One way or another, we are all both leaders and followers. The value of an integral understanding of leaders and followers seems to have become heightened commensurate with a dramatic increase in the uncertainty and complexity involved in doing business throughout the world, especially since 9/11. To complicate matters further and create even more stress in our organizations, our workers are better-educated and consequently less amenable to top-down one-way direction, unless, perhaps, in emergency situations. Most people want to be heard and their ideas at least genuinely considered, if not accepted. Our dilemma seems best summed up in the questions: How participative can I be? How directive must I be? How non-directive can I be?
A viable response to this dilemma is not a simple one. Perhaps our struggle to produce flexible and creative leaders and followers, such as in the American auto industry, is the natural result of one and two-dimensional approaches to educating leaders, such as essentially one-way lectures on how to lead, rather than experiential hands-on simulated practice in navigating integral leader and follower processes and how to transfer such learning to the work place.
Since publishing my article on “Leader-Follower Behavior in 3-D” (Johnston 1981), I have come to see a more viable response to our leader-follower dilemma is a concept which I call Integral Leader-Follower Relationships: Options in 4-D, the subject of this article. I developed it working closely with a medium-sized Fortune 500 company’s management and their workers to help them transform from a reactive to a more proactive engineering and manufacturing organization, generally characterized by more conscious, empathetic, creative and mutually productive relationships (Johnston 2005). More specifically, I used this conceptual 4-D model as the frame-of-reference for helping my client diagnose, plan and design key organization transformation and development interventions, such as the five-day Integrative Management Workshop and associated open systems planning and integral teambuilding projects. Thus, I have come to see this 4-D model effectively serves to synergize a core Integral Self-Concept with some classic management theories resulting in a total concept of Life-Cycle Relationship Options, Communication Options and Power Options. Included here are ten graphics and models plus a self-administering instrument for profiling one’s leader-follower relationships for conscious self-transformation and teambuilding.
As with any project, positive results are valued. In this case, the integral corporate-wide organization transformation project within which the integral leader-follower relationships in 4-D model was deployed ended only because the critical mass of the still transforming medium-sized Fortune 500 company became so attractive financially and qualitatively it was wooed and ultimately purchased by another (Johnston 2005).
Integral Leader-Follower Relationships:
Options in 4-D, Robert Wayne Johnston
In one way or another, we are all both leaders and followers. Yet, although much has been written about leadership, there is little about Integral Leadership. Even less has been written relative to uniquely followership behaviors and next to nothing about integral followership.
The value of an integral understanding of leaders and followers seems to have become more acute commensurate with the dramatic increase in the uncertainties and complexities involved in doing business throughout the world, especially since September 11, 2001. To complicate matters further our workers are better-educated and consequently less amenable to autocratic top-down one-way communications. Most want to be heard and their ideas at least considered, even if not accepted.
Working closely since 1966 with a wide variety of leaders and followers from CEOs to first line workers in large and small, profit and non-profit, organizations, I have been gradually evolving a practical design of what is now a four-dimensional model of integral leader and follower relationships. In our organization development tradition we call it interpersonal process. I integrated that with what I call the leader-manager task process consisting of objectives clarification, planning, problem solving, etc., which gave us what I have come to call the Integral Leader-Manager Process, later shortened to Integral Management Process. Evolution of the model into its present state came in the context of a new organization transformation and development project. As an interesting aside, some who have participated in this workshop have dubbed it “the leader-manager for all seasons” workshop.
I was contacted by an executive recruiter who told me about a former family-owned Fortune 500 company that was facing severe stresses and strains. Its engineer founder had started this corporation as a machine shop in the early nineteen hundreds and it prospered and grew willy-nilly to about 7500 people with 260 different products engineered and manufactured in eleven divisions spread around the United States, Germany, Canada and Mexico. After achieving about $250 million in sales at their peak, by the late 1970s sales had fallen to about $190 million. Market conditions were such that the company’s reactive job shop marketing approach was taking its toll in lower sales and, of course, lower profits and employee morale. What to do?
The family broke with their tradition of appointing one of their own to president and hired a visionary new president with a substantial success record for turning around companies from a reactive to proactive orientation. Armed with his own personal value system, many years experience as a leader-manager and a Harvard MBA, he was a viable balance of visionary leader and empathetic manager, almost exactly what this corporation needed.
Next they recruited me to help the new president and his top management to develop a strategy for transforming the organization, not an easy task given the company’s deeply entrenched reactive job shop mentality. Why did they want me? Because I have a track record of success in starting new company-wide transformation and development projects from scratch. During the long and involved interview process I discussed with each member of the top management group and key division managers what they thought such a strategy would look and feel like when accomplishing what they wanted.
Overall their vision of what they wanted to become as a corporation – beyond becoming more proactive – I have grouped into these general categories:
- Improved profit/loss, service, costs, attendance, turnover, commitment, involvement, motivation and quality.
- An organization psychosocial environment permeated with the following values and attitudes: a healthful lifestyle, identifying with the changeless to better manage responses to the changing, balancing feminine and masculine, while valuing our interdependence with Nature, co-creativity, transformation and development, open inquiry, awareness, cooperation, empathy blended with candor with the values of a whole perspective and receptivity.
In addition, because there were eleven far-flung divisions scattered over the USA, Europe and Mexico, they wanted to develop a better communications network among divisions with the result of more cohesion and sharing of resources. They were concerned about the dilemma posed in the questions: How participative can I be? How directive must I be? How non-directive can I be?
While over ninety years old this company had never had a training and development program of any kind, let alone management and organization development, so this was going to mean starting from scratch. Only one of the divisions was unionized and they enjoyed relatively peaceful relations. So, that was the general picture I had after my pre-employment discussions with their key executives at both the corporate and division levels.
To make a long story shorter, after being assured I had the commitment of senior management to not only verbally support but to provide ample budget and personally and actively participate in workshops, etc., I accepted their offer to become their corporate vice president of management and organization development. Knowing the vital importance of joint ownership for successful interventions of this kind, once on board I quickly met with the top management and division management teams to discuss these questions:
- What is your vision for this company psychosocially and economically?
- What do we already have going for us that is helping toward realizing that vision?
- What do we need to change?
- What objectives do we need for our organization transformation and leader-manager training to realize our vision?
- What plans and programs do we need to facilitate the process of change?
Back in my office I analyzed and collated the data by theme from all the meetings and designed a five-day leader-manager workshop to the specifications enunciated by a consensus of all the groups based on the framework provided by the Integral Leader-Follower Relationships – Options in 4-D and integrated it with what I call the leader-manager task process, major elements of which are objectives clarification, planning, initiating action to achieve plans, detecting and solving people and technical problems, giving performance feedback, progress review and coaching. We named our new workshop The Integral Management Process Workshop. It was to be an integrated experiential simulation of processes involved in actual on-the-job leader-manager functioning in terms of both interpersonal process and task process. Further, it would incorporate experiences in self-managing together with team building. Thus, by the term ‘management’ we understood it to include both visionary leadership and empathetic management aspects of the integral process.
I went back out to all the management groups and reviewed the workshop design with them. I listened and wrote down their feedback. Most were hopeful but skeptical that our transformation efforts would work. I went back to my office and proceeded to write the curriculum. Within six months of my joining the corporation we conducted our first pilot run of the 5-day Integral Management Process Workshop. The workshop was very light on lecture and heavy on experientially working through real issues participants brought to each phase of the simulated integrated leader-manager process. I had requested that this initial group of twelve managers be hypercritical so that we could use their feedback to fine-tune workshop processes and materials. It was especially gratifying when their written evaluations showed, as one division human resources director put it, “Our workshop was a smash hit!”
With that initial success under our belt we proceeded to design workshop participation in a way that would help the corporation realize a better communications network for cross-pollination of ideas and sharing of resources it so sorely needed among the geographically dispersed divisions. So in all succeeding workshops we made sure there was at least one participant from each of the divisions.
The general results of our total integral organization transformation efforts, of which the integral Leader-Follower Relationships in 4-D concept was a vital part, over a five-year period, are described in a section near the end of this article. Should you be interested in reviewing the process we used in more detail, my article titled “Seven Steps to Organization Transformation” (2005) is available.
Thus, this model and its earlier versions have been useful as a transformational tool for diagnosing and working through leader-follower issues for more conscious empathetic, creative and productive relationships amid fast-changing, even chaotic, environmental conditions. Encompassing all four dimensions of leadership and managerial behavior together with four dimensions of follower behavior, the model integrates these dimensions into this now newly published model for practical use in designing and facilitating integral team building projects, experiential management workshops and associated organization transformation processes. Having given you a general overview of one corporate context in which the integral leader-follower relationships in 4-D model has been effectively deployed as one of the main interventions in organization transformation, let’s return now to the main thesis of this article.
Our Leader – Follower Dilemma
Our basic dilemma in leadership may lie in a disparity between what we believe to be right and desirable relative to empathetic leading and managing and what we actually do in practice, in other words, the values we espouse in contrast to the values we actually express in our behavior. That leads to additional dilemmas expressed as a series of questions:
- How participative can I be?
- How directive must I be?
- How non-directive can I be?
- In turn, we face a series of double binds:
- We have a tradition of competition but we want to be empathetic, understanding, and cooperative.
