Category Archives: Leadership

Integral Leadership Means Leaders Pay Attention to Their Inner World

Integral Leaders see all aspects of a situation. The big picture includes inner values, beliefs and internal dynamics. In the four quadrant model, the upper left (individual interior subjective) should be taken into consideration in all decisions and evaluations.

integral-leadership-blog-postWe can see examples in the news where individuals have ignored their real values. Only when they find themselves negotiating a plea bargain agreement, do they realize that something went very wrong. As Houston’s premier leadership coaching organization, Thinking Partners, Inc.’s coaches see first hand that this blindness can happen in less dramatic ways as well, during leadership coaching sessions many leaders realize they have not been stepping back and looking at all aspects of a situation, including their internal beliefs and values as well as their unique personality traits, before making leadership decisions.

Thinking Partners, Inc.’s Houston leadership coaching sessions allow leaders the opportunity to comprehensively analyze their inner world to determine if their current job role, and the organizational structure of their company is properly suited to their inner world. An important part of our Houston leadership coaching is to help leaders recognize the interconnectedness of their inner values and beliefs with their leadership styles and to determine if there is a feeling of succumbing to the pressure of abandoning those values and beliefs to achieve or to meet the demands of others. Understanding your values and beliefs at a deep level, and how those values and beliefs are possibly being suppressed by your leadership style, can give you the necessary insight to reduce considerable stress.

 blog-thought-provoker Thought Provoker

  • Do you really have a deep and clear understanding of your values?
  • Do you have clarity around your beliefs and how they are manifested in the way you act and communicate?
  • Are you aware of how your moods affect your behavior?
  • Do you understand enough about your personality and your subsurface drivers to be able to modify your behavior in light of a given situation?
  • Do you understand your “worldview” and how it may differ from others?

Many of our integral leadership conversations with clients include considerations in the subjective internal part of the four quadrant model and how they impact aspects of the other quadrants.


Integral Leadership

We are writing this blog to evoke a conversation with coach executives and business owners about what integral leadership means, or in other words, leadership from an integral perspective.

In our leadership coaching practice, we see the most successful leaders are looking at their world holistically. These leaders are able to incorporate their holistic world view into a successful integral leadership style. They are able to see all aspects of a situation and bring wisdom and sophistication to their decision making processes.

  • They know themselves
  • They understand the culture
  • They can take effective personal action
  • They know their business

We call this multi-faceted perspective The Leadership Mastery Map. This model is based on the work of Ken Wilber, a well-known contemporary philosophical thinker. It encompasses all of the territory a leader must navigate to be successful at integral leadership.

leadership mastery map integral leadership

Two dichotomies emerge from this Integral Leadership Model: individual versus collective, and subjective versus objective. By using a 2×2 matrix, we can include all perspectives on a particular situation.

It is important because in business, all of the components in each of the quadrants are at play all of the time.

To successfully implement any plan or decision, it is imperative to take a step back to make sure that all components impacted by the change are taken into consideration and planned for. This is the key to top tier integral leadership.

Integral Leadership Thought Provoker

  • Can you see that by considering all quadrants you will get the big picture?
  • Is there anything that does not fall within one of these quadrants?

When evaluating a situation, do you take the perspective from all of these quadrants into account? Not just the business situation (lower right quadrant) and the action needed (upper right quadrant), but also your individual values and beliefs (upper left quadrant) and the social values and beliefs of affected groups (lower left quadrant)?


Observe over the next few days how you evaluate situations and make decisions. You may find yourself seeing things differently by considering all quadrants.

Let us know your views on integral leadership and on using an integral perspective for planning, decision making, and leading.