Guide Leaving Legacies: Reflections from the Prickly Path to Leadership

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I have met and spoken with him over the years since then. There are some questions about the authenticity of his teachings but most of his writings and classes I feel are truly inspirational. Jaguar Woman. It became a New York Times best seller. I have interviewed her and studied with her.

There are huge debates about the authenticity of what she writes. However, I know her writings and classes have helped countless people. Victor Sanchez is a Mexican author. He was initially inspired by the writings of Carlos Castaneda and by his own studies among the Wirrarika, said to be cultural descendants of the Pre-Columbian Native American Toltecs.

Michael Peter Langevin – Magic and technology are the same

Sanchez has dedicated his life to the preservation of the traditions of the indigenous peoples. I spoke with him a great deal over the years as well as studied with him. He is a good teacher and workshop leader. He claimed to have seen Don Juan in Arizona and experienced a download of Toltec knowledge. I met him soon thereafter. We have had a number of conversations over the years and remain friends. Years before the book came out, I attended classes with him in Sacramento, California. He was just developing his presentation and his teachings were murky and much darker.

Don Miguel has 13 children, and I studied with two of his oldest sons. I feel I must add a story about my favorite Castaneda connected person, Merilyn Tunneshende to this article. She was, as many of the people influenced by him, quite eccentric. I am having a difficult time reentering this reality. I can maybe get it to you in four days earliest. He directed the first videos on Tensegrity for Cleargreen and married the mystic Carol Tiggs in His first autobiographical piece about his experience with the shaman and author, Castaneda, appeared in the fall issue of Tricycle: the Buddhist Review magazine.

Today, Cleargreen sponsors Tensegrity and Theater of Infinity trainings and events all over the world. They have been teaching and writing about Tensegrity since What Carlos captured in his books was the wild chaos magic I have experienced in Latin America. In my experience, he was the first to do this and many were inspired by his books to have their own adventures and write their own books.

I have refined my knowledge through reading and studying with them. Not many could bring in the true, raw, messy nonWestern magic this close to the Western world. For this I salute Carlos Castaneda. Being a stranger in a strange land those days, ghosts started to talk to me. I hope you enjoy it. It was a shell, a great shell: seven inches long, with a cosmic spiral and a generous, oval opening. Michael had talked to me again over Skype, of the white beaches of Progreso in Mexico, about our long walks and early swims in warm water: bodies tumbling around each other. And, of course, about shells: shells of all kinds, one more beautiful than the other.

We mused over the shell altars we had built in the sand, as well as all over the small rental above the restaurant — sun-feathered, spiky, rosy, bluish, closed, open, round, shining, with stripes and sometimes leopard spots — as pleasurable to look at and touch as our love had been in Progreso.

Now, I was in the considerably colder Sweden, and Michael in the Blue Ridge mountains in the company of bugs and snakes. He had followed the creek right into the green forest for thirty minutes when he stumbled over the long-abandoned house. What he saw was a simple, wooden house with cracked windows, so small it made his two-room cabin look like a mansion, nestled in the middle of the greenery, and the remaining boards of a fallen down shed close by.

Inside the cabin floor was rotting away, leaving dangerous holes, half covered by falling apart rugs. Michael was mostly curious, but he was also lacking most material things due to the last years of change and travels and thought he might find some treasures. Which he did: some unbroken plates and bowls, and a wooden bar stool with forest green, slender legs.

He carried them home, cleaned them up and eventually went to bed. Michael went into the kitchen and drank some milk. It was as if something was pushing against his mind, just out of reach for conscious thought to pick up the signal. But there was a woman once, and a child. He is trying to talk to me. I think his name is George. To be separated from the one you love is hard, and the technology we have at hand is both a blessing and a curse.

Captain Mayne Reid

The thought of him without me in the cabin, the place filled with bugs and snakes, and now perhaps also a ghost, was worse. Please go back to my cabin. I will show you something. So, Michael went back the next day. At the fallen shed he felt George push his arm. And it was. Under boards and rubble Michael found the perfect shell. As if the years between the two men were gone. The shell a telephone through time, if not space. First published in September edition of The Echo World. His book, Secrets of the Incas — A Modern Approach to Ancient Ritual and Practice, demonstrates that history has not been kind to dreamers, but that we as dreamers have immense power if we reattach ourselves to this very real and spiritual realm.

They can be messages from our subconcious. They can be messages from dead relatives, friends, or other entities. We can astral travel in our dreams. We can experience lucid dreaming, when we are awake in our dreams. He adds that we seem to lack the necessary tools to interpret dreams which have nearly been lost to time:. His words remind me that we are all in a spiritual battle against a soulless few who have created a system that wishes to produce slaves and automatons of us all. These points to me are incredibly poignant, as I have dreamt of a bleak future. One where fire and flames line our paths.

Crucially, he makes clear that fear will not help us develop spiritually and will only hinder our path. To remain positive and to laugh will help foster our shields in this fight. Humanity flows through history between material identification and a clear insight that the material world we reside in is but a dream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

I wrote two articles a while back for The Echo World about some of my interactions with Carlos Castaneda and the magic workers close to him. The response was overwhelming. So, my wife and co-publisher encouraged me to write three more, and take on the role as our three-months-columnist. We were recently at a wonderful Quink Fair for a weekend, sort of a polyamorous gathering of smiling and classes and vegan food and shared drumming and singing.

