Integral leadership and the Integral model have inspired me for a few years now.
Essentially the model is a map allowing us to see the whole, and all of the perspectives within it. By checking in with all perspectives (internal/external, subjective/objective, individual/collective, single object/system) we can fully understand situations and phenomena.
In leadership, the model is fine tuned to help us communicate more effectively, and better understand the people we work with. We learn the different world views that correspond to leadership styles and a persons reasons for acting certain ways, so that we can a) find the right tools and mode of communication, and b) learn to use them effectively (by checking back in with the map).
What is often said with Integral theory, is that the map, however useful, is not the territory.
I have been holding the Integral model in my awareness with regards to my work (and personal life) for some years now, and it is only very recently that I am beginning to be able to embody this meta-perspective.
At first it’s a wow of understanding. Then a daunted realisation of the sheer complexity of life, even when (and especially when) looking through an Integral lens ‘How do I learn the languages of being and acting of all these different worldviews and perspectives?’ ‘How do I learn the skills needed to operate in an integral worldview?’ It almost felt like a curse at times – knowing that there are higher levels of operating, and not knowing how to get there.
The answer certainly does not lie in learning the theory to the nth degree, or reeling off endless models, nor thinking and studying in isolation.
Instead, much like when a musician reaches a certain level of mastery and stops thinking about what they are doing, an Integral (or Conscious) leader learns that it is only by repeatedly practicing, and learning, and practicing, holding the Integral perspective in awareness as much as possible (which usually isn’t in the moment), that the Integral framework somehow becomes embedded, allowing us to actively and intuitively flow between perspectives, and find instant insight as to the best way to communicate, to anyone from any perspective.
The key is ‘simply’ finding and acting from authenticity and cultivating exponential awareness – essentially the art of Integral Leadership and Conscious Business, and very definitely easy said than done.