Russ Volckmann

An Invitation, March 2001

Do you want to understand more about the relationship between the needs of executives and how coaching can support those needs. So do I. Warren Bennis stated in a speech last year that the integral approach to organizations and management is the wave of the future. This is the direction the most exciting research, new methods, and action will be going.

You are invited to join with me in a 3-month (approximately) R&D process to explore questions about what the integral perspective has to offer coaching executives. Once or twice a week I will send you an email requesting input and/or feedback. In return, I will share all of the results with you.

In addition, I will probably want to explore some of the ideas in my ebook as a part of this process. More specifically, do you want to learn more about how the approach offered in A Leadership Opportunity: An Integral Approach can strengthen how development takes place with the support of coaches? Each member of my R&D team will receive a free copy of A Leadership Opportunity An Integral Approach at some point in the process. The initial questions will be more generic, but you will receive the ebook in plenty of time to review it before we focus more specifically on what it offers.

The subject of leadership is fascinating. That is, leadership in any aspect of business and life is a challenging perspective. How has it impacted your professional life? How has it informed your practice? What new issues are your clients bringing? How well are you prepared to support them?

Key to the development of an innovative approach to executive leadership is the work of Ken Wilber. He has provided a framework that has been useful in rethinking leadership. He has also provided a challenge to find ways to take his very heady concepts, theories, and models and make them real in the world. I believe that is what A Leadership Opportunity: An Integral Approach offers. It is a highly practical, useful, business-savvy guide to leadership in business.

Be advised that Ken Wilber has established an Integral Institute for Business which is sponsoring a massive literature search and classification system, as well as research. We haven’t seen any products of this process yet. I hope we will, soon. In the meanwhile, there is effective work we can do to look at the implications of the integral perspective for effective executive and corporate coaching.

My work is built on the premise that the most effective tool for executive and leadership development is coaching. Certainly, the use of mentoring, development centers, education and training programs have some value. But they will have even more value when supported by coaching.

In recent years, my focus has been on developing executive leadership in business. As an organization development consultant for over twenty years I have consulted to and, even coached (although I did not understand coaching as I do today) leaders of many different types of organizations: manufacturing, health care, mental health, computer hardware, software, telecommunications, construction and government. But it wasn’t until 1997 that I undertook a six-month project with two partners to coach the executives of a high tech company in Silicon Valley.

This was an experience of significant successes and failures. We learned a lot – clients and coaches. My ebook is an attempt to look at the implications of that learning. It describes a way of thinking about executive roles in business that provides a highly practical map for executive leadership development. What is not as clearly spelled out are the methods for using this map in a powerfully generative way.

Who am I looking for? I want individuals who have been or are executives or who have experience coaching executives in business. I would like to get 30 to participate, but I like the open space concept: whoever comes are the right people. I hope you will be one of those people. You do not have to become an expert on Ken Wilber’s work to participate effectively. If you want to read just one thing by him, read Integral Psychology. If you want to go deeper, he has nine volumes of collected works by Shambhala.

Remember: the prize for participating, in addition to a copy of my book is a copy of the material as we develop it. You will need to participate consistently, 90% of the time, however, to move to the next level. What is the next level? I don’t know yet. It could be an edited book, articles in newsletters and professional journals, material for marketing, etc. You will be involved in helping to decide that.