10. Conclusion

Until the recent advent of integral leadership, the vast majority of the history of leadership theory including all the major conventional theories of leadership I summarized earlier were not developmentally informed. This means that the research the so called “expert” conducted in leadership and the practices and “leadership styles” that they advocated in most cases did not take into consideration the level of psychological development of either the leaders or followers. This is one of the main reasons that, as I said earlier in this manifesto, “leadership as it is conventionally understood and practices does not work.”

So obviously, taking into consideration leader’s and followers’ psychological development, and the most useful proxy for development: worldview, is central to the practice of integral leadership. But we didn’t stop there. We actually designed the very mechanism that accelerates development—the “subject object move”—right into the practices. In the field of leader development, this is a groundbreaking feat. We have found a way, and now we are sharing that with you, how leaders can immediately become more effective in their roles by adopting these practices…. AND over time, these practices can be reliably expected to spur their psychological growth and development resulting in them become more conscious.

I don’t believe I need to point out our world’s desperate need for more conscious leaders. Frankly, I don’t think you would be reading this manifesto if you weren’t already aware of this. I hope that after reading this Integral Leadership Manifesto, you will join me and the thousands of others that have embraced integral leadership as a way to not only get better at our current level, but to also spur vertical growth to our next level of consciousness complexity.

In this manifesto I have offered a “no frills” outline of the must fundamental aspects of the theory and practice of integral theory. Thank you for your interest in integral leadership. I look forward to having you join the thousands of other practitioners of integral leadership as this movement gains momentum. In addition to the manifesto and the book, the dialog and ongoing learning and development will continue on our Integral Leadership Blog at Integral Leadership Review.


  1. Eric Pierce says:

    more Joe Corbett:

    the dialectic of enlightenment is when the cold hard facts of reason that initially set us free from superstition and the oppressive relations of the feudal church become the chains of another kind of blind faith and social oppression: the cunning of scientific reason and its scholastic expertise that is used by ‘professionals’ to lead us into war and organizes auschwitz and global ruin for the twisted short-term benefit of a few.

    i think the postmodern leveling of knowledge is a continuation of this dialectic aimed at liberating us from the corrupt forms of modern expertise disguised as enlightened reason. the important thing is that the dialectic not stop at this stage of development.

    post-postmodernism on the other hand carries the dialectic one step further and is not content with mere leveling, but seeks to return (at a higher level) to an enlightened reason based on visionary or holistic reason rather than ‘the details of the devil’, so to speak.

    this is where an integral approach is necessary in the on-going liberation of consciousness from the material constraints of its own imperfection.

    the rising tide of postmodernism, in the sense of the leveling of knowledge and the decline of expert opinion, is very much alive today and in fact we are literally drowning in the fragmented images of a shattered grand narrative of western progress through science and capitalist democracy.

    this time around however its not the politically correct halls of academia or the counter-cultural left that carries the postmodern banner but the neoconservative right-wing of tea party global warming deniers and anti-evolutionists, led by fox news and the corporate punditry of mainstream media, not to mention every internet blogger and talk-show radio host who spew their two cents into the information overload.

    its not that all of these agents are themselves postmodern, most of them are not, but this is the general systemic condition of postmodernity and the cultural logic of late capitalism where all knowledge, no matter how dubious or corrupt, is exploitable material and legitimate fodder for the public sphere. the consequent collapse of reason and decline of collective meaning and purpose are something we are all-too familiar with.
    — Joe Corbett

  2. Eric Pierce says:

    here is on outstanding example of integral theory put in a revolutionary, pro-democracy, anti-corporate-plutocracy context:


  3. Eric Pierce says:

    I read the intro and conclusion, but not the middle. I am a labor activist in higher ed.. The manifesto does not seem to address the major controversies in integral theory, which are, LOHAS and other corporate “republican/plutocrat” memes having polluted integralism, and the related development of a hard core leftist/anarchist critique of LOHAS pollution. The very unscientific use of the term “evolutionary” by the integral marketing/coaching community is another major problem.

    Since the manifesto seeks to appeal to a wide audience, beyond the corporate/business community, it needs to define the place of criticism of the global plutocratic economic order. It needs to state how integral theory addresses the collapse of reason and of collective meaning that characterize postmodern global capitalism. (Habermas’ “colonization of lifeworld by systems”.)

    Another possibility is that you could simply re-title the manifesto “integral corporate capitalism”, and unburden yourself of any association with revolutionary worker’s movements (such as anarchism or socialism/marxism) that are inherently anti-capitalist, or other movements that are opposed to state-capitalism in any form (such as free market anarcho-libertarians).

    Thank you for taking these alternative points into consideration, and I look forward to any responses.

  4. Andy Atwood says:

    We’ve not met. I’m a sole practitioner in West Michigan and a follower of Wilber’s work since 95. Marriage and Family Therapist that works with Family Owned Businesses. Perspective.

    What you have done here is terrific. It is logical. I’ve been waiting for a solid and thorough application of Integral Theory to the business world, and you have done it. Not much new here for me, but it is woven together with IT in a clear and elegant way. Wish I had your grasp and ability! I’m so grateful after one read through the entire Manifesto.

    When is the book coming out? Love to get my hands on it. A book in hand is a better learning tool for me.

    Of course, there were more than a score of typos, especially toward the end. And one sentence that befuddled me:
    “On the other hand, those who approach the learning gap with the “learner” attitude are willing to admit that they don’t know. This awareness and admission of the learning gap allows them to approach situations with an open mind and believes that intelligence is essentially fixed and additional effort does little to enhance it.”

    My hat is off to you and Russ for creating a tool that I can use in my own work, but more importantly, that I can share with other advisors and business leaders to spread the gospel of Integral Leadership.


    Andy Atwood

  5. Laurie Baker says:

    See above, “…next level of psychological “frosty” and consciousness complexity.” I wonder, is that “frosty” anything like ‘frothy’? Not that I don’t like my psychological to be good and ‘frosty’ mind you!

    BRAVO Brett, nice work!

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