About the first of the year, the Integral Leadership Review invited readers to submit their nominations for the best publication on leadership in the year 2007. We received numerous responses. Remarkably and quite a surprise to us, with two exceptions all of the nominations were for one publication. Therefore, we are pleased to announce the publication identified for the First Annual Reader’s Choice Award.
Bill Joiner and Steve Josephs
Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating Change.
Here are a sample of some excerpts from the comments from those who nominated this publication.
“I want to nominate Leadership Agility. I see it as taking the next step in using the integral approach to leadership. This work articulates the stage developmental framework in business-friendly terms, while providing detailed and entertaining accounts of the approaches and behaviors at each stage…As a handbook for leaders or as a guide for consultants and executive coaches, I think Leadership Agility was among the best Leadership books of 2007, in any category.”
— Michael D. Madera
“As a certified Integral Coach, I appreciate how this book presents very rich stage development theory within the context of leadership while providing actionable ideas for individual leadership development. The authors bring their own case studies and stories that make the book easily readable, enjoyable, and applicable. It even provides a clear process for leaders to self assess their stage of development and begin to consider a roadmap to evolve.This is the best leadership book out there specifically for executive coaches.”
— Carol Salloway
Leadership Agility “ is arguably the best synthesis of developmental theory to come out in recent memory, withastute applications to the practice of leadership and how leaders learn.”
— Grady McGonagill
“I’ve devoted my career to living and facilitating action inquiry, and to explicating how leaders transform through multiple “action-logics”. So I was very pleased to see the contribution that Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs have made with Leadership Agility. Not only has it made a truly outstanding theoretical contribution to our understanding of Integral Leadership, its in-depth and in-context case studies also provide the kind of specificity and clear guidance needed by today’s leaders, if they are to truly imagine and truly commit to self-, other-, and organizational transformation.
“In this regard, I had an experience while reading the book that I have never had before. I began to recognize bits of myself and bits of situations I have been encountering in some of the leadership stories the authors were describing, and I became inspired to move forward creatively and decisively with several current leadership dilemmas of my own..“
“The Leadership Agility Compass is the most important “integral” tool that I have come across for leadership development. The compass considers both individual stages of development or worldviews and individual behaviors (inside-out and outside-in). Each time you grow into a later stage of development, your level of agility increases because you have developed new capacities and new behaviours. The book also takes cultural change and social and environmental factors into account in subtle ways,through the stories of real-life experiences….
“I find this book to be accessible, relevant, and timely for those of us whose purpose is to support leaders and organizations to develop in a more integrally informed way, as well as for all of us who want to learn and grow! I believe that we need to hold these concepts lightly, as development is much more fluid than these concepts can explain. On the other hand, I believe that Joiner and Josephs have made a huge contribution in helping us better understand what these stages look like in terms of mental and emotional capacities, behaviors and leadership effectiveness. This book’s contribution to increase the awareness and value of developmental thinking and later stages of development is significant; the authors have been able to write about the links between developmental stages, behaviours and leadership effectiveness in a way that is tangible, “gettable” and mind-stretching!”
“As organizational development legend Kurt Lewin once observed: ‘There is nothing more practical than a good theory.’ That sentiment encapsulates my reaction to Leadership Agility by Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs. Having been a student of leadership now for over 25 years I have read many descriptive and prescriptive volumes on the art of leadership, but not until now have I encountered a theory of leadership so full of insights and practical strategies actionable for personal, team, and organizational development.”
—Robert L. McElwee
“I have been working in the field of adult development psychology in various ways since about 1985, having had the privilege to be able to read most of the research that has been published quite thoroughly: Loevinger, Kohlberg, Kegan, Torbert, Lasker, Fowler, Rosenberg, Selman, Cook-Greuter, etc., etc. I have carried out a handful of research projects using adult development psychology to analyze meaning-making in workplace conflicts, security politics and organizational change. I have also for the last few years been leading workshops for organizational consultants, coaches and leaders on adult development psychology.
I have read Leadership Agility very thoroughly over the past months and I must say I am still awed by the richness and new insight offered by the authors. This is a most significant contribution not only to our understanding of leadership, but also to the theoretical understanding of adult development in general. The latter aspect of the book risks to go unnoticed because the authors have aimed at reaching an audience of practitioners, using well-chosen case stories and an accessible writing style. The book is very useful not only for leaders, but perhaps in particular for coaches, organizational consultants and change agents. However, it is a veritable goldmine for people like me, who are interested in developing a keener and more differentiated understanding of what adult development really is. The authors could certainly have written a more academic book with a conceptual framework that would more readily appeal to the research community. For scholars of adult development, it should be evident with a more attentive reading that the theoretical framework informing this book takes our understanding several steps beyond what Jane Loevinger, Robert Kegan, Bill Torbert and even Susanne Cook-Greuter have to offer. I bow to this remarkable achievement. It will take me a couple of years to digest and put to work all the insights and distinctions Joiner and Josephs have to offer.”
“With Leadership Agility, Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs have given both leadership development professionals and practicing managers a map for discovering and mining the power of Integral Leadership. Like the legend of a topo map, the book gives readers a model that explains the dimensions of Integral Leadership, allowing the reader to choose from a variety of routes a way to his or her development….
“While intricate as integral approaches must be, Leadership Agility stays accessible through rich illustration of each of its parts in real life leadership situations. Thus readers can “try on” the model as they read. Moreover, practicing managers need not try to keep everything in mind at once, for each segment makes sense by itself. And any part of the book can give rise to an insight or pathway for the reader’s development. In this way the reader finds him or herself aware of traveling in a comprehensive model of life without having to hold the whole when focusing on specific action. This lends the book the credibility of well-researched narrative along with the usefulness of a toolkit. Or a map!”
— Jim Dezieck
“In 2007, I discovered Leadership Agility, the book of Joiner and Josephs. Their book builds on the developmental framework presented by Torbert in a very original and practical way. For example, Joiner and Josephs have introduced the Leadership Agility Compass, a developmental tool that introduces 8 mental and emotional competencies that can be developed at each stages of development. This Leadership Agility Compass can be used in the context of three leadership arenas (Leading Organizational Change, Improving Team Performance, and Pivotal Conversations) which provide a very articulated developmental framework to both, understand leadership growth, and carve interventions to develop leadership effectiveness. Most leadership models are articulated mainly around a competency-based profile and do not take into consideration the different stages of human/leadership development. In combining competency development with vertical transformation (stage development) Joiner and Josephs have made a very significant and unique contribution to our understanding of leadership. As they say, their model is an integral model, i.e. it combines and inside-out with an outside-out approach. It appears that their work goes beyond the traditional leadership model and it opens up new learning avenues to grow people and organizational to higher levels of effectiveness.”
— Gilles Brouillette
Thank you for all of you who contributed to this process. Our apologies if we did not include your comments. As 2008 unfolds, keep in mind that there will be a comparable award for 2008.