Coda / May 2004

The 100 book project on Integral Leadership

A Call for Contribution
Thierry C. Pauchant

Abraham Lincoln defined leadership as a growth process – a course of development and maturation – which encourages people to act from “the better angels of their nature”. Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Rachel Carson and many others demonstrated the power of such leadership. In the process, they changed the world around them. Imagine what could happen in our societies if all leaders were as purposeful, meaningful, ethical, integral? What would happen if we were developing in ourselves and others some of these same qualities?

In the first systematic research effort of its kind– involving one hundred researchers around the world over a ten year period (leadership scholars, executives, consultants, graduate students, etc.),– this research project explores practical yet profound questions about this more integral type of leadership: What are leaders who are considered to be operating at a more mature level of development doing differently?   How have they achieved this maturity? How can we help future leaders to undergo such development?

Answers to these questions could modify our current views of leadership and change the way leaders are chosen and trained. These answers could also help us to address the four great challenges of our world, as defined by UNESCO: The challenges of peace, poverty, ecological viability and collective meaning and purpose. Integral leaders are not only men and women of great principles. They also help us to effectively tackle the most challenging problems of our world.

We will publish over 10 years 100 books on 100 integral leaders, allowing conclusions to be drawn across time, space, cultures and religions. These short and jargon-free books will not be standard biographies but– what we call– “leadergraphies”. Leadergraphies are inspirational and didactic books written for leaders-to-be, leaders who want to learn and people who work with them. These volumes go beyond a mere chronology, documenting the innovative actions of integral leaders in four interrelated domains: their behaviors with others, the organizational tools they use, the shared meanings they promote, and the development of self they encourage in themselves and others, i.e. the four quadrants model developed by Ken Wilber. Further, these volumes go beyond the one man show and issues of fame, power, status or charisma, so common in traditional leadership studies which often miss the context of leadership. Rather, they document how these perfectible human beings– like all of us– have grown in many domains of life, including the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, ethical and spiritual domains. Lastly, each volume is supported by a synthesis of more than 1,000 pages of data carefully chosen and coded into a computerized database by a multidisciplinary and multicultural research team.

We will complement this 100 book series with teaching aids and seminars, didactic case studies, computerized instruments, pedagogical videos, multimedia presentations, conferences and workshops, and a dedicated web site. We will also publish several synthesis books, drawing from our unique database which will include at term 100,000 pages on 100 integral leaders. Our hope is that this multifaceted material will inspire the men and women working in private and public organizations to engage themselves in integral development, individually and collectively. As opposed to mimicking the behaviors of famous leaders– a common practice in current leadership training programs– the great challenges of our world require that we become the best we can be. Integral leaders are driven by the same vocation: they are helping themselves and others to act from the better angels of their own natures.

You are invited to contribute to this research effort by facilitating its logistics or by becoming a co-researcher and the author of a leadergraphy.

> Russ Volckmann