Defining Integral Leaders, Organisations & Coaches

A Conversation with Ken Wilber

By Jo Doyle, May 2005

This conversation was conducted as part of an international research tour into world class executive education and business schools ‘best practice’. The meeting with Ken Wilber allowed for an understanding of his perspective on:

a. what an Integral Leader looks like

b. what an Integral organisation looks like

c. Integral coaching

Characteristics of an Integral Leader:

An Integral leader is someone who is at the yellow or turquoise 2nd tier level of development (?), whether they understand this consciously or not. Ken suggests that there are very few leaders at 2nd tier who are consciously aware of how they are in the world as a yellow or turquoise leader. He suggests that the majority are currently leading intuitively and by providing these leaders with an All Quadrant, All Level (AQAL) map of an Integral perspective, they would be better equipped to consciously step into the role as a more effective leader embracing all aspects of leadership.

However, Ken cautions that there are leaders who may appear to be at the yellow level through their intellectual understanding of the presenting concepts which is necessary but not sufficient to be an authentic leader. He suggests that even though the cognitive understanding is there, this often runs one or two levels ahead of moral development. Therefore, the ‘talk’ is one thing but the person’s centre of gravity is in fact one or two levels below where their thinking lies. This imbalance eventually causes … Continue reading