A Leadership Opportunity
by Russ Volckmann, PhD
This early book on the idea of integral leadership provides a model and a strategy for integral leadership development based on several core ideas:
- Context provides focus
- Purpose guides leadership
- Attuning around work supports leadership practice, and
- The leadership path is through relationships with stakeholders
This is not a trait theory of leadership. And it provides a place in the map to include trait theory. This is not a behavioral theory of leadership. And it provides a place in the map to include behavioral theory. This is not a situational theory of leadership. And it provides a place in the map to include situational theory. This is an integral approach to leadership in business and organizations.
Other guides have to do with one's core values and aspirations, mental models, beliefs, priorities, theories. In fact, following the path is often about trying to figure out the answer to the question of what is real, what is important, what "should" we do, what do we want to do. This e-book is a map to the territory of leadership that can help frame the questions, if not necessarily provide the answers. A core hypothesis is, however, that if any of the elements of the map are ignored or subjugated to any others, decisions will be less likely to produce intended results. Our steps on the path will lead us in directions we did not intend.
Many other approaches to leadership are referenced. They each have something of value to bring to business today. This discussion will empower leaders to take the best of what is available, try it, test it, learn from it and add to it. As a leader, that is your challenge.
In an e-mail to the author, Jim Kouzes, co-author of The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart, and chairman emeritus of tompeters!company wrote:
"Your work is some of the best I've seen on the contexts of leadership, and you've made a real contribution to our collective thinking about the subject. Now the key is getting it into our collective practice - going from the lab to the kitchen, so to speak. In the end, it's adoption and use that'll define success, and I'm confident that you'll create the ways to talk about and apply your good work to the everyday lives of leaders and their organizations."
This e-book begins that process.