2012 Integral Leadership in Action Conference: Evolving Leadership for an Awakening World
2012 Integral Leadership in Action Conference – Evolving Leadership for an Awakening World: Transforming Leadership Through Theory, Action and Application – May 17-20, 2012, Chaminade Resort and Spa, Santa Cruz, California.
Discover the ways the needs of our awakening world reframe and reposition integral leadership as an emerging force for change. Join thought leaders and practitioners of all kinds, including Don Beck, Cindy Wigglesworth, Dean Anderson, Jeff Salzman, Barrett Brown, Willow Dea and Jeff Carreira to name a few. Join in the excitement of creating and participating in a unique, interactive and experiential learning event in service to an awakening world.
Registrations are limited. Act now!
The Unique Role-Shifting of Highly Conscious Leaders
by Barrett C. Brown, PhD
In my workshop at the upcoming Integral Leadership in Action conference, May 17-20, we’ll take a deep dive into the behaviors and competencies of leaders with highly developed consciousness. By this I mean we’ll look at results from recent research on leaders who hold a Strategist, Alchemist, or Ironist action logic (in Torbert’s parlance), or who hold a Teal, Turquoise, or Indigo altitude (using Wilber’s spectrum of consciousness).
One of the key findings is related to the specific types of roles that these individuals take when engaging with a system. Before reading on, ask yourself, what are the key roles that you take when designing and leading complex change initiatives?
What I found was that throughout the design process of a change initiative, the leaders I studied tended to adopt at least one of three specific roles. My data suggest that these change agents adjust to whatever supporting role is needed at the time. The most common roles they take on are to (a) attempt to catalyze change, (b) to create conditions that support development of the design and those involved with it, or (c) to energetically hold the space for emergence of the next micro-stage of development for an individual, collective, or system. I’ve called these roles, respectively, the Catalyst, the Creator of Supportive Conditions, and the Space Holder. All of the 13 participants in this research mentioned playing one or more of these roles throughout the design process. As space holders, they create an environment during facilitation that allows for other members of the design group to safely explore key issues. It also may include holding the space open for the central question that the group is struggling with, so as to support the emergence of answers and outcomes. At the most advanced expression, Space Holders claim to tune into the developmental potential of an individual or system and create an energetic container that “invites” development to occur. Those who step into the role of Creator of Supportive Conditions work to cultivate the development of individuals involved in the design, the development of system in which they are working, and/or the overall change initiative. Examples include inspiring others to see a broader vision for the potential of a complex change initiative, creating events that give stakeholders the opportunity to deepen relationships, and reframing a divisive issue so as to broaden the debate. About half of the participants noted that they play a Catalyst role at times, during which they attempt to trigger growth and change amongst individuals and systems. This is a more active and directly engaging role than the other two, and requires a sensitivity so as not to push people too far that they withdraw. Strategists are more likely than Alchemists and Ironists to take on a catalyzing role in which they actively prod individuals and systems to grow. The Alchemists and Ironists tended to use what I consider to be a softer approach. That is, rather than prod, push, and catalyze, they seem to create supporting initial conditions for emergence, hold, wonder, and invite individuals and systems into their next evolutionary step. Also, Alchemists and Ironists focused more on helping systems to develop, while the Strategists tended to focus mostly on individuals. Overall, the language used by my participants to describe what they do seems to soften (i.e., be less assertive in directing change) and become more subtle as the action logic shifts from Strategist to Alchemist to Ironist.
For more information, join us at the ILIA conference next month (which I think is going to be phenomenal), or drop me a note at email@example.com for a copy of the full research dissertation.