Acquiescing to Generated Expectations Based on Theoretic (Communal) Need
Abstract: It is impossible to interpret conflicts of power without first understanding the underlying social tendencies, necessitating an integration of supposedly contradicting theories into coherent and cohesive worldviews. Evolutionary adaptations grow ever more complex to accommodate greater adversity [diminished resources, changing environments, polarized mentalities, and general strife between competing communities], demanding lasting modifications in consciousness and behavior. Among the disciplines expositing effective change mediation is the recently developed discourse of Integral Leadership.
Confronting constitutive elements of superior leadership lets us critically engage 1) what society needs, 2) who is best equipped to attain it, and 3) how their production of what is needed sustains society. Using an Integral approach to synthesize these core tenants, this paper unifies otherwise fragmented unit-theories, intending greater clairvoyance and social transformation through a Metatheoretical framework.
"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
–Albert Schweitzer (Philosopher and Physician, 1875-1965)
We embark upon the pseudo-masochistic adventure of enslaving phenomena to language, a form utterly unable to convey the infiniteness of existence, in mapping the shared Kosmos. Tentative and provisional statements might partially disclose the mystery of the universe for us, but the limitations of wording cannot compensate for the inexorable intricacy of stimulation. In this regard, rational articulations of proposed Truth perhaps only assert “an aporeia of faith rather than attempt to encapsulate it in clear and precise definitions” (Ward, 1994 p. 35).
Intuition is called on to creatively discover more empathetic insights with which to conceptualize the world. Nobel Literature laureate William Faulkner expressed this ambition to relate the relevance of immediate experience, explaining:
“The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.” (Faulkner, 1950)
Unfortunately, the denial of such agency improperly and irresponsibly informs our behavior. The environment’s detrimental homogenization is currently prompting disastrous ecosystem reshaping (i.e. species loss), motivating the call-to-arms permeating our social climate today. It is therefore imperative to construct the sentences that energize, educate, and entertain critical masses towards a more unionized consciousness, arranging these intuitive tools to manage determined values and goals. In this way, authorized statements—encouraging the internalization of integrated theories—can establish a collective proclivity towards critical repair.
Theories of Everything
Dismantling those institutions implicit in our destructive mode would likely pose too great of a project to even conceive of, let alone enact. Instead, we incorporate instituted lenses of social thought to govern ourselves in a more encompassing approach, namely Integral Theory. Inclusivity orients our proven worldviews and generalizations within an overarching indexed system, applying the notion we are all correct (Wilber 2000, p 140). Lasting systems of knowledge are reproduced as reactions of physical expression; subsequently, its mimicry provides for the consciousness needed to harbor alternative spaces of integral life practice, catalyzing new civilizations accordingly.
“There is a cycle of mutual co-creation here between theory and practice, between the idea and the action. So, it cannot be said that (meta) theories are simply interpretive of what is real, for they have a powerful hand in shaping reality as well as being shaped by that reality.” (Mark Edwards, 2008a)
Freedom and openness are required in integrated “theories of everything” and Metatheories to avoid becoming repressive contexts for any intrinsic discrepancies that arise. This demands a (meta) methodological pluralism to establish a Metatheory’s unconditional justification, as the espousal of inauthentic conclusions might provide for a self-fulfilling prophecy of potential disaster. Even as we commit ourselves to guiding aims or hypotheses, “creating dangerously” the world we wish to live in, it must then always be under the “shadow of a doubt” (Greenleaf 2002, Senge 2002). The omnipresence of uncertainty diminishes however, as proven meta-methodologies demonstrate reliability, validity, and trustworthiness, proposing a more embraceable quality for the Metatheory (Edwards, 2008b).
