Leading Comments

Russ Volckmann

Please Note: You will find that some of the articles in this issue are longer than usual. It is my hope that the quality of the content more than justifies this.

We are beginning 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, particularly in the fields of consulting, training and coaching, as well as among business leaders who have a passion for leadership.

I am grateful to the 959 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 epublication 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.

> Russ Volckmann


William B. Locander, Frank Hamilton, Daniel Ladik, and James Stuart, “Developing a Leadership-Rich Culture: The Missing Link to Creating a Market-Focused Organization,” Journal of Market-Focused Management, 5, 149-163, 2002.

Something we should prepare ourselves for is a growing body of literature in academic journals that bring in integral perspectives. Not only are there new journals about to be published (Integral University, ARINA, Inc.) that are “integrally informed,” others are accepting articles that draw on the work of Ken Wilber and others. This year a special issue of the Journal of Organizational Change Management will include a group of articles related to integral approaches (including my own article, “Assessing Executive Leadership”).

Imagine my surprise when I discovered such an article in a journal that was published almost three years ago. written by a professor of marketing at the University of South Florida (who is now at Jacksonville State University in Florida), two of his graduate students and a co-founder of Leadership Circle (I am trying to find out what that is), the article was actually written in 2000 and revised in 2001 before its publication. I know of very little literature applying integral theory to leadership that early.

One of the interesting things about this article is that it brings the question of leadership and integral theory to bear on a specific business challenge: how to make organizations be more market-focused. The authors suggest that leadership is required to shift organization cultures to achieve an increase in market focus. Further, leadership development has been too focused on the individual-exterior quadrant. From their integral perspective they suggest a more comprehensive approach that addresses all four quadrants as they conceive them (See Figure 1).

Drawing on the work of David Nadler, Ian Mitroff, Peter Senge and others, the authors suggest an approach to leadership development that addresses the factors in Figure 1. “The major developmental challenge facing organizational leaders is to synchronize all four quadrants so that they progress and expand together.” They do focus on “B. Leadership Development” and include several suggestions for development such as Ira Progoff’s journaling approach and attention to spirituality and purpose.

Finally, the authors suggest a cascading approach to leadership development based on a market-focused strategy. As a result, “leadership should happen at all levels of the organization. To that end the commonly shared metal model that leaders are the chosen few and the rest are followers must be replaced with a more inclusive, fluid model of the leader-follower relationship.”

Lead Coach
Figure 1: Development Model for Leading Market Focused Organizations

In closing the authors suggest that their approach has several paradoxical relationships embedded within it:

Leading others starts with leading oneself.
Changing an entire culture starts with the individual.
The invisible power of personal purpose is the most concrete lever of culture change.
The shortest distance to building community is the great circle route of dialogue (their cascading approach to leadership development.)
A circular dialogue dance is quicker in building community than linear marching orders.
The way to gain control of change is to give up control to others.
Change in a mechanical world is fostered by seeing the organization as fluid relationships.
The journey is the destination in leading organizational change.
A Request
If you are finding the Integral Leadership Review to be bringing useful, fresh perspectives to the subject of leadership, please think of the leaders in business and life that might be able to benefit from subscribing to this epublication. Please send them a copy or a link to the web site, so that they may explore it. In this time of intense internet communication, we all need to manage our time and read those things which are most relevant for our work, our thinking and our values. It is my hope that many people will find the evolvingIntegral Leadership Review does just that. Your help is deeply appreciated.
Got any? E-mail Russ Volckmann
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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