Leading Comments

Russ Volckmann

It Must Be That Time

Actually, this issue of Integral Leadership Review is long overdue. It doesn’t contain what I had wanted to include in the restart– an interview– but I don’t want to wait any longer. It has been a good year since the last issue. I hope you are still out there and interested.

And I want this to be a renewal of effort on my part. Who knows what the next issue might bring. Stay tuned! And I would be delighted to hear your comments about this issue.   Thanks!



I am grateful to the more than 600 subscribers to Integral Leadership Review. Your continuing 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


Chris Ashton and Andrew Lambert, High Performance Leadership: Leaders Who Inspire and Deliver, CRF Publishing, London, 2003.

First, I must apologize. It has taken me a year to let people know about this very valuable work after the authors arranged for me to get a complementary copy. Certainly, I never would have had the chance to read this without their kindness since it was published with a corporate audience in mind and is priced well beyond the typical budget for such information. Perhaps in the year that has elapsed they have found some more affordable ways to share their information.

And a lot of information there is, indeed. Using a wide variety of sources, including original research and input from management gurus, the authors have assembled a study of what is required of leadership in turbulent times.

They define leadership as “a role whereby an individual or team takes responsibility for ensuring that direction is provided and decisions are taken and implemented. [And].the particular skills, characteristics and behaviors that support the assumption of that responsibility, especially leading people rather than just managing tasks and resources.

Some key points taken directly from the report are:
Conceptually-sound leadership philosophies are as rare as great leaders.
Leadership assessment, selection, development, succession and performance management needs new assumptions and some fresh thinking.
Many organizations cannot differentiate between leader success and failure.
Few have a coherent vision of what future leaders should be, and should do.
Organizational enablers of leadership effectiveness are easily deflected by beliefs about competency models or organizational politics.
There is widespread lack of “leadership IQ”–– the intuitive reasoning behind any quest for improved leadership.
Leaders who inspire and deliver, despite hostile environments can be found and are enabled by a high corporate and leadership IQ.

I find the acknowledgement of team, as well as individual, leadership to be particularly refreshing in that the level of complexity in organizations increasingly demands a team approach. I also like the fact that the authors acknowledge the requirements for leadership at many levels of the organization. They note, “the leadership brief is becoming too complex for current leader cadres, however strong efforts might be at extending the top team, distributing leadership further into the enterprise or preparing leaders for their own new challenges.”

This report is a valuable compendium of original research and input from leading thinkerss on the subject of business leadership. The authors conclude:

“Ignore leadership and it is likely to be an expensive mistake.The reality is that with increasing frequency, there is clear evidence of leadership failure and, in producing this report, weak practice was found as much as good practice. Moreover, gaining agreement to the problem is straightforward. Getting agreement on the remedy is less obvious, and a whole ‘leadership industry’ has emerged, the benefits of which are not always tangible.”

The report adds five appendices on leadership types, leadership development, leadership competency, a leadership scorecard and audit and– of particular interest to me– “Coaching at the Top.” There is a balanced and broad treatment of the subject and they state,

“Coaching has become established as a primary technique to address capability issues for individuals and teams– especially at senior level, since it can be applied flexibly to suit particular needs and also permits discretion about any shortcomings. However, like any other development method, it is important to understand what is involved, and to know how to apply it well and cost-effectively. Otherwise, there is as much scope to waste as save time and money.”

They quite appropriately differentiate coaching from managing and mentoring and note the potential for using external or internal coaches. They indicate that in the U.S. “life coaching tends to be a mix of mentoring and counseling. It typically centres on addressing the individual’s personal needs rather than role performance and organizational benefits.” Generally they are supportive of effective performance and development-oriented coaching provided by individuals who can work effectively at high levels of the company.

Contact Information

CRF Publishing Ltd
CountyMark House
50 Regent Street
London W1B 5RD

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.
Dedicated to Chris Newham with deep appreciation.
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
This material is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Financial, Legal and Professional information is not Financial, Legal and Professional advice. You should see a Financial, Legal or Professional in the area in which you live if you need advice.
You are welcome to share the contents of this e-publication. Please provide source information,
Thank you.