What are the elements of your environment that surround you right now? How can those elements be used to achieve a goal that is focused on your current vision? This is the foundation of the integrative leadership theory. Leaders must be aware of their environment in all of its diversity in order to be truly successful. In order to be truly aware, however, a leader must become aware of who they truly are and what they truly want in order to inspire others toward success.
Integrative Leadership Focuses on the Common Ground
People are very polarized today in a number of areas, but especially in politics. This polarization happens because each group believes that their opinion or observation is the correct course of action to take. The natural outcome of this philosophy is that every other opinion or observation is incorrect.
I am right. They are wrong.
The integrative leadership theory works because instead of avoiding diversity, it embraces it. This begins with the leader, who uses their own skills, background, and talents to examine a particular problem. Instead of commanding a specific course of action, the integrative leader will then incorporate the diverse talents and skills that are all around so that the best course of action can be achieved. This means integrating all perspectives, not just a few or just one, so that common ground can be found and everyone can feel like they’ve got some skin in the game.
Integrated Leaders Must Be Able to Find Inner Peace
The only way that a leader can truly become whole is to find their own inner peace. Without this peace, a leader will never be able to fully integrate people into a cohesive existence. This is because inner peace comes with confidence. Awareness of oneself brings confidence. Assumptions about oneself bring about uncertainty.
People will not follow a leader who is uncertain. This is because there is no attempt to find any common ground. The uncertain leader will not use their own skills and talents, which means they won’t be fully integrating every perspective into a solution.
Once that confidence is found, the leader who is using the integrative leadership theory must then be able to act. Those actions will resonate throughout a team or an organization because they are 100% authentic. The goal isn’t to prove who is right or who is wrong. The goal is to find the middle ground where the best solution that benefits everyone can be found and then accomplished.
Diversity is not something that should be feared. It is something that should be embraced and that is something that the best leaders have realized. There are times when commands or instructions must be issued, but those commands must come from an integrated team in order to be effective. When everyone feels like they have some ownership over the direction that they are going, more will be achieved in the long-term.
Everyone organization and field of industry benefits from this leadership style… even politics.