Integral Leadership


Many leaders today are discovering that their own leadership experiences and outcomes are partial and fragmented. Business acumen, compelling vision, and drive for results are no longer sufficient for navigating the complexity and pace of change. Self-confidence and past accomplishments do not guarantee future success or satisfaction. Day-to-day situational requirements are giving way to internal callings and aspirations. For many leaders, something important is missing.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, integral means “possessing everything essential.” Random House Unabridged Dictionary goes on to define integral as “complete or whole”. For The Poling Group, Integral Leadership includes that which is essential, complete and whole. Although rare in practice, Integral Leadership is an aspiration worthy of vigorous pursuit.

integral-leadershipLeaders who are integrally-inclined are most interested in personal mastery. They seek to follow their own “higher self” beyond ego and self-identity. They pursue next-level performance and success. Integrally-inclined leaders are conscious leaders.

At The Poling Group, we partner with our clients to raise their awareness and “center of gravity”; and help them evolve from one developmental level of being, knowing and doing to the next. [See Our Approach.]

Deeper Understanding of Self

A central tenet of Integral Leadership is that genuine self-knowledge is the source of one’s positive impact and effectiveness. A deeper understanding of self enables a leader to intentionally and knowingly adapt and evolve in ways that are more responsive to the challenges he/she faces and more aligned with his/her own aspirations and values. Integral leaders are self-aware of their own thoughts, emotions, motivations, and behaviors and are less likely to unknowingly or habitually react to situations they encounter. For Integral Leaders, conscious choices result in conscious actions.

Multi-Perspective Worldview

Another key tenet of Integral Leadership is that most all business situations, challenges and opportunities can be viewed from different angles using different lenses. For example, most organizational problems can be viewed in terms of perception, performance, relationships and systems. Integral Leaders lead by integrating and balancing these views. This multi-perspective worldview enables them to include, yet transcend, the solutions available to them from any single angle or point-of-view. For Integral Leaders, “either/or” thinking gives way to “both/and” awareness resulting in better decisions and results.

Noble Intentions and Outcomes

Integral Leadership also reframes and redefines the meaning of personal effectiveness and business success altogether. Integral Leaders are generally more mindful of their intentions and deliberate about their outcomes. They seek to build value through values. Wisdom, effectiveness, integrity and fulfillment are all essential to their personal and professional success. They know that the pursuit of any one of these values at the expense of others often results in decisions, solutions and actions that are meaningless, incomplete, short-sighted, and sometimes destructive. For Integral Leaders, noble intentions lead to noble outcomes.