- We are under pressure to achieve our objectives with efficient use of our human resources but we believe all points of view must be heard, often perceived as inefficient and costly.
- We are pushed for time but we want participative decision-making and this often takes considerable time.
- We see opportunities for quick results in autocratic one-person decisions but we believe shared responsibility elicits more team creativity, makes for joint ownership, fosters longer lasting solutions and is more enriching educationally.
- We know teamwork is essential to achieving the qualitative and quantitative results we want but we believe some degree of autonomy is essential for individual motivation, transformation and development.
I have come to see a viable way to transcend and manage these double-binds is through choosing an empathetic pattern of leadership according to the situation one is in. Furthermore, it is most effectively done by considering a juxtaposition of options available through a concept of integral leader-follower behavior in four dimensions. Before getting into the 4-D model itself, let’s take a look at my basic premises and their value relative to integral leading and following.
- The working premises on which I have built my model describing options inherent in Integral Leadership-followership relationships are the following. You may want to note items 3 thru 6 have to do with adaptations of consciousness, conditioning, identity and personality, aspects of the transpersonal model of the person described in the work of University of California Irvine Medical School professor and author Roger Walsh and transpersonal psychologist and author Francis Vaughan (1980).
- Integral means to me not only wholeness of consciousness, that is, the interconnectedness of individual, society, ecosystem and cosmos, but also awareness of the major factors essential to composing the whole of anything. In this case, I generally describe it as the interdependent, intercommunicating psychosocial dynamics of whole leaders and whole followers.
- An Integral Self-Concept is based on both identifiable internal functions of the psyche, or soul, including self-managing, focusing, feeling, thinking, sensing, parasensing and remembering and the external deployment of choices during interpersonal and ecosystem relationships. Please note that in the Jungian (1958) tradition I use the terms self, psyche and soul as synonyms and therefore interchangeably.
- Integral Consciousness, in my view, includes both transtemporal (beyond the transpersonal and all that is temporary) and temporary aspects of being, such as, our biological bodies and all that goes into healthfully sustaining them, including basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and social affiliation. This includes attention to temporal stages of expanding consciousness, such as my ten spheres of conscious awareness: bio-conception-birth, biological necessities, biological body-preservation, social belongingness, social persona, brain functions, psyche-soul-self, cosmic light and dark, anima-animus and conscious-coconscious integration, all of which lead to conscious oneness with our infinite, timeless aware Source of all that was, is, and will be.
- Integral Conditioning, or learning, includes two basic kinds: First, involuntary conditioning (enculturation) which may start soon after a child is conceived in its mother’s womb; and second, voluntary conditioning which may start as soon as a child begins to question her or his involuntarily learned values and beliefs and choose the kind of learning it wants.
- Integral Identity. I view ego as anything one identifies with. I have come to see there are two kinds of identity (ego): One, identification with temporal physical individual ego forms, sometimes referred to as’ego-states’, and two, identification with transtemporal psychospiritual timeless awareness beyond temporality. This identification may result in an interdependent identity or ego interconnected and empathetic with the cosmic web of existence. An integral identity identifies with timeless awareness and disidentifies with temporal attachments, identifications and addictions, but is learning to use them as options in relating to entities and events in the world. See Appendix C. A Synoptic Comparison of Two Identities/Egos: Timeless Aware and Temporal for a fuller comparative description.
- Integral Personality, ‘persona’ or ‘mask’, may include two fundamental kinds: One, based on one’s inherited genes and involuntary conditioning and Two, the kind of personality based on one’s genes and voluntary conditioning and therefore more freely chosen. One may fairly ask, “What is the mask of personality covering?” The answer most useful to me is premised on the hypothesis that we each are eternal spirits temporarily operating through temporary bodies. Thus, everything that is temporary – one’s speech, emotional expressions, body characteristics, etc. – is, or is potentially, a mask for the ageless spirit we truly are. Another way of viewing the mask of personality is that it is whatever characteristics of behavior we present socially.
- Integral Continua of Relationship Behavioral Options, such as, existentially complete life cycle continua, communications continua and power continua of options. Existentially complete continua provide for transcendence, inclusion, ownership and integration of extreme polar opposites complete with connecting continua of options that can be selected based on the situation at hand and the consequences that might be expected. All options are valued as “good” if used within healthful parameters in any given situation. All carry the potential for harm if overused or misused.
- Integral Ecosystem and Social Influences and Forces include those which are friendly, neutral and unfriendly. There are those forces over which one has complete control or can learn to control, such as one’s responses to events; those forces which one can only hope to influence somewhat, such as election of one’s favorite candidate to political office; and those forces so big, fast and/or smart one can only adapt to them and hope for the best. Examples of the latter include cosmic forces such as meteors, sunspots, earthquakes and the like.
- Integral Transformational Processes are constantly in action. They tend to be of at least two basic kinds: One, those transformational and developmental processes seemingly instigated willy-nilly by one’s environment to which one responds more or less unconsciously; and two, those which are consciously considered responses, chosen and acted out. An example of such a transformational process, steps a) and b) inspired in part by the father of psychosynthesis, Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli (1965; 1973), may consist of:
- Identifying with the transparent, timeless aware, omnipresent Source of all;
- Disidentifying with involuntarily conditioned identifications, attachments, and addictions;
- Transcending and including all identifications, attachments, and addictions in one’s repertoire of possible options;
- Owning one’s full repertoire of possible options;
- Co-creatively choosing from one’s repertoire of options to effectively and healthfully respond to events in everyday life;
- Receiving and reflecting on feedback from one’s choices and placing it in one’s memory data bank for future reference in a wider cycle in the spiral of one’s growth in conscious awareness.
- Integral Transformation may result in two major benefits. First, in the course of expanding consciousness of one’s inherent oneness with our timeless Source of all, one becomes more and more conscious of the full range of existentially available temporal responses to widely variant events and situations. Second, using the newly expanded conscious range of options visually portrayed in four-dimensional interconnected continua, one acquires a more “hands on” feeling that tends to generate greater confidence, versatility and creativity in choosing mutually empathetic and effective healthful options for responding to complex fast-changing, even chaotic, ambiguous environmental cues.
- An Integral Conscious Frame-of-Mind includes self, social, ecosystem and transtemporal spheres of conscious awareness. I coined the term transtemporal to describe a timeless realm of consciousness that transcends what I currently understand the terms temporal and transpersonal to mean.
- The 4-D Model of Integral Leader-Follower Options is Viewed as Indigenous to and fundamentally in harmony with the basic principles and laws of Nature as we know them. While for the purpose of presentation options are presented as organized within and around a cosmological cube, the concept is interdependent psycho-organic-ecosystemic and encourages free choice within healthful parameters of natural laws and principles.
- An Integral Leader is Proficient in Leading and Managing. In other words, the integral leader is capable of healthfully, creatively and flexibly deploying a blend of people and economic skills required of an inspiring visionary leader and an empathetic controlling manager. The blend I refer to above is one of more or less, not either or. It is much like the relationship of figure and ground in Gestalt psychology. When visionary skills are called for the empathetic controlling manager is still there but temporarily in the background. Conversely, when empathetic controlling skills are in the foreground the visionary attenuates temporarily to the background. Each is always in an interdependent relationship with the other, influencing the other to some degree or another depending on the situation at hand.
- Integral Health and Full Functioning is a Necessity for integral leaders, followers and their organizations if they are to operate with optimum efficiency, empathy and productivity. Individuals and organizations which value a lifestyle that encourages a centered mind-body, dynamically balanced, moderate amounts of nutrition (protein, complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fats plus Omega 3), exercise, meditation, sleep and psychosocial involvement produce the best short and long term results.
Value of Using the Integral Leader-Follower in 4-D Perspective
Based on my experience in facilitating organization transformation projects from scratch in medium and large Fortune 500 companies (Johnston, 2005), I view the value of an integral perspective on leadership and followership as being the most viable response to date relative to creatively solving the leadership dilemma described on the first page of this article. The major value of this integral concept is the awareness and concern it engenders in individuals and organizations relative to discerning the needs and interests of our whole selves: spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, social, fun-loving, vocational, economic, esthetic and ecological. That concern includes such matters as expanding conscious awareness of leaders and work teams relative to available options, conscious co-creative self-management competence, conscious conditioning, conscious identity options and a keen sense of humor about it all. All those concerns are oriented toward the actualization and realization of each individual’s whole being – that is, height, depth and breadth of inner and outer consciousness, health, full functioning, wisdom, strength and self-perceived potential.
Integral understanding of both sides of the leader-follower coin carries the potential for helping us become more confident, versatile, creative and effective leaders, for we can then more fully empathize with the special feelings, needs, and challenges of followers. And conversely, when in the follower role one can more fully empathize with the special feelings, needs and problems of our leaders and colleagues. Such an understanding, of course, is impossible without relating the dynamics of integral followership behaviors to an Integral Leadership frame of reference.
