Leading Comments

Russ Volckmann


I am grateful to the subscribers to Leadership Opportunity. Your support has meant that we can move closer to a way of viewing and being in the world that is integrating, generative and supports our evolving integrity–learning to align our theory and our action. Also, I am grateful for 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.

I have decided to continue the mission and change the name to Integral Leadership Review. My vision is that it will be a place that others, as well as myself, can continue to develop and share ideas about Integral Leadership and integral coaching.

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Paul C. Judge, “Provocation 101″ Fast Company, January 2002.

Larry Weber, founder of Weber Shandwick International, challenges our stale definitions of leadership. Haven’t heard of his company? It is a $7 billion marketing and advertising firm., so I guess Larry comes from a position that suggests we should pay attention.

He has published a book, The Provocateur, in which he looks at the attributes of today’s leaders–no longer tied to military metaphors for running a business. For Larry being a leader is about being a “provocateur.” They are community builders around the customer at the core.

He offers these lessons:

  • “Build a community, not a company. The strength of a business is measured by the strength of its relationships. Provocateurs involve customers, partners, and employees in the business, allowing them to feel that they are important players in the enterprise’s success.”
  • “Roll out the welcome mat for nomadic customers. Customers are footloose; loyalty is rare. But a community that appeal to nomads can attract and keep customers even when they can find a better price elsewhere.”
  • “Good communities are not built on monologues. Provocateurs try to create a feeling that no walls separate the company from the outside world. The goal is constant interaction–with customers and prospects, with other businesses and with suppliers and regulators.”
  • “Act like a great mayor. Who better than former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani knows how to bring constituents together and create a common goal? Successful provocateurs, like great mayors, create excitement, engagement, and a sense of belonging.”
  • “Marketing is job one. Communicate with customers to benefit the company, and put the brand before everything else that a CEO does. The stronger the communication, the stronger the brand.”
  • “Love your competitors. Even your toughest competitor serves to validate your ideas and to generate interest in your community. Provocateurs know that they can learn from competitors. And they don’t worry that their competitors might learn something from them.”

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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
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