Integral Leadership

The Next Half-Step

By John P. Forman & Laurel A. Ross

Subjects: Business Administration, Transpersonal Psychology, Organization Theory, Leadership Studies, Integral Theory
Series: Excelsior Editions, SUNY series in Integral Theory
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438446264, 228 pages, May 2013
Hardcover : 9781438446271, 228 pages, May 2013

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
1. The Foundations of Perspective
2. The Four-Dimensional Lens
3. Intelligent Performance
4. The Individual Making of Meaning
5. Collective Meaning-Making
6. Integral Meaning-Making: Individual and Collective
7. The Next Half-Step

A groundbreaking book that brings the insights of Integral Theory to business and organizational development.


This groundbreaking book offers leaders a way to determine what theories, models, and tools best meet the needs of their organizations. Authors and organizational consultants John P. Forman and Laurel A. Ross know leaders are awash in business theory, often coming from well-thumbed bestsellers. But how do you match promising theories to real people and circumstances? Using the insights of Integral Theory, particularly Ken Wilber's AQAL framework, the authors provide a simple yet elegant outline that appreciates and engages a wide range of leadership theories and techniques. Four major leadership styles emerge: the Impulsive, Diplomatic, Achiever, and Pluralistic approaches. The authors describe the presuppositions, characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each using a variety of real-life examples of individual leaders and organizations. Forman and Ross propose an emerging Integral perspective and suggest integral modes of performance management, change management, and teamwork. Ultimately, the Integral perspective gives leaders the insight and flexibility to use a range of resources to meet organizational needs in a rapidly changing world.

John P. Forman is Managing Partner at Integral Development Associates. Laurel A. Ross is Founding Director of Our Imagined Life.


"Integral Leadership is perhaps the best of the plethora of revolutionary books now appearing that apply Integral Theory to business leadership, to provide the first comprehensive approach to leadership consulting and coaching. A must read for anyone in business or anyone interested in leadership in general." — Ken Wilber, author of The Integral Vision: A Very Short Introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe, and Everything

"Forman and Ross offer a superb and much needed contribution to our understanding of the 'next wave' of leadership, but far beyond suggesting a leap toward some passing fad of competencies and skills, they provide something profound: insight into the capacity of consciousness we require to face and to transcend the challenges of our time. While many forays into Integral Theory remain abstract and conceptual, Forman and Ross bring Integral leadership to life by richly illustrating this powerful theory with potent examples from the field. This will be an invaluable text for leadership educators and leaders alike." — David McCallum, Le Moyne College

"At last, some help to organize—and go beyond—the platitudes of quick-fix, easy-answer, canned-method leadership. There's not a leader in the private or public sectors that couldn't benefit from a thoughtful read. And, though Forman and Ross caution their framework is not 'simple,' they are correct in saying it provides clarity. They bring additional value to the leadership literature as well: rather than prodding leaders to create overnight personal, social and cultural transformations, they gently suggest taking a 'half-step.' Done well, a 'half step' might be all we need." — Glenna Crooks, President, Strategic Health Policy International

"Forman and Ross have gathered patterns from an impressive range of perspectives on leadership. They breathe new life into the leadership skills, techniques, and attitudes that continue to serve, while also showing where the limitations of previous approaches can be overcome. This book deserves a wide readership and should stimulate a new wave of organizational leadership confidence and insight for many years to come." — Larry Dossey, author of Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing

"Integral Leadership is a well-thought out, well-researched and important book. It provides a wide lens for understanding business and leadership and will support any business in its quest to move to the next level of organization and performance." — Frederic Luskin, Senior Consultant of Health Promotion at Stanford University

"Forman and Ross's book will change the way leaders around the world understand themselves as leaders and their roles in leadership in every kind of organization, though I am especially enthusiastic for what this book could do for the variety of organizations associated with healthcare. Integral Leadership delivers on the promise that so many other leadership books make: it presents solid, pragmatic, and profound insights that will stretch and deepen leadership perspectives. Their timing couldn't be better." — Barbara Montgomery Dossey, author of Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice

"The brightest, most respected thinkers today (Friedman, Collins, Pink) are all saying the same thing about what is required for organizational effectiveness in this chaotic, demanding, rich, and fast paced planet we now inhabit: simultaneous, creative, collaborative, informed, and iterative thinking and acting. Integral Leadership takes up this challenge elegantly by providing a comprehensive map for effectiveness and deep hearted organizational commitment to newly required goals and values." — Paul Pinegar, Consulting Psychologist and Senior Executive Coach

"This book unpacks for us an integral view that naturally leads to a new set of distinctions applicable to the complex conversations facing us today. Integral Leadership is a more complete description of how 'it' works whether the conversation is business, politics, health care, raising families, personal growth or spiritual development. Compared to our current set of distinctions, mental maps and conversations, Integral Leadership provides an outline that takes us another half-step along the path—and that is a good distance from where we are now." — Gary Colpaert, Vice President of Surgery at Froedtert Hospital

"We live in a time of an exponentially increasing intensity and rate of change, with old systems crumbling before our eyes, and new prototypes popping up all over the place. Leadership is a crucial factor in these chaos points, as the ideas and examples we put out there now have a disproportionately big impact on the future. Integral Leadership is an example of the emerging worldview inviting new forms into our lives that are fit for the world we are facing. This is not a luxury item—it is essential to our evolution." — Peter Merry, author of Evolutionary Leadership: Integral Leadership for an Increasingly Complex World

"This book opens the eyes to a vibrant new landscape of higher business purpose and re-imagined American commerce. Starting with a focus on values and purpose, the book's clear descriptions of the integral environment offer a shift in perception as a path to leadership that integrates and unifies to more effectively shape an emerging positive reality." — Karma Ruder, Director of Community Collaboration, Center for Ethical Leadership

"John Forman and Laurel Ross' book is an excellent contribution to the emerging integral perspective. It will be highly useful for leaders who want to improve their own performance by using this powerful new form of philosophical technology." — Steve McIntosh, author of Evolution's Purpose: An Integral Interpretation of the Scientific Story of Our Origins

"My friend and colleague John Forman is a great spiritual visionary grounded in reality. This book is inspirational and practical and brings additional wisdom that leaders need to navigate the wild tides of change at this time." — Rachel Eryn Kalisk, Founding Facilitator Project Reconnections