Having pointed out all that, it is interesting and useful to note the number of combinations of primary archetype-level options consciously available to each leader and follower numbers 450. That doesn’t include the incalculable number of secondary and tertiary options potentially elicited when using the model in a transformational leader-manager training laboratory or teambuilding meeting. Thus, for leaders interested in organization transformation the model can be an invaluable tool for diagnosing, creative planning and working through leader-follower issues for more conscious empathetic, creative and productive relationships. Encompassing four dimensions of leadership, or managerial, behavior as well as four dimensions of follower, or subordinate, behavior, the model integrates these dimensions into a new psychosynthesis for practical use in integral team building, experiential management workshops and associated organization transformation projects. This was confirmed by psychosynthesis therapist Edith Stauffer who had studied extensively with the originator of psychosynthesis Roberto Assagioli (deceased) in Milan, Italy. After reviewing the two dozen or so graphics I showed her, she exclaimed, “Oh, if only Roberto could see these…you are making [psychosynthesis] so much easier for [your clients].”
The Importance of Organizational Climate
Now for an introductory word about organization climate with considerably more to come later in this paper. I have come to see a model of integral leader-follower behavior is not complete without considering the affect and effect of organization psychosocial climate and ecosystem dynamics interacting with the emotional and intellectual decision-making of both leaders and followers.
The numerous variables involved in a getting a “handle” on the numerous dynamics of an integral relationship among leader, follower and organization psychosocial climate led me to incorporate in my 4-D model adaptations inspired by a number of practical theorists. Two of them I consider classic theorists from the 60s, such as the late M.I.T professor Douglas McGregor (1960) and deceased humanistic psychotherapist Carl Rogers (1961). I have integrated their work with more recent theories enunciated by emotional intelligence psychologist Daniel Goleman (2002) and the work of Institute of Noetic Science Senior Scientist Dean Radin (2006). One of the values, therefore, of my integral model is that it draws on and integrates theories that in the past have been viewed as separate from each other.
In an attempt to adequately represent all I have cited above under one name, I have given my model a rather long and clumsy label: the Integral Leader-Follower Relationship Options Network in 4-D. It is generally modeled after a cosmological 4-D cube that represents three dimensions on the exterior and the fourth dimension in the inner most center of the cube (See Figure 1). It is best understood by examining its continua from inner to outer in a step-by-step, dimension by dimension, conceptual building process that culminates in a synthesis of all parts. Despite the mechanical feel of that approach, my 4-D model is best understood as a practical psycho-spiritual-organic systems concept and practice for conscious leadership and followership. My problem in presenting all the dynamics of a psycho-spiritual-organic systems concept is that mydiagrammatic representation in Figure 1 would end up being a mass of interconnecting arrows that would present as utter massa confusa. Therefore, I have to tolerate presenting the more mechanistic-appearing version.
- Too Much Information?
- Let’s pause a bit before proceeding further. I imagine some readers are already feeling I am giving just too much information (TMI). Isn’t there a simpler way to explain it? Bob, haven’t you heard the admonition, “Keep it simple stupid? Why don’t you describe integral leader-follower relationship options more simply?” I agree, it is a lot of information; yet it is information leaders and followers, not to mention colleagues, want in order to better understand this very complex subject. I wish I could describe it more simply, but simple doesn’t do it. Integral leader-follower relations is a complex subject deserving a complex description.
- A Caveat
- While extensively refined through feedback from hundreds of managers and their employees – from CEOs through middle and first line supervisors and their employees participating in my corporate workshops and students in my MBA classes since 1967 – I view all the concepts associated with my integral leader-follower model in 4-D as founded on ‘working assumptions or hypotheses’ subject to change. Should new valid and reliable scientific studies, empirical feedback and intuitive insights gained from experimentation in the laboratory of my everyday organization life emerge I will be making adjustments accordingly. In other words, the 4-D model and this article are living documents subject to evolutionary change.
Conceptual Building Process
My conceptual building process starts in the center of the 4-D model (Figure 1) within the inner circle. Here is the place of oneness, silence, peace, love, harmony and, paradoxically perhaps, co-creativity with the infinite timeless Source of all of us. The center also represents the common connecting place of our being to which scientist Dean Radin (2006) refers in his recent book Entangled Minds. Here, both leader and follower can come to the conscious realization of their souls’ common timeless aware origin within the seemingly infinite ‘ocean’ of our mysterious infinite Source. Here, all minds seem interdependently entangled within the limitless Mind of the Source of all. Theoretical quantum physicist David Bohm (1980) has described this sphere of imperceptible, but often intuitively felt, interconnection with the minds of others as implicit (implied, suggested) in contrast to the explicit sphere in which we experience visible nature and a sense of separateness from everything and everyone else. Scientist Radin has gone from seeing entanglement, which has been defined as “spooky action at a distance,” as just implied to finding valid and reliable scientific evidence supporting its existence.
Many people in my acquaintance report experiencing themselves as interdependently one with this transparent, implicit, infinite, timeless Source of all. In such identifications with the Source they come to consciously realize their common psychospiritual origin with all beings, hence, their implicit interconnectedness, interdependence and empathy with them. On a more surface explicit level they experience greater self-confidence, self-management effectiveness, clarity of thought and feeling, empathy, intuition, versatility, creativity and related benefits. There are literally hundreds of examples I could give drawn from my work life. During leadership workshops and teambuilding meetings I facilitate I often receive parasensory communications about what is going on beneath the surface of group processes. I have come to expect that the greater the amount of conflict among participants the greater will be the number of parasensory experiences to help me facilitate effectively.
To illustrate, in one “heavy” teambuilding meeting in an off-site hotel meeting room, I saw a couple of “psychic bullets” fly across the room from a very quiet Vietnam War vet to another member of the group. That parasensory event alerted me to the fact that a difficult time was about to erupt. Within just a few seconds the vet exploded with a vitriolic verbal attack on the other individual. Needless to say, perhaps, the appearance of the psychic bullets alerted me to the extremely difficult time ahead and I was better prepared to help the group cope with the ensuing trauma.
Another illustration of parasensory help: During an integral management workshop I noted a dark blob of energy move from a female participant to a male with whom she had been having difficulty. No one else in the group of twelve managers seemed to have seen it. I felt it inappropriate to ask her about it while we were in session. In private I asked her why she had sent the energy form to him. She exclaimed, “You saw that? I didn’t think anyone would see it.” She said she had sent out a “piece” of her energy to work on him when she had become frustrated with his bias against her. We then discussed other options for working through her issues with him. Later I asked her where she had learned how to do that. She said it had been part of her training in witchcraft.
In still another leadership workshop I saw a mask that appeared to be a fierce black buffalo’s head emerge from and cover the head of a male participant. As the buffalo head mask didn’t appear to have anything to do with the group process in which he was involved (the group had been working together quite amicably and the buffalo’s expression was clearly fierce and menacing), I waited until break to ask him about it. He told he had been taking training from a shaman who had taught him how to use the buffalo as a power spirit. He said he was just practicing with the buffalo spirit and didn’t have anything in particular in mind relative to any issue in the workshop.
I’ve had numerous experiences of “early warnings” like the first illustration, as well as metaphoric cues about blockages within group members that were keeping them from expressing their true feelings, and still others like the last instance. Such intuitions come via any of my five parasensory channels paralleling my regular senses: sight, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting and are available to anyone open to them. There is no doubt in my mind that the key to my long success in transformational organization development over the course of forty years is directly attributable to my openness to and use of parasensual experiences.
Let’s resume now our broader focus on the center. Here in the center, souls also come to recognize the equally important, yet complementary opposite nature of two main attributes of our Source. Carl G. Jung called them anima for the feminine or yin intelligence, and animus for the masculine or yang intelligence. Analogous to the two poles in an electric dry cell battery, they are both needed for conscious realization of our whole energy and generation of light. Reject one or the other within or outside oneself and we, individually and collectively, wander in darkness. Accept both poles and one, whether a man or woman, experiences the combined energies of both as total energy expressing creatively and ‘ambidextrously’ through them with greater vision of their available options and clarity of their desired direction. Like ocean water connecting and permeating all the fish within it, the omnipresent intelligent mind energy represented in the center of the 4-D model (Figure 1) connects and permeates the mind-bodies of both leader and follower, the organization within which they work, society at large, ecosystem and cosmos.
I have come to see that the conscious timeless aware self (soul, psyche, mind) possesses seven functions (Figure 2, An Integral Self and Its Functions in 4-D ), which is described in more detail below. Around that core foundation of the timeless aware integral self with seven functions are positioned three dimensions of behavioral options (Figure 1):
- 1st dimension: continua of life-cycle relationship options;
- 2nd dimension: continua of leader-follower communications options;
- 3rd dimension: continua of power options.
Two points I want to make are: One, all of these options on all three dimensions arere archetypal; that is, they are irreducible prototypes. In looking for more primal prototypes you might find synonyms, but nothing one could define as more seminal than the stated prototype. Second, in an effort to pare down the ponderous language that tends to build up on this subject, this is my last reference to these options as archetypes (prototypes) except once in a while to make a point and there is no useful synonym. Finally, all dimensions and their continua of options culminate in a synthesis to form the integral leader-follower network of options which comes together to form a practical, conceptual model of integral leader-follower relationship options in 4-D (Figure 1).
Seven Functions of An Integral Self
As introduced in the preceding section, central to the integral leader-follower relationships options network in 4-D concept is the integral timeless aware self (soul, psyche) as represented near the center circle within the four-dimensional graphic shown in Figure 1. A more detailed representation can be seen in Figure 2, An Integral Self and Its Functions in 4-D.
