What makes an Integral leader?



Reflect on the question above and share your thoughts with the rest of the community.


Probably not being too quick to answer that question lol but I’ll take a crack

ken has said that Christianity is essentially Buddhism with love added, not just compassion but also with passion, and that’s one way I’d define integral leadership: it’s just being integral but with passion for all quadrants, all levels, all beings. passion to accept them as they are, and passion to support and challenge them in their transformation to higher levels and stages and greater acceptance of their current stages and being, whether it’s a person or a group or a sonnet or a puppy or a practice or a perspective or a modality. Integrality is experiencing all things as individual holarchic things distributed throughout the lattice of reality, and integral leadership is being lit up with the fire of love for every single one of those things. K I’ll accept grades on this lol :blush:


I’ll give you an A+; it not only “feels right,” but it “feels good.” You also get an A+ for your succinctness; me, I’m much wordier…:

While I could recite a few of the things I’ve learned from listening/reading pieces on Integral leadership, I think I’ll just use my own sense of things here. One of the qualities that I think of as a “best approach” to any kind of leadership, and certainly Integral leadership, is the leader’s ability and willingness to maximize individual freedom while maximizing the unity of those led, while meeting goals.

“Maximum individual freedom” doesn’t mean ‘anything goes;’ I relate to the idea of “communities of the adequate.” Here on this very site, within our larger community, there are numerous smaller communities of topical conversation taking place, some of which I do not feel entirely adequate, knowledge-wise, to take part in, other than as an engaged observer/reader/student. So that’s one form of ‘community of the adequate.’

But perhaps more relevant to what I mean when I say "maximum individual freedom doesn’t mean anything goes’ is the area of behavioral conduct. Both unity and goal-attainment suffer when any individual indulges in their “right” to, say, freedom of expression, in a way that is affrontive to another, or the group as a whole. So this is another kind of ‘community of the adequate,’ one in which the members can all abide by the ‘community road rules,’ for instance.

And “maximum unity” doesn’t mean everyone having the same perspective, opinion, view, etc. It doesn’t mean sans intellectual disagreements. It does mean everyone being committed to serving that which is greater than any individual self, for instance, the We-Space or the shared vision/goal, etc.

So a leader who can model and facilitate this happening is, in my opinion, off to a brilliant start.

But I also think of Integral leadership in terms of the Information Hierarchy that is described, as I understand and relate to it, as data, information, knowledge, wisdom. Information refers to patterns extracted from raw data; knowledge is the generalization of information to other situations/areas; and wisdom–well, lots of ways to approach that, including discernment of how knowledge is best used. Perhaps most simply and “dictionarily” stated, per Wikipedia, wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. It is associated with compassion, experiential self-knowledge, non-attachment, and virtues such as ethics and benevolence.

Through my experiences with various indigenous cultures, I heard a number of different statements about/ definitions of wisdom: “wisdom is something you grow into” (can’t be born wise?); wisdom is attained by going into the “unknown,” for if it’s derived from the known, it’s knowledge, not wisdom; and wisdom is running all thoughts through the heart.

I personally think wisdom has something to do with how much of Spirit one has experienced, combined with how much suffering one has experienced in self or others, which together go a long ways in opening and expanding the love inside oneself and the desire to turn it outwards.

Regardless, wisdom, I think, (along with data, information, and knowledge, and of course, the passion/love you speak so beautifully of), is what makes the best integral leaders.