Integral Leadership Development
Integral means balanced, inclusive, comprehensive. With its Integral foundation, Diamond’s Institute for Leading Change’s leadership approach offers a new framework for understanding leadership thought and action.
Too often leadership is thought of in purely instrumental terms—in the development of technique and skills. At Diamond we go beyond the development of technique and skills; we approach leadership from three unique perspectives:
- The interior of the individual—where meaning is made. This includes the ongoing exploration of the intellectual and emotional depths of the leader.
- The interior of groups—where values and connections arise. This includes values, spirituality and the diverse ways in which we answer the heart’s longing to be connected with the largeness of life.
- The exterior of individuals and groups—where meaning and values are embodied. This manifests as the conscious translation of leaders’ values into behaviours and actions.
A leader’s interior, her values and beliefs, guide all aspects of her leadership practices. Leaders act from the depth and extent of their interiority; from their own self-awareness, especially in relation to their values and ethics. The more aware leaders can be of their interior, and the values and principles that inform their practice, the more effective they will be.
Effective leadership is also about connecting with the interior of the community one is leading. It is about opening a space rather than occupying it, inviting others into the space to create a community focused around a common vision, shared values and sense of purpose. This kind of community can only happen if leaders expect it, invite it, and create the environment within which it can occur.
Good leadership requires inter- as well as intra-personal awareness and competence in order to build the kind of relationships that produce desirable results for the organization. Becoming a leader of this sort, one that opens the space rather than occupies it, requires an inner journey of self-discovery beyond fear and into authentic self hood; a journey towards respecting the contrasting “otherness” of all community members, and understanding how better connected and resourceful we really are.
As these inner qualities deepen, leaders are better able to embody them, and to open the space in which people feel safe and invited to create communities of mutual support.