A soul’s essential framework of functions is common to everyone, yet provides for the unique imprint and actualization of individual differences. For example, in Figure 1 on the left side of the model the leader’s functions of the soul are divided into the two communications faculties that we all have: one, sending— thoughts, feelings, and body talk – and two, receiving – parasensations (intuitions) and sensations. On the right side of the model the follower’s communications faculties are listed in reverse: receiving – parasensations (intuitions) and sensations – and sending – thoughts, feelings, and body talk.
While these basic seven core functions of the self are the same for both parties, the contents of the communications will probably be different to one degree or another. Because of space limitations in the 4-D model shown in Figure 1, I was unable to include three other functions of the psyche, namely, self-managing, focusing and remembering. These, however, are included in Figure 2.
Synonyms for one’s self may be psyche, soul, identity or center, among others used in ancient mystical literature, such as the treasure, the crystal body, the pearl of great price and the golden flower (Jung 1958). As mentioned earlier, this integration of inner and outer combines the stability of a timeless, ageless, changeless center or self with the temporary feelings, intuitions, sensations, thoughts, memories, behaviors and events characterizing a rapidly changing human society and ecosystem around us.
Figure 2 depicts a way of viewing a representation of an integral self. This model, inspired in part by the works of psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung (1958) and psychosynthesist Roberto Assagioli (1965), includes seven functions. They are positioned around the center, which symbolizes an individual’s whole ageless aware mind and the place of oneness with our infinite mysterious Source mind, its functions centrally integrated in the here and now of time. Six of the functions – the center of self-managing plus focusing, sensing, parasensing (intuiting), thinking, emoting and remembering – are oriented toward an individual’s focus on her or his intentions, whether consciously or unconsciously acted upon.
One’s life values, beliefs, vocation, socio-economic resources and other considerations influence choices of intentions or objectives. Objectives might focus on work, family, hobbies, avocational interests and so on. These kinds of intentions or objectives may take form in the course of routine work, creative work problem-solving working and soul development activities. The important point here is that, unconscious or conscious, objectives not only reflect one’s integral self-concept, but also provide a most effective motivational “tool”—one that is available to leader and follower alike if consciously and realistically clarified.
It is well known, of course, that intentions (goals, objectives) accrue motivational energy if they are both challenging – elicit some stretch – and reasonably attainable. Not so well recognized is that the nature of one’s self-concept determines the kind of objectives one chooses. For example, if one’s concept of self is that of being an isolate, separate from everyone and everything in society and the cosmos, his or her intentions will reflect that separation. On the other hand, if one’s self-concept is that of being a vital constituent of the interdependent web of all existence, his or her intentions will reflect the empathy and concern for other beings small and great. See Appendix C for a comparison of these two types of identity.
It is also important to remember that whenever we set out to achieve an objective, no matter how healthful and noble we may think it to be, we can expect to meet with three kinds of forces:
- social and ecosystemic forces that more or less support our objective,
- those who are more or less neutral ‘fence-sitters’ and
- those forces that more or less oppose our objective.
(Perhaps it is from experiencing opposing forces that the idea of devils, Satan and other competitive beings comes from.)
In addition, making matters even more complex, it is important to consider three fundamental kinds of ecosystemic conditions or forces each of us constantly face:
- Forces over which one has, or can learn, relatively complete control, such as one’s thoughts.
- Forces that one can only influence, such as legislation.
- Forces over which one has no control and to which one can only adapt– sometimes known as “acts of god”.
Generally, intentions clarified with those three considerations in mind tend to reflect a positive, but reality-based, self-image.
There are other dimensions of the integral self-concept also important to consider in relation to leader-follower behavior in 4-D. For example, in interpreting Carl Jun’s psychology (1968) Ira Progoff (1953) points out that four functions of our common self-concept – thinking, feeling, sensing, and parasensing (intuiting) – can be viewed as functioning in the way a compass functions. When thinking is in the dominant position, sensing, parasensing and feeling are in relatively subordinate positions – with feeling being the most subordinate. When feeling is in the dominant position, on the other hand, thinking is in the most subordinate position, and parasensing and sensing in relatively subordinate positions.
Jung states that while all four functions are active in each of us, one of them tends to be more highly developed, and therefore more dominant, than the others. The general significance of these “dominances” for leaders and followers is clear. If, for example, a leader generally functions in a thinking-dominant mode while a follower is in a feeling-dominant mode, this difference in their communicating modes could be a major cause of conflict.
[Readers interested in finding out which compass point tends to be the most dominant in his or her self-concept may wish to explore Appendix A, Integral Leader-Follower Relationships Profile: Options in 4-D, 4th Dimension section, as a means of discovering your preferences. Since it is possible to grow beyond one’s current profile, you may want to explore a productive way of discerning possible options for soul development in Integral Leadership and integral followership described in this paper.]
With the integral self-concept, then, the central foundation is laid for ultimately bringing one to an integral concept of leader-follower behavior options in four dimensions. As indicated earlier, this central integral soul-concept, which I describe as the 4th dimension, is based on an integration of the work of Carl Jung (1958), Roberto Assagioli (1965; 1973), and Daniel Goleman (2002).
Now, let’s consider my synthesis and expansion of the work of Carl Jung (1958), Eric Berne (1964), Robert Tannenbaum and Warren Schmidt (1973) represented in Figure 1 as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd dimensional continua of options.
1st Dimension: Leader-Follower Life-Cycle Relationship Options
The ideas of Carl Jung (1958) on life cycles and of Eric Berne (1964) on transactional analysis contributed to the expanded concept that I have labeled “leader-follower life-cycle relationship roles.” As the name implies, it represents the whole human life cycle: child, adolescent, adult, parent and grandparent.
In other words, within each of us is a child, adolescent, adult, parent and grandparent personality-formation upon which we base our attitudes toward and behaviors in relations to others – including subordinates, colleagues, supervisors and the managers and executives above one’s supervisor. As a child born into a particular family, an individual inherits not only the genes and DNA of the parents and grandparents, but also, to a substantial degree, their values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. Many of the latter are evidently recorded on one’s soul memory, or psyche, in the early weeks, months, and years before he or she becomes discerning enough to know that is happening. I call that “involuntary conditioning.”
The familial model of life-cycle archetypal relations analysis begins with the prototype of the child – a prototype that connotes naiveté and neophyte status in the family organization and society at large. Translated into an organizational setting, the “child” is the person new to his or her career or profession – a new employee or, more basically, the “child with mature adult physiology” who seems to have a leader-dependent self-image in certain organizational relationships, particularly supervisor-subordinate relationships.
The prototype of the adolescent is seen in the employee who is confused about his or her role – showing both child and adult behavior but neither fairly consistently. On one hand, the organizational adolescent is growing toward full vocational or professional status, yet often displays the inexperience of the novice in the field. This archetype is more often seen in the non-manager professional—that is, the staff person typically suffers neither the “adolescent” stresses and strains of being neither a leader-dependent subordinate (child) nor, on the other hand, a manager with responsibility, authority, and accountability.
The internal stresses and strains experienced by the adolescent may have a ripple effect on those with whom he or she associates in the workplace and often create painful tensions. Lack of job or role clarification is frequently a factor in creating an “adolescent syndrome” in organizations. The archetype of the adult is optimally expressed in the message, “You and I are complementary equals.” It takes equals with similar or complementary values, attitudes, objectives and behaviors to innovate and make things happen as team members. In such a situation, no team member dominates or is dominated by another; each is concerned for the other’s point of view and even welfare. The adult in the life-cycle relationship options concept is similar to the adult in Berne’s transactional analysis concept (1964), exhibiting an adult-to-adult peer relationship.
The prototype of parent in organizational life is seen in the manager or supervisor who provides direction and nurturance to others or enhances their lives and, in so doing, maintains a measure of control over them. This may take the form of helping a subordinate or peer get a proposal accepted or using influence to help someone get a more desirable job.
The fifth and last archetype is that of the “wise old man” or “wise old woman.” In organizational life, the wise old person – or grandparent – may be the colleague respected for her or his special wisdom or knowledge that may have accrued simply through longevity in an organization or through technical expertise and recognition in a professional community. He or she may also be the supervisor above the supervisor whose impact on workers two levels below is felt indirectly but is nevertheless very real. One may see this grandparent now and then, but one usually has legitimate access to him or her only through one’s immediate supervisor (parent).
This discussion has presented a simplified model of life-cycle roles. See Figure 3, Overview of Life-Cycle Relationship Roles for a summary of the child, adolescent, adult, parent, and grandparent archetypes and the primary message of each organizational counterpart. To understand how life-cycle relationship analysis works, consider this illustration: Let’s say I come to you behaving like a parent (supervisor)—how does that make you feel (before you get angry)? “Like a child,” many readers will say. Now let’s say I come to you behaving like a child – what will your feeling be toward me? You will probably feel superior to me – like a parent or grandparent. If, however, I come to you as an adult equal, you will probably respond in kind – as an adult equal in importance to me.
These are some admittedly oversimplified examples of the interactions fundamental to life-cycle archetypal relations analysis. Implications for the leader-follower relationship will become apparent as we walk through the 2nd dimension, which consists of leader-follower communications options.