Communities create and maintain environments for the personal growth to lead by fostering self-efficacy in individuals. Leaders use models to apply tested theories, building and bridging multilevel collaborations (individual, team, organizational, communal and national, and global) in at least 5 major sectors of society—business, government, nonprofits, media, and community (Crosby, 2008). Through Integral applications of Metatheoretical frameworks, the comprehensive understanding of what society has, or needs, encourages us to be and act in beneficial ways, freely integrating our life practices as seen fit. For example,
“Integral theorists can criticize the official ideology of industrial society…[so] the collapse of industrial society will not seem to people as great a tragedy and catastrophe, just a disappearance of one unnatural order and an opportunity for building not an utopia, but a more natural society, more in touch with evolved human nature and its fundamental needs.” (Tomislav Markus, 2009)
Our communicated foundations form and embed healthy balances, using persuasive lenses to configure communal direction and purpose. Furthermore, in justifying our actions with a greater methodological pluralism, we transform the societal center of gravity, or dominant cultural behavior, into more integrated states through local networked governance.
Without thorough assessments of conceptualized self-identity, prospective change initiatives are inefficiently orchestrated due to incapable and incompetent instrumentation (Laske, 2006). Hence, Integral Methodological Pluralism is used to interpret the lenses with which we resist life: applied research guides adult development theories, introducing methods capable of integrating multiple disciplinary perspectives on organizational states (Volckmann, 2009a).
Wilber’s Examples of Methodologies by Quadrant and Perspective
Transdisciplinarity analyzes unifying lenses, facilitating proposals of systematic change. Divided into 3 separate axioms—multiple levels of reality, the logic of the included middle, and the complexity of knowledge and emergence—Transdisciplinarity describes reality in ways that can be reacted to holistically, creating “intellectual fusion” and a reflexivity of complex knowledge (McGregor, 2009). Being fully aware of inherent dissonance, leaders utilize compassionate principles to offer intelligent ways of supporting and aligning structures with communal values.
“We participate in creating the future, not by trying to impose our will on it, but by deepening our collective understanding of what wants to emerge in the world, and then having the courage to do what is required. This is the least understood and yet most crucial foundation of servant-leadership.” (Jaworski, 2002)
Experience is unified in the zone of non-resistance (middle third) as perception discerns the many levels of reality, reconciling resistance through deep understanding of the venerated world. Knowledge, contextualized by an expanding consciousness, provides balanced approaches to develop solutions. This process categorizes our surroundings, coordinating healthy forms of communication and decision-making to alleviate non-adaptive conservatism and anarchistic fragmentation. By integrating Developmental, Ecological, and Governance lenses (among others), clarifications of embedded power structures assess impacts of institutional change, proving their value to the community they effect (Edwards 2009).
In periods of social upheaval, authoritative institutions maintain dominance by inducing popular surrender, as “preaching renunciation and self-sacrifice is by definition authoritarian—it means an authority telling you what you’re supposed to renounce” (Kramer and Alstad, 1993, pp. 70-71). An affinity to Ken Wilber’s “All Quadrant All Levels” model avoids this set back, correlating interior consciousness with exterior material states of individuals and groups. Our actions impact the whole we make up, with each mutually dependent quadrant nesting within a larger Holarchy to freely shape culture, systematically contributing to the comprehensive health of the spiral (Wilber 2000). This fundamental constraint to act for the good of the whole alleviates any individual ego’s self-centered demand for personal gain at the expense of anyone else.
Design Flows are needed to explicitly convey what is implicitly known, speeding up evolution through awareness of its subtleties. Social containers can then craft responses to the conscious world, facilitating self-organization through support of a system’s changing factors.
“We explore how we currently see the organization and sense what it means to be a co-creative part of that system. We tune in to the emerging future in order to create our collective purpose, then ask ourselves what principles would best guide us in working towards that purpose.” (Merry, 2009 p. 164)
Identifying, establishing, transcending, and including each previous step affirms discovery and effectuation of emerging culture. Volition opens us up to new ideas and social structures, positioning our work to embody the natural evolution of the universe. This provides the full spectrum of capacity to bring together the components that ground our being, conditioning and integrating new conscious communities.
