Leading Comments

Russ Volckmann


I am grateful to the subscribers of Integral Leadership Review. Your support has meant 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-journal has been 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 is 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.

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Gretchen M. Spreitzer and Robert E. Quinn, A Company of Leaders, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

There is a growing literature about leadership as a function that must be fostered throughout a business organization to effectively engage with the rapid pace of development and change faces by many businesses, as well as providing the quality of customer service required to thrive. This contributes to our knowledge and understanding of Integral Leadership because it recognizes that leadership is not just an individual act, a heroic act, but a collective phenomenon, as well.

This recent offering is essentially about how executives can use empowerment to achieve leadership practices throughout their organizations. It offers examples of successful empowerment and strategies for fostering it. Empowerment has a history of failure.

They attribute this to five factors:

  1. Ambivalence about implementing empowerment,
  2. Bureaucratic culture that protects traditional ways,
  3. Conflict within the organization over what and how it should be,
  4. Personal time constraints precluding commitment and action, and
  5. Fundamental misunderstanding of how empowerment is achieved.

In order to build empowered leadership throughout an organization it is necessary change the mindsets of people. “.genuine empowerment consists of fundamental personal beliefs that employees have about their role in relation to the organization.”

Their prescription for effective empowerment includes:

  • Meaning: having a personal connection to work,
  • Self-Determination: having freedom and discretion
  • Competence: confidence about one’s abilities
  • Impact: making a difference.

All four are essential for empowerment to be effective.

The benefits of empowerment, the dispersal of leadership through the organization, include:

  • Individuals view selves as effective,
  • Employees are less resistant to change,
  • Individuals are more innovative,
  • Individuals are transformational in their leadership abilities, including influencing upward,
  • Higher job satisfaction.

They advocate five disciplines:

  1. Empowering yourself,
  2. Creating clear vision and challenge,
  3. Continuous security and support for employees,
  4. Continuous openness and trust, and
  5. Continuous guidance and control.

These disciplines stand in tension with each other and provide the field of paradox of empowered leadership,

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Three 9 week modules, 1 1/2 hour teleclasses weekly
Core coaching curriculum as distinguished from therapy
Leadership Development program which can be taught to others
Marketing program including internet tools
Extensive role-play coaching practice with master coaches
Opportunity to qualify as a Certified Business Coach
Therapist Coach Institute distinguishes itself from other coach training schools in that the curriculum prepares professionals for coaching by extensive practice opportunities, and to take their skills into the business arena, where fees are substantially higher.
Six months of weekly coaching is included in the program!
If you know of qualified persons with training in psychology or counseling who would be an asset to the coaching community, please nominate them by e-mail to or call 888-800-6397 for an application.

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.
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