2nd Dimension: Leader-Follower Communications Options
The next important aspect of integral leader-follower in 4-D, the 2nd dimension, describes behavioral continua for both leader and follower as complementary opposites. While the leader continuum is based on an integration of the work of Douglas McGregor (Theory X and Theory Y; 1960), Carl Rogers (non-directive or laissez-faire counseling; 1961)) and Robert Tannenbaum and Warren Schmidt (seven patterns of leadership behavior; 1973), I have developed the follower continuum based on a reversal of the leader continuum, the two continua arranged in juxtaposition. I’ll explain that more below. It is sufficient for now to point out I have integrated these concepts into one set of existentially complete leader-manager communications continua, which serve to integrate extreme opposites. The first step in my integration process appears in Figure 4 Overview of Directive, Participative and Non-Directive Assumptions.
Basically, Theory X philosophy states that, in order to work effectively for others, people must be externally motivated with rewards, threats, bribes, manipulations, direct orders prods, and punishment. On the other hand, according to Theory Y people can be internally motivated, at least in part to generate personal goals in support of company goals. Nondirective philosophy posits that people are individually motivated internally to expand and become autonomous in an environment of complete freedom from evaluation.
Autocratic leadership (Theory X) works well if the tasks to be performed are simple and require little judgment or if the group is small or growing. Also, it may be the most effective in short-term emergency situations. But if overused or misused, as in the close direction of professionals, it can backfire, in the process causing low motivation, poor performance and stagnation from the standpoint of growth and development.
Democratic leader (Theory Y) philosophy is supported by numerous studies, one of the most notable being an Arthur D. Little (circa 1972) report three decades ago funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The purpose of the study was to check the validity of claims made for a more participative form of management—with particular attention given to it impact on creativity, innovation and invention. The methodology used was to track the most significant technical developments of the previous decade back to the organizations and individuals from which they sprang. The results revealed overwhelming evidence that technical creativity and productivity were dramatically increased by an adaptive democratic form of organization and inhibited by autocratic Theory X types. Out of the 52 scientific breakthroughs studied, groups managed according to Theory Y produced 51—all but one.
Effective as it is in most long-term situations, there is nevertheless a caveat attendant to Theory Y management: Carried to the extreme or overused, it may hinder team members from taking individual initiative – leading them to opt too often for group decision making. It is also counter-indicated in emergency situations: If the building is on fire, there is no time to get group consensus on evacuating.
Nondirective philosophy as a mode of management is particularly useful in short-term work situations under special conditions. For example, an executive of a large company came to me very excited about a problem-solving approach he had discovered. He said he started a new practice of spending two hours a month with each directly reporting manager for the purpose of solving problems they were having in their respective organizations. He started by just sitting, listening carefully and showing only empathy and support for what they were telling him. When he spoke, which was rare, he did so only to show warmth and acceptance. Wonder of wonders: They solved their own problems! Without knowing anything about Rogerian nondirective counseling (1961), this executive had discovered a very important leadership technique on his own. It does work, but must be used with discretion in an organizational setting. As with the Theory X and Theory Y philosophies of management, a caveat is needed in considering the nondirective approach. If it is carried to the extreme or over used, it may cause member isolation, organizational fragmentation, chaos and even anarchy. An example of organizations which tend to overuse or misuse non-directive leadership include government subsidized research laboratories in which the scientists and engineers run the real business in their highly discordant individualistic ways and the organization head seems to have almost solely general public relations and related ceremonial responsibilities. One I worked with was constantly on the brink of chaos and often drowning in red ink. Universities are another example.
At this point in our discussion of ‘continuum leadership and management,’ the basic dilemma of management/leadership I described in the introduction to this paper again becomes obvious: How can we best close the gap between what we say we value in leadership and what we do in actual practice. It seems clear the basic issues revolve around three basic questions: How nondirective can I be? How much of the time can I be more empathetic democratic (Theory Y)? How much of the time must I be a more conservative autocratic (Theory X)? In turn we face the double binds described earlier. Let’s review them again here.
- We face a series of double binds (Catch 22?) in leading and following:
- We have a tradition of competition but we want to be empathetic, understanding, and cooperative.
- We are under pressure to achieve our objectives with efficient use of our human resources but we believe all points of view must be heard, often perceived as inefficient, time-consuming and costly.
- We see opportunities for quick results in autocratic one-person decisions but we believe shared responsibility elicits more team creativity, makes for joint ownership, fosters longer lasting solutions and is more enriching educationally.
- We know teamwork is essential to achieving the qualitative and quantitative results we want but we believe some degree of autonomy is essential for individual motivation, transformation and development.
I have come to see a viable way to transcend, own and manage these double-binds is through choosing an empathetic pattern of Integral Leadership/management according to the situation one is in. I call it “situational Integral Leadership”. A multimodal concept of situational Integral Leadership can be overviewed in Figure 5, Three Leadership Behaviors…Empathetically Considering Followers’ Needs and Situations.
In Figure 6, Synopsis of Three Leadership Behaviors and Their Probable Consequences, as suggested in the title, I overview the three behaviors – directive, participative, and non-directive – this time from the standpoint of the leader’s goals and assumptions about the basis for her or his authority and the consequences from each one can probably expect organization-wide. The consequences outlined will probably hold true for relationships among leader-managers and employees, parents and children, clergy and parishioners, teachers and students, counselors and counselees and other professionals and their clients of all kinds.
There is ample support for the effectiveness of the situational approach I have outlined in several professions. For example, it is well known that the most successful athletic coaches design their systems according to the strengths and weaknesses of their players. Effective coaches don’t sit back in their offices, design an ideal system and then lay it on their players regardless of their individual levels of athletic skill. Rather, they try to meet their players where they are—with a little stretch built in—by designing their plays to best enhance the layers’ strengths and minimize their weaknesses. I am suggesting that the most effective integral leader-managers usually do likewise.
More on the Integral Leader-Follower Continua
Thus far, we have discussed only three major benchmarks on the integral leader-manager continuum. There are, however, additional shades in the behavioral spectrum as you can see in Figure 7, Leader’s Continuum of Communications Options. Six additional significant behavioral modes can be identified: Telling, selling and testing on the left side of the continuum; and consulting, buying and following on the right.
Note also that extreme opposites occupy the positions at each end of the continuum and each behavioral mode in between represents a gradual diminishing of the absolute power and authority of the leader-manager as one proceeds from left to right. Using the whole continuum will be difficult, slow and frustrating at first, but with diligent practice using it will become more and more natural. Ultimately, the integral leader will be able to use the continuum with alacrity and expertise.
Now for the second major aspect of the continuum concept, the “integral followership continuum.” Little, if any, research has been done by leader-manager experts on integral followership. It seems a badly neglected area of study. The concepts I am about to describe are born out over fifty years as a manager, including corporate vice president, as well as action researcher, MBA adjunct professor and consultant-facilitator in management and organization transformation and development. The integral followership continuum contains the same behavioral modes as the Integral Leadership continuum. The sole difference is that it is reversed in sequence (reading left to right), as shown in Figure 8, Follower’s Continuum of Communications Options. The reason for the reversal is to reflect the expectations of the leader when he or she is communicating with a subordinate. For example, a leader in a selling communications mode expects, more or less consciously or unconsciously, that the subordinate will be in an opposite but complementary mode.
Here, of course, is often the cause of difficulty in communications between leaders and followers. The leader has expectations that are in discord with the expectations of the follower or the converse may be true. If, for example, the leader is in a demanding mode—not empathetically expecting the follower to acquiesce and unquestionably obey his or her demands. The follower, instead of obeying, makes demands. A fight is probably in the offing. In psychological circles this is referred to as counter-dependent behavior.
The integral leader-follower continua can be valuable instruments for transcending, expanding and transforming the consciousness of leaders and followers concerning their respective ranges of choice for acquiring insights into possibly self-defeating modes and for developing more effective modes of behavior. Figure 9, Leader-follower Continua of Options provides a view of both leadership and followership continua placed in juxtaposition. The diagonal line demarcates the “turf” or space of each. On the left is the leader’s range of power, authority and responsibility in contradistinction to the shaded area that describes the follower’s range of power, freedom and responsibility. The diagonal line also expresses the degrees of power for both leader and follower—that is, the more the leader’s behavior moves left, the more power he or she assumes and the less power is available to the follower. The more the leader moves to the right, the less overt power he or she exerts and, commensurately, the more power, freedom and responsibility is available to the follower. Depicted in the center is balanced integrated two-way communications (Theory Y) between leader and follower. With respect to the latter it should be remembered that this is never quite as equal as the follower might wish for, because the leader still has, inevitably, positional power to one degree or another conferred by higher management or stockholders – that is, the power to evaluate performance and fire the follower or otherwise make things unpleasant for him or her. While the success of this mode will depend primarily on the ability of the leader to establish an authentic atmosphere of trust and openness to offset his or her prevailing positional power, the follower shares with the leader the responsibility for proactively establishing a climate of trust and openness.
Some years back, William J. Crockett, the late vice-president of Saga Corporation, in a presentation to the Organization Development Network stated that most people fail in jobs because of bad followership.
- He cited the following as characteristics of good followers, pointing out that they:
- Produce a genuine climate of win/win with the supervisor so that there is no feeling of competition.