Leaders as Portals
Efficient learning processes are critical for strategic results. The natural design of our conscious facilitation transforms social values; with individuals intuiting and comprising evolution in pluralistically minded ways. Leaders become members in society whom others look to for guidance, and their obligations to “excel both at a skill, knowledge, technology level and at an execution level are often experienced as exciting and drawing out one’s best” (Ananthanarayan, 2008). This identifies the follower-collective as an equally relevant participant in co-creating particular leadership occurrences. The vision that leaders articulate mutually benefits those led, exhibiting behavior that corresponds to the cultural context of a “significant change” (Volckmann 2009b). So, while charisma may be useful for inspiring others to one’s cause, Leadership itself can only be given and never co-opted in its truest sense:
“The only authority deserving one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader…they will freely respond only to individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted as servants. To the extent that this principle prevails in the future, the only truly viable institutions will be those that are predominantly servant led.” (Greenleaf, 2002 p. 24)
Resonating with multiple levels of development, detaching from and transcending their specific limitations, enables leaders to readily recombine the diversity of spiral creativity, decentralizing control to reconcile and transform communal needs into higher-order processes (Key & Wood 2006). Embracing competing modes of operation equips their conceptual and behavioral insights through Holonic interaction, generating cultural development through the personality, style, and issues of those led: “Using tools like Holons, metaphors, and frameworks; by considering the key role of development for individuals and collectives—we have the potential to lead in complexity” (Santana 2008).
Leaders freely engage differing value systems, integrating the cultural information that makes up worldviews. Similarly, specific interests and outcomes converge to produce encompassing social structures. As “ideal leaders” fulfill presumed descriptions and prescriptions, society recognizes leaders’ adherence to previously mentioned characteristics, and replicates their personal traits as target expectations for followers. This requires harmonizing each stage of human growth within the leader’s “self” to attract potential followers:
1) Revelation of Grace (Beige)- knowing that survival is hopeless without outside help demands a suitable state of experience. The initial impulse to overcome an assumed extinction then prepares the “self” for an alternative existence, eventually transcending need and desire…
2) Magical Thinking (Purple)- the theoretical consolidation of systematic obedience (e.g., Slavery, Nationalism, Socialism, Logic, Religious Doctrine…) provides a framework to impose onto others, establishing a reference point of principles to live by (preferably, one’s own well-being). This is the first attempt at self-protection through ritualistic allegiance to “self.”
3) Martyrdom (Red)- the willingness to die for, or defend at all costs, constructed freedoms dissolves loyalty to outside influence. Subjugation to oppressive forces is inconceivable, providing an irreconcilable mindset intolerant of restraint. This level distinguishes the freedom of action from the avoidance of pain, offering a more positive framework for others.
4) Guruism (Blue)- speaking authoritatively about “what is right” to potential subordinates maintains a sense of ideality to strive for. Social morality and law pervert the metaphysical Truth on which consciousness and being are predicated upon. Therefore, retaining the initial purity of motive is the only possible alternative to physical suffering, found in the security of loyalty and sacrifice to what is defined as divine.
5) Underdogma (Orange)- here, battling for power in a hostile environment is the sole path toward attaining salvation. Empirical evidence of achievement and success, or at the minimum sustainability, is necessary to display qualities of Leadership. Adepts work across available value systems, persuading and influencing others to surrender to and receive the “self,” at the same time competitively manipulating resources for self-interest.
6) Awareness of Plurality (Green)- as the frightened “self” climbs higher up the stages of development to find safety, success, and pleasure, a shift to equality and relativistic individualism offers the greatest sense of protection possible. Interdependence is established as the most inclusive system available, with social-democratic values enforcing a greater sensitivity and concern for communal benefit. Successful leadership at this level comes from the awareness of diverse world-views, proposing all-encompassing states of being.
