory and sound values.

Thus, there is attention to individual and collective, as well as adult development. Indeed, the authors reference several key figures in adult development in their work, including Fischer, Kegan, Kohlberg, Leovenger and Perry.

Third, they note, “the Army cannot afford a valueless theory of leader development.” While there is no mention of Graves, Beck or Cowan, their approach begs the perspectives brought by Spiral Dynamics.

Well, there is more, but I will refrain from going any deeper at this time. If your interest is in leader development this is an absolutely must read book!

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global leadership forecast coverAnn Howard, Ph.D. and Richard S. Wellins, Ph.D., Confidence in GLOBAL LEADERSHIP FORECAST 2008|2009: Overcoming the Shortfalls in Developing Leaders. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Development Dimensions International, Inc., 2008

This professional survey draws on thousands of HR and Management professionals to assess the effectiveness of leader development programs. Essentially, it suggests that to a large extent, leader development programs are not very effective. More about this in a bit. First, here is how they introduce the subject:

Leadership Today

For our survey a leader was defined as someone who manages the performance or responsibilities of other individuals in an organization. This simple definition describes an increasingly complex job, as technological innovations speed change and global competition stiffens. In the 21st century economy, leaders have shifted from responsibility to accountability, from national to multinational purviews, from constricted information to open access. They must satisfy and maintain the loyalty of more demanding customers and, at the same time, empower and engage an increasingly diverse workforce. Despite these difficult, new challenges, the core leadership skills haven’t changed, though their application has become more intricate.

My translation of this is that being a leader is equated with formal position within an organization. Furthermore, they do not make distinctions between skills for management and leading. Nor do they distinguish between skills programs aimed at enhancing management capabilities and those aimed at enhancing leader performance. Nor do they distinguish a relationship between individual performance and the life conditions of managers/leaders. That may be asking a lot of a report such as this and, to be fair, they do look at support systems in organizations.

Over thirteen thousand management respondents (at multiple levels in organizations from CEOs to first line supervisors) included:

  • Executive Leader in a policy-making position 1,180 10%
  • Senior-level Leader/Manager of mid-level leaders 3,242 27%
  • Mid-level Leader of first-level leaders 4,361 37%
  • First-level Supervisor, team leader, foreman, etc. 3,050 26%

77% of the companies surveyed were in North America and Asia with 9% in Australia and New Zealand and only 7% in Western Europe. The rest were in other regions.

Findings include a declining level of confidence in leaders/managers. From 1999 to 2007 the decline was from 47% to 35 %. The region with the greatest confidence was North America. One wonders what it is now with the impact of the financial crisis. Interestingly, the higher one moves in an organization the greater the confidence, suggesting that managers do not see the flaws in the system. Also, typically one third of individuals put into formal leader roles fail by not achieving objectives and/or by leaving their positions. Asia had the highest leader failure rate with 42 % and Western Europe had the lowest—28%. The reasons identified for failure ranked in the following order:

  • Leadership/Interpersonal skills
  • Strategic or visionary skills
  • Business management skills
  • Personality/Personal style
  • Technical/Professional knowledge
  • Experience
  • Motivational fit

The top two are the most frequently associated with success in leading and each was identified as correlating with 19% of the failures. Overall satisfaction with leader development programs is about 41% in 2007, down from a high among the reported years of 54% in 2003.

There are many comparisons of methodologies and support systems in relation to the effectiveness of leader development programs. One chart I found intriguing was a comparison of what CEOs identified as the most needed competencies with what another study, the Global Leadership Forecast, identified as the competencies that were respected:

leadership competencies

Notice the misalignment between rewards and what CEOs indicated were important.

For more information on this report, go to the url above.

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Richard John Hatala and Lillas Marie Hatala, “The Business Case for Leadership Development”. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada: University of Saskathcewan, 2005.

Here is a perspective on the challenges of leader development that takes the position that the competencies of managers and of leaders are complementary. Drawing on the work of John Kotter and Jim Collins they note that the higher stages of leader roles “involves the leaders’ development of their naturally inherent, spiritual intelligence.

Using an “integrative framework,” the Hatalas focus on the need for change, a need that has accelerated in the years since they published this document. They believe that

  1. Leadership is everyone’s business,
  2. Leader development is about the whole person,
  3. Adding a focus on people and process is essential for success,
  4. Developing relationships is central,
  5. Producing change involves many levels from transactional to transcendent,
  6. Involves both internal and external factors, and
  7. Is about learning.

They note that leadership can be learned. It involves, in the face of demands for change, also a change in worldview “from the mechanistic to the organic paradigm.” There is a reciprocal relationship between individuals and organization culture which, in turn, impacts organizational success variables.

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study guide coverLillas Marie Hatala and Cheryl Dougan, Integrative Leadership: Let Spirit Be the Lead of Your Life, Study Guide. Calgary, AB, Canada: Integrative Leadership Institute, 2008.

Now Lillas Hatala has carried the work forward with Cheryl Dougan in producing the workbook or study guide. They point out that integrative leadership is a “holistic approach to leading oneself, others and organizations in a thoughtful, reflective, conscious, and responsive way.” They reference influence addressing integral themes in leadership: Ken Wilber, Peter Senge, Margaret Wheately, Parker Palmer.

From there, these authors take us through a self-study led by their own reflections. Topics included our experience with change, a focus on purpose, separation and integration, all with a focus on starting where you are in your journey. The path of integration involves telling the whole truth, using the truth to serve a purpose, telling the truth with compassion and applying discernment to be assured that the truth is being used with the right person in the right situation at the right time. This relates closely to recognizing and acknowledging shadow dynamics in the individual psyche.

Integrative leadership is as much about relationships as about the individual and the context. Their concept of the relationship is that it is not dyadic, but involves self, other(s) and “the Spirit of Relationship). This latter concept relates to Agape, unconditional love. This leads to consideration of spirit, intent, purpose and motivation of individuals while the relationship takes on a life of its own. “The integrative leader is one who desires the highest good and the best for themselves, for others, and their ideal Spirit of Relationship.” This involves attention to the hierarchy of needs of all.

This booklet is chock full of opportunities for self-exploration and discovery. Appendix A is a personal life review; Appendix B provides a way to reflect on vision and idea. Appendix C focuses on meditation and Appendix D offers approaches to working with dreams and the dreamer. Here is a workbook that offers themes akin to an integral life practice.