- Challenge the supervisor’s ideas and so are valued as loyal devil’s advocates.
- Confront the supervisor’s values, facts, and behavior – and then are rewarded for their courage and openness.
- Confront the supervisor’s orders without becoming subservient.
- Account to the supervisor for his or her own stewardship, honestly and factually, and still retain a sense of freedom and dignity.
- Fulfill a stewardship responsibility to the supervisor dynamically without claiming ownership to the territory so skillfully created.
- Retain their personal self-esteem despite the seductive appearance of power, ambition, and blandishments.
- Leave when it is apparent that they can no longer support the values, behavior, and decisions of the supervisor. Perhaps this is the most important of all.
As you went through Crockett’s characteristics of a good follower how would you say you rate most of the time? How do you feel/think your supervisor(s) rate you? On which of them would you like to improve? What do you want to do to realize improvement? Would it be useful to discuss this list with your supervisor?
Having discussed an integral self-concept followed by 1st dimension: the life-cycle relationships options and 2nd dimension: the leader-follower communications, let’s take a look now at the third and last dimension in my four-dimensional model, the leader-follower power options.
3rd Dimension: Leader-Follower Power Options
My working assumption underlying this, the 3rd dimension that involves a continuum of archetypal power options, is that the most valid and reliable spiritual-psycho-physical evidence for truth is best derived from the scientific and intuitive study of Nature. After all, Nature is far older by billions of years than any human-made fiction-based belief system and it seems most logical that it be the most valid and reliable ‘book’ to study for ascertaining truth. Even if the truth garnered through scientific study of Nature is limited to evidence indicating high probabilities of being true, not absolute truth, integral natural science is an improvement over guesswork and fiction.
It seems to follow that we human beings reflect the full continuum of values inherent in the attributes of our “cosmic role model” as expressed through the various and sundry acts of Nature, all the way from peace and caring to violent and destructive. There is support in ancient spiritual literature for this broad existential view of our human condition that our Source is the originator of both benevolent and what appears to us as malevolent behavior. For example, the Hindu belief system (Upanishads, circa 8th-7th centuries BCE) is founded on the view that their God Vishnu possesses three major attributes: creator, preserver and destroyer. A Judeo-Christian view of God as creator, lover and destroyer, among other attributes, are implied and summed up in a well-known poetic passage from the book of Ecclesiastes (circa 5,000 BCE):
To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal…
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance…
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
Thus, it appears to follow that our Source, at least in the opinion of those Hindu and Judeo-Christian writers, supports and provides energy to all behaviors it-she-he uses. They have delegated to us individual and collective responsibility for choosing which options we want to support and follow, complete with experiencing the consequences for health or ill. Evidence for our Source’s ‘support’ for all modes of archetypal power options seems evident in the fact that the sun continues to shine and oxygen provided for humans committing, many modern societies deem, even the most heinous of crimes. In matter of fact, most of us repress in our unconscious the very idea that we could possibly commit such crimes and are shocked when one of those “dark” energies takes over and expresses itself in a bizarre, even catastrophic, way. Then neighbors and friends lament, “He was such a nice person. Who would have thought he had it in him?” It is for that reason Carl Jung (1958) believed it vital that we make conscious what is hidden in the unconscious of human beings. If we continue to repress the existence of ‘evil’ impulses in our respective unconsciouses, given a certain kind of situation, these impulses could well be expressed in the most bizarre and horrific of behaviors. Take, for example, what many consider the worst of holocausts perpetrated by Nazi Germany.
Jung often referred to the place in our unconscious where such repressed impulses are hidden as the shadow, i.e. the place in the unconscious where lie hidden and repressed the most violent of undesirable human potentialities. Jung pointed out that those inhuman atrocities perpetrated against Jews, Catholics and homosexuals by Hitler and his minions became possible because the violent side of the German psyche had been repressed in their collective shadow. Similar observations could be made about other despots and their followers, e.g., Genghis Khan and Antiochus Epiphanies. In other words when the ‘right’ conditions availed themselves, out of the shadow sprang the bizarre torrent of anger and hatred against ‘the undesirables’ and the pogroms started. The moral of this story is that it is important to keep in our conscious mind that all ten of the archetypes of power listed in the 3rd dimension—no matter how benevolent or malevolent—exist as options within our human psyches. The more we consciously recognize their presence in our shadow the more likely we are to prepare ourselves to consciously channel their powerful energies in healthful ways should the situation arise which would otherwise cause them to erupt out of control.
Based on those working premises, I have drawn from my observations of Nature’s behavior a list of ten archetypal ‘families of attributes’ characterizing our Source. Those prototypic attributes include: originator, experimenter, producer, developer, lover-healer, preserver, harmer, diminisher, destroyer and recycler. As I pointed out earlier, it is significant that some of those listed could well be resident in our own shadow, individually and collectively as a society, for many of us find it unthinkable that we could possibly harm, diminish, and destroy others. These ten attributes appear evident in the processes our Source deploys throughout the cosmos (at least as far as we can see with the Hubble telescope), all the way from evolving and revitalizing all temporal biological systems to maintaining a healthful balance of nature.
Each of these ten attributes carries potential for good or ill. In other words, any time we act on one intention we may experience its opposite, as well. For example, when we create health, we destroy disease and conversely. To illustrate, a surgeon may help recreate a healthy body by destroying a cancerous tumor. A key to healthful living seems to be conscious acceptance of both positive and negative values followed by making conscious healthful choices situation by situation. And not just that, I recommend we consciously consider what we are destroying when we create anything. Had we as a society done that, we might well have developed an alternative to fossil fuel before it could wreak as much damage as it has to our global habitat.
A general overview of ten archetypal power options is shown below. While each option can be seen as positive and healthful given the situation at hand, each can be used to the detriment of individuals, your work team, organization, and ecosystem if overused or misused. This list can be used as a set of options for team members to consider when sharing how they perceive group use of the attributes themselves and changes they may want, followed by action planning:
- Originates – causes to be, brings into existence, starts. Caveat: If overused or misused originating may result in unhealthy level of abundance.
- Experiments – test, tries out, conducts experiment, carries out trial. Caveat: If overused or misused experimenting may result in unstable and dysfunctional systems.
- Produces – manufactures, constructs, fabricates, generates. Caveat: If overused or misused producing may result in unhealthful level of abundance.
- Evolves – develops, grows, advances, causes to progress, go forward. Caveat: If overused or misused evolving may result in imbalanced, unhealthful growth.
- Loves -Heals – devoted to, cares for, makes well, restores to health. Caveat: If overused or misused loving and healing may result in hypochondria and enabling behavior (guise of love).
- Preserves – protects, safeguards, defends, sustains, maintains, conserves, upholds. Caveat: If overused or misused preserving may result in unrealistic fears of loss.
- Harms – damages, hurts, injures, impairs, spoils. Caveat: If overused or misused harming may result in unhealthful level of damage.
- Diminishes – reduces, weakens, shrinks, fades out, ebbs, makes smaller, lessens. Caveat: If overused or misused diminishing may result in unhealthful level of reduction.
- Destroys – obliterates, annihilates, demolishes, devastates, tears down, kills. Caveat: If overused or misused destroying may result in premature demise.
- Recycles – reprocesses, reuses, salvages. Caveat: If overused or misused, recycling may result in system dysfunction, glut, and chaos.
Preliminary Summary and Discussion
I have described the center, which represents the inner place of oneness, equanimity and co-creativity with our Source, the 4th dimension comprised of the seven-dimensional soul-concept model around which are organized the three dimensions of leader-follower behavior continuum options: 1st dimension: the life-cycle relationships options; 2nd dimension: the leader-follower communications options; and 3rd dimension: the continuum of power options. Put all together in Figure 1, we integrate all four dimensions into one integral working model of leader-follower behavior options. It can be used as a leader’s tool in workshops, during teambuilding meetings and at the workplace for diagnosing problem relationships with subordinates and superiors and planning ways together for improving these relationships. Since some readers may find the rest of this section repetitious, you may want to skip over it to the next section on How to Use the Integral Leader-Follower in 4-D model.
The left trihedron in the network represents the leader’s “turf,” bounded on the left side by the archetypal life-cycle hierarchy concept discussed earlier on the upper side of the upper side of the leader’s continuum. The third dimension represents the power options, either separately or in combinations, available to the leader.
The right trihedron represents accordingly, the follower’s turf bounded on the right side by the archetypal life-cycle hierarchy, but shown in reverse order to the leader’s. The follower’s continuum, at the bottom of the grid, is also the reverse of the leader’s described above. Again the third dimension represents the power options, either separately or in combinations, available to the follower in the relationship. This is the only dimension in which the leader and follower power options are not reversed, simply because there is no sufficiently convincing rationale for doing so.
I suggest it is important to remember one fundamental point when using the integral leader-follower network in 4-D. Philosophically there are no “right or wrong” behaviors in and of themselves. What makes a particular 4-D behavior good or bad operationally is contingent on what mode or modes work best within healthful parameters for the leader and follower in their particular work situation. This perspective gives both parties a greater opportunity for behavioral mobility and versatility and greater personal effectiveness. Support for this view comes from the research of Wickham Skinner and Earl Sasser (1977).
