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.