Recognizing these six centers of gravity persist in our communities assists leaders addressing the conditions of each to reinforce an emerging consciousness. Lower forms increasingly fail to provide real benefits for subscribers, and better notions of how to act benevolently within the social sphere materialize to promote “human movement up the levels of human existence" (Graves, 2001-2005). This flexible adaptation to change and connect differing views, states, and systems synergizes holistic responses to focus our attention on global dynamics and macro-level processes. The expression of this “higher” level of thinking is commonly found in those 2nd tier leaders referred to as Strategists and Alchemists (Yellow and Turquoise).
Whereas 1st tier characteristics of Leadership express “self” at the expense of society, Strategists provide shared visions enhancing the complexity of thought, conforming and sacrificing the “self” through communion. Similarly, Alchemists unify consciousness to manipulate reality accordingly, generating meaning and assimilation through the active assertion of belonging and openness. The spiritual intelligence these leaders employ goes so far as to transcend language itself, with deep compassion manifesting as wise action (Wigglesworth, 2006).
Leaders at the most integrated stages of society persevere against traumatic conditions by aligning purpose and value with the greater congregation they make up. In turn, “Post-heroic” change leaders design global learning networks, participating in Integral approaches to address unmet challenges (Gauthier 2008).
“To that end, to be successful, you and your organization must be trustworthy. To be trustworthy, you—both individually and organizationally—must have the ability to perform the tasks entrusted to you.” (Lowe Jr., 1998)
Living networks of accountability, integrity, and professionalism encourage communal participation, with institutions designed to serve the ends of its citizenry. So too, by reviewing different perceptions of leadership and management styles, relationships between authentic qualities of “self” develop competency and an inextricable responsibility for evolutionary change (Cacioppe 2007). Leaders can thus be depicted as pioneers for a new state of being (and acting).
Believing is Seeing
Building organic communities founded on pluralistic principles holds spaces to allow ideal existence. Leaders enact their desired circumstances by serving the needs of their constituents, integrally conceiving of systems to resonate with all levels of human development.
“So, Integrative Leadership is the process of discovering what is unconsciously motivating us and making it conscious in terms of the principles and intentions that Integrative Leaders choose to stand for, the purpose and mission they choose to hold, the passion and motivations from which they act; and the performance that is the visible result of those actions. (Hatala, 2008)
Integrating multiple lenses fosters and promotes tranquility and compassion, with what is trusted to happen transpiring to “co-create our fates by the attitudes and expectations we bring to any experience—by our theories” (Mossberg 2007). This effectuates change through the collaboration of essential parts, enabling the co-existence of a mutually contingent whole. As communal action conforms to basic guiding principles, leaders serve as those examples of demanded moral aptitude, displaying firsthand the “correct way to act.” Their physical bodies represent the vanguard of movement for an ideal theory, to act from, and in accordance with, the proposed system of thought.
Through this illustration leaders are considered agents of the given framework. These individuals do not therefore change anything themselves (aside from bringing others into the presented way of being), but rather it is their ideology, or motivating Metatheory, that is ultimately altered. The belief system, however open and inclusive it may be, is itself stagnant, consciously enabling its members to act in ways that serve its logic. Humanity exchanges less reliable interpretations for more helpful, effective, and enjoyable standards; and faith in a particular set of principles solidifies behavior compatible with perceived Truth.
Communal action reflects the zeitgeist of the age, essentially creating devices through which the truth of each statement is reassured in separate theses. By understanding, internalizing, reproducing, and promoting the psychological, behavioral, social, and spiritual guidelines considered to be most “in-tune” with communal values (using integrated methodologies), the voluntary acceptance of an encompassing Metatheory provides the means to implement a more acceptable state of reality.
“While (as Wilber makes clear) Ascent- from the Many to the One, unfolds, in stages of enlightenment- of transpersonal realization, Descent- from the One to the Many- unfolds as a divine Unity-in-Diversity, as God’s teleological Kingdom upon earth.” (Araya, 2009)
Theoretical interpretations of Divinity syntactically construct personified signifiers (Christ, Krishna, Buddha…), with Leadership conceived of as exemplifying the most integrated foundations of existence. In this way, individuality is not so much conditioned by a surrounding culture as its prime motivator, transposing knowledge from leader to follower through stagnated inferences (written words).