Initially quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” These researchers found that those sentiments apply equally well to the operating leader-manager’s job. Their study showed that leaders who are consistent in the way they tackle problems encountered from day to day are likely to have little to show for their efforts, while the leaders who analyze each situation as it comes and adapt their style and their approach accordingly are likely to accomplish more. These managers succeed in motivating followers and satisfying superiors—that is, they are good followers as well as high-achieving leaders.
The integral leader-follower options network in 4-D provides a frame of reference for analyzing styles of behavior in light of given situations and adapting accordingly. Further, it provides a means for both leader and follower to get together to work through problem relationships, expand consciousness of options they may have overlooked or forgotten, and become optimally successful achievers
An Introductory Trial Run
At this point it may be useful to experiment with using one continuum, namely, the 2nd dimension before using all four. Following are some situations faced by leader-managers. Read each and select the one option that you believe would be the most effective first step toward meeting the challenge posed. There are no absolutely right or wrong answers, therefore please feel free to consult Figure 6 titled A Synopsis of Three Leadership Behaviors and Their Probable Consequences or any other Figure you wish.
Three Practice Situations
Situation 1. You stepped into an efficiently run organization which your predecessor controlled very tightly. You want to retain a healthful level of control but balance it with increased emphasis on more qualitative humanistic empathetic behavior and more visionary and creative opportunities.
A. Do what you can to make your team of leader-managers feel important.
B. Emphasize the importance of task deadlines.
C. Back off. don’t do anything.
D. Involve your team with you in the decision-making process but see that objectives are met.
E. Ask the board of directors to tell you what to do.
F. Other: ______________________________________________________
Situation 2. The motivation and commitment of your management team has been dropping. They have needed continual reminding, even prodding, to get their program objectives done on schedule.
A. Allow the team to formulate it own objectives.
B. Elicit and incorporate group ideas, but see that objectives are met.
C. Clarify roles and responsibilities and supervise carefully.
D. Allow group participation in revisioning objectives, roles and responsibilities without being directive on your part.
E. Persuade them to accept your ideas–you know what is best.
F. Other :_______________________________________________________
Situation 3. You have been recently appointed to your position as division director. Your predecessor is said to have used solely non-directive behavior. Your management team has satisfactorily set and met its goals, yet they complain that you don’t give them enough direction.
A. Leave the team to its own devices.
B. Quickly give them direction on objectives and plans. Install strong controls.
C. Involve them in decision-making in various phases of the leader-manager process.
D. Discuss past practices with work team then you decide on a new modus operandi.
F. Other: _______________________________________________________
After you have completed the case incidents you may find it useful to discuss them and your responses with your team members. How were their responses the same as yours? Different? Why? Were you able to reach consensus? If not, what is standing in the way? Are you able to agree to disagree and still be friendly and move on together? If not, what it would take to do that? Etc.
How to Use the 4-D Model of Leader-Follower Relationship Options
Now, how does one put to practical use the integral leader-follower options in 4-D map of consciousness? You have at least two options.
- First Option:
- Of course, the most effective way of learning how to use it would be in the context of an actual teambuilding meeting. For that purpose you may want to consider two options: First, The Integral Leader-Follower Relationships Profile: Options in 4-D (Figure 1) has an introductory cover page that describes at least one general way of using it for teambuilding. A professional organization facilitator may be able to suggest additional options related more closely to your situation and issues.
- Second Option:
- Read and become familiar with the contents of Figure 10, Coping Empathetically and Creatively with Three ‘Difficult’ Human Behaviors, and Appendix B, Empathetic Listener’s Self-Profile [in PDF format].
Then, make a hard copy of Figure 1, Integral Leader-Follower Relationships: Options in 4-D, and follow this process:
- Think of a person on your work team with whom you have had difficulty. Imagine that you are preparing for a one-on-one meeting with this person today.
- Using Figure 1, Integral Leader-Follower Relationships: Options in 4-D, find the behavior(s) on the Follower’s side, 1st dimension continuum of five options that best describes this person as he or she behaves most of the time when he or she is with you. Keeping that in mind, describe which “family” member he or she is most like. Possibly this person talks down to you much of the time – like a parent or in an “all-wise” way, like some grandparents. Once you have decided on a behavioral option mark it lightly in pencil.
- Now look at the 2nd dimension continuum of three options and mark lightly in pencil the behavior which best describes this person as she or he communicates with you most of the time when she or he is with you. For illustrative purposes, let’s say that this individual is usually in a high intensity, persuasive, charismatic, manipulative mode most of the time in your meetings with her or him? You would probably choose “directs” on the continuum to describe his or her behavior in that kind of situation.
- Look now at the 3rd dimension continuum of ten power options and mark lightly in pencil the behavior which best describes this person as he or she relates to you most of the time when he or she is with you.
- View the 4th dimension and mark lightly in pencil the sending or receiving option which best describes this person as she or he relates to you most of the time when she or he is with you. Envisage which 4th dimension communications mode the person is likely to use in terms of their sending communications. When sending to you are they likely to express high, medium, low intensity in feeling and thought? How perceptive are they relative to reading your body language? When in the receiving mode, are they more likely to depend more on their intuition (parasensing) or regular sensory perception.
- Last, draw straight lines from each the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd dimension continua so they converge on the option you marked in the 4th dimension. Then, on the interior of the total network on the follower’s side pencil in the three lines until they intersect.
- What feelings and thoughts do you have as you consider this four-dimensional picture? Choose the one that applies and lightly draw in pencil the four lines until they intersect. What does this synthesis of their four dimensions of anticipated behavior tell you? What primary combination of 4-D behaviors do you likely need to be prepared for? What secondary behaviors? What alternative options will you suggest to them? Why?
- On your, the leader’s side of the 4-D model, ask the same basic questions of yourself. Consider the various options you have. What are the pros and cons of each? What mode or modes are likely to produce the desired relationship for the most empathetic and productive results? Pencil in your probable first responses in each of the four dimensions and draw lines until they converge on your selected option in the fourth dimension.
Remember that all I have done in this exercise is lead you through one set of four-dimensional options for your team member and yourself. You have 449 additional sets of four-dimensional relationship options from which to choose for later moves in the communications process.
A similar approach can be used in working through interpersonal issues with your leader, except, of course, you would work from the perspective of the follower.
Relationship issues with colleagues more equal in positional power require a different perspective. An integral collegial relationship options in 4-D model is available for diagnosing and working through relationship issues with colleagues.
Integral Organization Climate for Integral Transfer of Learning
Every successful gardener knows that the key to growing healthy flowers and vegetables is empathetically providing just enough nutrients, water, and sunlight—not too much, not too little. While obviously more complex than growing flowers and vegetables, the basic principle for growing successful integral leaders and followers is much the same.
The success of your mutual efforts to transform and further develop the integral relationship you (the leader) started with your followers in the initial teambuilding meeting will be measured by the amount of learning transferred to and nurtured in the work place. That will be contingent on the kind of psychosocial climate you both experience in your section, department, division and organization as a whole.
Following is a list of values and attitudes several profit and non-profit organizations and I have used as a guideline for creating a conscious, healthful, strong and productive organization climate. The more these values and attitudes exist in your organization the greater will be the probability of your success:
- The Value of a Healthful Lifestyle
- consisting of a moderate and balanced nutrition regimen of protein, carbohydrates, and monounsaturated fats and Omega 3, plus regular moderate exercise, the practice of the relaxation response (meditation), and volunteer social service.
- The Value of Identifying With the Changeless
- The value of identifying psychologically with the changeless in order to better manage our responses to changing events around us. Caveat: every leadership response, whether directive, participative, or nondirective – carries the potential of being overused or misused, depending on the situation at hand.
- The Value of Balancing and Integrating Feminine and Masculine
- Valuing the equal importance of feminine and masculine principles, energies and processes as complementary opposites in the cosmos, nature, within ourselves and our everyday social lives. Caveat: The more imbalances there are in favor of either, the greater will be loss of balanced consciousness, vitality, health, creativity, strength and general overall productivity, qualitatively and quantitatively in one’s organization.
- The Value of Realizing Our Interdependence With Nature
- Encouraging expansion of our understanding of all nature – including ourselves, of course – as alive, self-managing, intelligent, conscious and interdependent beings at all levels, from microbes all the way up the chain through planets, suns, galaxies and universes.
- The Value of Co-creativity
- Co-creativity assumes that each of us is interdependent socially and environmentally, and, therefore, have the potential to communicate and create with every entity in our organization and in nature for healthful good or ill.
- The Value of Transformation and Development
- Belief that expansion of consciousness of available options and the insights gained there from can produce almost immediate transformations of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behaviors and biochemicals within our bodies to the benefit of ourselves, our organization, society and ecosystem. But in order for transformation to persist without being extinguished, a longer process of development through continued study and practice is desirable.
- The Value of Inquiry
- Encouraging an attitude of openness to new ideas and research findings – scientific, humanistic, and spiritual – and a willingness to consider them, combined with feeling of tentativeness and caution until they are proven reliable and valid, or our intuition is such that we are confident enough to step out in faith and reality-test them in the laboratory of everyday living.
- The Value of Awareness
- Encouraging transcendence of tradition, inhibition, involuntarily conditioned beliefs, values, attitudes, motives, behaviors, and other limiting forces in order to expand our awareness of a wider, higher, deeper range of possibilities and options within and around us.
