Leading Comments

Russ Volckmann

We are in the fifth year of publication of the Integral Leadership Review. It is increasingly taking the form that I hoped, although I am sure there is still much that can be done to make this a useful document that attracts a wider audience in the fields of consulting, training and coaching, as well as among business and other organizational leaders who have a passion for leadership.

I am grateful to the 1082 subscribers to Integral Leadership Review. Your support means that we can move closer to a way of viewing and being in the world that is integrative, generative and supportive of our evolving integrity – learning to align our theory and our action, our values and assumptions with achieving what is important to us. Also, I am grateful to the many kindnesses, suggestions and offers of support we have received.

The mission of this e-publication is to be a practical guide to the application of an integral perspective to the challenges of leadership in business and life and to the effective relationship between executive/business coaches and their clients. My vision includes that this will be a place where others, as well as myself, can continue to develop and share ideas about Integral Leadership and integral coaching. That vision is being realized.

> Russ Volckmann

Russ Volckmann

Summary of Rost’s Leadership Development Proposals (1993)

The material that follows suggests some considerations for Integral Leadership development. Some of the ideas are immediately actionable, others may take a while. Rost distinguishes between leader development and leadership development:

Leader development promotes the “Lone Ranger” or “John Wayne” view of leadership, variants on the great man/woman theory of leadership that has regained a lot of popularity in the 1980s. Leadership development promotes a view of leadership that proclaims: “We are all in this together as these changes are our mutual purposes,” a completely new understanding of leadership that is emerging as the new definition of leadership…as we approach the new millennium. Training and development programs based on the new paradigm are much more difficult to design and execute that those popular for the last 50 years in which the objective was to train a leader to be a good manager. [Emphasis in the original.]

Here is a summary of Rost’s proposals:

(1) Stop concentrating on the leader.

  • Get rid of the emphasis on leader traits and personality characteristics.
  • Get rid of the lists of leader behaviors.
  • Get rid of all tests or inventories for leaders.
  • Get rid of the notion that we have to develop leaders.

(2) Conceive of leadership as an episodic affair. Here are some suggestions.

  • Don’t train people to think of leadership as good management so that everything a good manager does is leadership.
  • Get rid of the notion that leadership is only what works, that leadership is always a successful process, that leadership is high performance…
  • Train people to think about the process that leadership is.
  • Train people to think of leadership as a specific relationship of people planning a mutually agreeable, real change.
  • Have people list the leadership relationships in which they have been participating during a 12 or 24-month period.

(3) Train people to use influence.

(4) Develop people to work within noncoercive relationships. “Noncoercive means that the people in the relationship are able to respond yes or no to an attempt to influence them.” [Emphasis in the original.]

  • Train people to base the leadership relationship on mutual influence, not authority or power.
  • Help people build relationships around a sense of purpose instead of other more utilitarian objectives.
  • Train people to create relationships by having them help people…
  • Help people understand the nature of real—that is, transformative—change.
  • Real Change is almost always political.
  • Real change is long term.
  • Real change has tremendous symbolic implications, both positive and negative.
  • Real change takes place, for the most part, among large groups of people.

(5) Reconstruct people’s basic worldview toward a collaborative orientation.

Joseph C. Rost, “Leadership Development in the New Millennium.” The Journal of Leadership Studies“, 1993, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 92-110.

Thi Leadership Commitment,” in Outcalt, C.L., Faris, S.K., and McMahon, K.N., Developing Non-hierarchical Leadership on Campus: Case Studies and Best Practices in Higher Education. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

A Request
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Thanks for taking the time to consider this e-publication in a world of data overload. For leaders, collaborators, consultants, academics and coaches alike; I welcome you to some ideas and a dialogue that may benefit us all. I hope you will contact me soon with your idea, reference or article. Suggestions on improvement are welcome.
Russ Volckmann, PhD, Coaching Leaders in Business and Life
Tel: 831.333-9200, FAX: 831.656-0110
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