Slavery is described as undesirable, horrific, corrupt, immoral, wrong, and inhumane. This is no doubt due to the circumstantial cruelty imposed onto the individuals serving their masters’ whims. Yet participating in global communities inflicts particular circumstances onto us, implying a sense of duty to actively construct the spaces needed for creative expression. The virtue of interconnectedness expedites a communal transformation towards the collective good, securing personal wealth at a higher rate than one otherwise could striving for success at society’s expense.
Since there is nothing external of ourselves to enforce a break with the destructive habits we identify, ideas are turned into reality by confronting our fears of each other, thereby living under a common understanding. We are all trying to improve our condition, and, with the rise in mass personnel communication, can compete to enable others’ belief in/ adherence to/ worship of a single theory—the absolutism of universal Freedom for prosperity. Those who have the greatest effect, changing the condition for the most people in the shortest amount of time (while keeping them in affluence for as long as possible), can therefore be authoritatively considered the “best” leaders.
This sets up the imperative to develop infrastructure that fosters and aids these individuals in their quest to serve society. Because they benefit global communities, leaders are rewarded and promoted so others will emulate them. Freely placing one’s self in a position of theoretical obedience (to flourish for a designated period of time) thus serves a higher purpose, offering individual value to an otherwise objective and uncaring social apparatus. Lasting contribution to this governing conceptualization is reproduced through law, economics, tax and education systems, government institutions, theologies, workspace roles, etc; and through all of this, the unease of living under a source of power greater than our own is reconciled in observing that its purpose serves our interest.
Postscript; The Role of the Ego
The best leaders do not speak loudest, but are often silent, listening to others and learning their ideas. Our individual selves make up the collective mind that shapes social evolution, demanding a sustained compassion. We must exist in our own space—not exerting force over our surroundings—but contributing our individuation as an expression of unique selfness. The world is created by our classifications and we can do well to infuse our consciousness with desire for what the unfolding of history provides. Freely accommodating and embracing this experience keeps us receptive to the unpredictability of the Kosmos, letting others exist as they are truly meant to. In loving our selves we create a home for our consciousness and others', to retreat to in times of need and desolation. The reiteration of this love in all aspects of our lives recreates reality to produce something worth existing, as defined by our Self.
“If you take the self-evolving as an evolutionary self becoming more conscious and more creative, I think that social evolution would be the facilitation of our creativity finding its vocation and joining with others to create. Everybody who is evolving in consciousness and who isn’t in dire straits of hunger or war begins to have a real impulse to create—to express their own selves—not simply in a mystical way but in a way of self- expression, life’s purpose, greater meaning than a meaningless job or relationship.” (Hubbard and Volckmann, 2009)
To this extent we should understand the intent of our motives so as to unequivocally provide it for ourselves and live as we choose to. Our existential loneliness organizes us into social compartments, progressing towards a more comfortable state of being through innate expressions of potential. Though this portrays our ability to quell those forces giving rise to uneasy restlessness, our own primal urges compete with others at all times, initiating individual direction. Roger Stace posits, “Whenever medium quality individuals became able to imitate high quality individuals, a supplementary advertising strategy became adaptive for high quality individuals to distinguish themselves,” specifically, for sexual gratification (Stace, 2009). Demonstrating “highly appreciative compassionate wisdom,” would then epitomize individual prowess, characteristic of those leaders developed to an Integral level.
This proposition maintains a universal consolation with sexual relationships, since the desire for one another solidifies our love and appreciation for reality itself. Thus, when civil structures and the institutions that make up our social state evolve to the point of actively ensuring each of our own personal fulfillments, a mutual connection to Existence—its simplicity, purity, and beauty—will manifest as our own constructed paradise.
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