- The Value of Cooperative Relationships
- Supporting the belief that more effective results come from cooperative relationships than those based on the authority-obedience model or the “rugged individualist” model, although those, too, may be useful in emergency situations. Also, we believe that no one person is “the authority” on everything – we each are the authorities about our own experience. Accordingly, we encourage drawing on group resources and learn from each other.
- The Value of a Whole Perspective
- Being keenly aware and concerned for the needs and interests of our whole selves – spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, social, fun-loving, vocational, economic, esthetic and ecological. This concern includes such matters as consciousness, conditioning, identity, personality and co-creatively self-managing, liberally spiced with a keen sense of humor. All those are oriented toward the actualization and realization of each individual’s integral consciousness, health, full functioning, wisdom and self-perceived potential.
- The Value of Receptiveness
- Recognizing the importance of accepting healthful constructive feedback about our ideas and opinions (not about one’s personality unless clearly requested) without taking the feedback personally and/or being a slave to the opinions of others.
- The Value of Empathy Blended With Candor
- Recognizing that “but for the luck of the draw, each of us souls could have been the other, and the other us.” Recognition of that tends to spawn empathy and the delay of judgment until the other’s situation and point of view are more fully understood. Together with this ability to empathize, we encourage expression of our convictions to others in an empathetic, candid, and constructive way.
- The Value of Openness
- Encouraging sensitivity to interpersonal conflict and trying to work through it with an open, empathetic, direct, positive, win-win problem-solving approach, rather than with win-lose approaches, such as denial, suppression, ridicule or power plays.
In this article I have described in some detail my concept of integral leader-follower relationships in four dimensions. In another article (Johnston 2005) I recounted the noetic-based process I used in facilitating a five-year transformational company-wide endeavor from scratch. One of the key concepts I used in that project was integral leader-follower relationships in 4-D as the frame-of-reference and criteria for designing the interpersonal process side of a five-day workshop titled The Integrated Management Process Workshop (1979) and follow-on integral open systems planning projects, integral teambuilding meetings and related projects.
While my agreement with corporate executives at the beginning of the project was that I would not divulge the company’s identity, I can say that despite early widespread skepticism, I facilitated 46 five-day integral management process workshops and 62 teambuilding meetings involving 475 leaders and team members from the CEO and president through vice presidents, division directors, middle managers, first line supervisors, and workers. All but three managers in the entire company of eleven divisions participated, some numerous times, over a five-year period. In written evaluations completed at the end of the five-day workshop, in response to the question management considered the bottom line indicator, “Would you recommend this workshop to others like yourself? Yes. No. Why?” 98% checked they would recommend this workshop to others like themselves.
Top management’s vision of becoming a more proactive, participative, and empathetic organization became more and more in evidence over the five years by increases in sales of about 26%, increased return on investment, and decrease in employee turnover, although the latter varied considerably from division to division. As a testament to its success, the corporate vice president of human resources and key human resources executives from all eleven divisions voluntarily joined the Organization Development Network.
As an interesting aside, when I attended company parties some spouses of my workshop participants sought me out to thank company leadership and me for what the workshop had done to help transform their spouse to become more empathetic and caring at home.
Our corporate-wide integral organization transformation project ended only because the critical mass of the still transforming medium-sized Fortune 500 company became so attractive financially and qualitatively it was wooed and ultimately purchased by another.
IONS president James O’Dea wrote after reviewing an early draft of my Seven Steps to Integral Organization Transformation,” (2005)…it is really thoughtful and a pragmatic way to structure noetic principles into organizational development.”
I have described how in one-way or another, we are all both leaders and followers. The value of integral understanding of leaders and followers seems to have become more acute commensurate with the dramatic increase in the uncertainties and complexities involved in doing business throughout the world, especially since 9/11. To complicate matters further, our workers are better-educated and consequently less amenable to autocratic top-down one-way communications unless in emergency situations. Most want to be heard and their ideas at least considered, if not accepted.
I’ve shared with you a 4-D model developed while working closely with a wide variety of organization leaders and followers in both profit and non-profit organizations since 1966. It is a four-dimensional model, which can be used as a tool for diagnosing, planning, and working through leader-follower issues for more conscious empathetic, creative and productive relationships amid fast changing, even chaotic, environmental conditions. Encompassing four dimensions of leadership, or managerial, behavior as well as four dimensions of follower, or subordinate, behavior, the model integrates these dimensions into a new model for practical use in designing and facilitating integral team building projects, experiential management workshops, and associated organization transformation processes. I hope that in reading the article you got ideas for how you can use the model to the benefit of the leaders and followers who work in your organization and, of course, the economic and social health and wellbeing of your organization as a whole. On the following pages are the graphics referenced during your reading.
- Assagioli, R. (1965). Psychosynthesis. NY: Viking Press.
- Assagioli, R. (1967). Jung and Psychosynthesis. NY: Psychosynthesis Research Foundation.
- Assagioli, R. (1973). The Act of Will. NY: Viking Press.
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- “Ecclesiastes” (author undetermined), The Bible. At least 3,000 different translations and versions – take your pick. Circa 5,000 BCE to approximately 4th century AD.
- Gendlin, E. (1978). Focusing. New York: Bantam Book.
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- Johnston, R (2006). “A Conscious Integral Leader.” Shift in Action.com, Institute of Noetic Sciences, January 31, 2006.
- Johnston, R (2005). “Seven Steps to Integral Organization Transformation.” Shift in Action.com, Institute of Noetic Sciences, August 21, 2005.
- Johnston, R. (2003). Cocreatively Self-Managing From One’s Inner ‘Seat’ of Timeless Awareness. Workshop presented to the Institute of Noetic Sciences Annual Conference. Palm Springs.
- Johnston, R. (1981a). “Leader-Follower Behavior in 3-D, Parts 1 and 2”, Personnel Journal. July-August 1981 and September-October 1981. American Management Association Press.
- Johnston, R. (1981b). “Negotiation Strategies: Different Strokes for Different Folks”, Personnel Journal, 1981, American Management Association.
- Johnston, R. (1979). Integrated Management Process Workbook. Los Angeles: Western Gear Corporation (out of print). Updating currently in progress.
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Simon and Schuster.
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- Radin, D. (2006). Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality. NY: Paraview Pocket Books.
- Sahtouris, E. (2000). EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution. Lincoln, NE: iUniversity.
- Shankara (probable author). Upanishads. Circa 8th-7th centuries BCE
- Skinner, C. and Sasser, Jr. W. (1977). “Managers with Impact: Versatile and Inconsistent,” Harvard Business Review.
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- Walsh, R. and Vaughan, F. (1980). Beyond Ego: Transpersonal Dimensions in Psychology. L A: Tarcher.
- Wise, A. (1995). The High Performance Mind. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher.
- Suggested Additional Readings
- Benson, H. (1996). Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief. N.Y.: Scribner.
- Drucker, P. (1980). Managing in Turbulent Times. NY: Harper and Row.
- Fletcher, B. (1990). Organization Transformation Theorists and Practitioners: Profiles and Themes. New York: Praeger.
- Gendlin, E. (1978). Focusing. New York: Bantam Books.
- Gerzon, R. (2002) “Sacred Anxiety,” UU WORLD, March-April.
- Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. New York: Bantam.
- Harman, W. and Rheingold, H. (1984). Higher Creativity: Liberating the Unconscious for Breakthrough Insights. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher.
- Hopkins, J. (2001). Cultivating Compassion. NY: Broadway Books.
- Johnston, R.. “Using Dreams for Problem Solving,” PERSONNEL Journal, Volume 64, Number 11, The American Management Association.
- Keirsey, D. and Bates, M. (1978). Please Understand Me. Del Mar, C A: Prometheus.
- Laszlo, E. (2004). Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions.
- Maslow, A. (1971). Toward a Psychology of Being. NY: Viking.
- Ray, M. and Myers. R. (1986). Creativity in Business. NY: Doubleday.
- Sears, B. (2002). The Omega Rx Zone. New York: Regan Books, NY: Harper Collins.
- Smuts, J. (1926). Holism and Evolution. NY: Macmillan.
- Swimme, B. and Berry. (1994). The Universe Story. San Francisco: Harper.
- Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution. Boulder: Shambhala.
- Watts, A. (1966). The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. NY: Collier
Robert Wayne Johnston, PhD
Since 1966, Bob has been a pioneer in consciousness expansion, integral self-management, creative leadership, and organization transformation and development. Working as both an internal and external consultant, he specialized in guiding top managements of small to large non-profit and Fortune 500 companies through the process of starting-up corporate-wide organization development projects from scratch. Concurrently, he was curriculum consultant and adjunct professor teaching human behavior in organizations in two graduate schools of business. He has published widely and made numerous presentations at conferences.
During the ten years before retiring, he changed somewhat the focus of his vocation to introduce his innovative in-depth transformational self-management processes in psychiatric and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. Now an active retiree, Bob has been giving back to society by doing mostly volunteer consulting work in the areas of self-management for healthful aging and creative leadership for non-profit local, state, and national councils on aging, and the White House Conference on Aging. He founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences Community Group in Amherst, Massachusetts.