The last morning, we sat at breakfast with a lovely young couple, obviously well-educated and very spiritual, in their 20s, from Richmond. I was sharing some of my shamanic adventures in Peru and Latin America. With some research, I later realized many women and most people under 30 have no idea who Carlos Castaneda was or what his books or teachings were about. This made me wonder why Castaneda is still a lightning rod of intense emotions and devotion of his fans who are mostly men in their 50s through their 80s.

His books still sell very well for Simon and Shuster. None of them have ever gone out of print. They claim they are non-fiction. His fans remain devoted. I think it is partially because Castaneda set many of us free of our previously locked-in western view of reality. He set many of the then-young males free to try and do many things they would never have done if he had not written his books.

He was called one of the grandfathers of the New Age. They could set themselves free but that did not seem to often allow women or non-Castaneda followers equal status or freedom. Even though Castaneda himself studied with and had many women followers around him, they never reached the same status as him. Why, Ken Eagle Feather visited Sofia and me in our home not too long ago. In Magical Blend Magazine printed an interview with Carlos. It was a sensation because he had given virtually no interviews since his second book had been released. For the following ten years we were inundated with letters, and eventually emails, assuming Magical Blend had a special communication channel to Carlos and begging us for another interview.

In I decided to use magic to call Castaneda back into Magical Blend. For many months I put out magical requests for Carlos to recontact us and render us another interview. Eventually I had a dream that felt lucid. Carlos was there. He said he had heard my requests and had considered them. He would not give us an interview then.

He was working on something new and big. He would give us information when it was ready for release. He also said we would be soon approached by a woman claiming to be a nagual, who wanted to write articles for us. We should not trust her, that she would use us and hurt us and him, claimed Carlos in my dream. When I went to work the next day, I told Jerry Snider my business partner. We need to publisher her after I edit her some. You can also find them on my blog at TheEchoWorld. I have always seen Castaneda as the modern-day, Aztec trickster and storyteller, Huehuecoyotl.

In that way he is an archetype. Many have said that no one, no matter how close they got to Carlos ever knew when he was being honest or just telling stories. It has been fairly-convincingly proven that Don Juan Matus was a made-up name. But many looked and no one ever found a Don Juan Matus in Mexico. The total lack of anthropological authenticity in any of his books has been written about by countless experts.

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But I am not personally sure any of that matters, nor do I think the details of his life truly matter. What matters to me is that he changed, no turbo-transformed, my life and the lives of countless other readers. Maybe Don Juan Matus did exist and hid or disappeared after Carlos wrote of him and still lives somewhere in Mexico.

Everyone can believe as they wish. To me, much more interesting is why Castaneda is still a lightning rod of intense emotions and brings out such devotion in certain groups of his longtime fans. Why did he not pass the test of time nor his teachings cross the gender gap? Well, my guess is that he was a first. He was like few before him. In recent decades there is an amazing array of teachers claiming to be shamans. There are many impressive spiritual teachers of all genders and orientations. Carlos was one of the very first to set many young men free of the western view of reality.

That is probably what he came to do. But his stories told people that there was a much bigger reality than the western view. He convinced us there was real magic still alive in the world. He told us to search for it and when we found it to experiment with it. What a strange and checkered legacy he left behind. I had read books on Native American shamanism. I had experienced my first adventures with mescaline and LSD, and this book put some new meanings into all of that.

It offered a whole new way of viewing reality and learning to move in it. I read it multiple times and practiced many of the suggested exercises, from learning how to find my power spots wherever I was, to seeing auras. I also traveled to South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands and studied shamanism, voodoo, sanitaria and a wide range of occult and magical paths.

Eventually I helped found Magical Blend Magazine. The rest of the staff and I would write requests to our favorite famous people requesting articles or interviews. We would write fifty or more for anyone we would get a yes for. One day in , the phone rang in the office. A staff member came to me and said that a guy who says he is Carlos Castaneda wants to talk to you.

I was nearly speechless. This was unlikely since Castaneda had more or less removed himself from public view in But, the man convinced me he was Carlos and said he liked what we were doing with the magazine. He explained he had a magical act he did once a year. He would reach into his mail bag and pull out three letters and try to do what they requested. This month he had pulled out an interview request from Magical Blend Magazine, as well as one from a magazine from Brazil and one from a Latin American journalist. So, if we were OK with the arrangement, he was going to be interviewed in Spanish and send a copy of it to the Brazil magazine to translate into Portuguese and a copy to us to translate into English.

We were to print the exclusive English version. This was big. Castaneda had done few interviews since the first book came out and none for many years. I thanked him profusely and we spoke a bit. We got the promised interview. We had it translated and cut it in half to print in two issues in a row to increase sales.

It helped establish Magical Blend Magazine as a unique publication. Castaneda called after the second one appeared to basically let us know he thought we had done a good job and to say thanks. The interview had impact apart from sales. When Castaneda decided to slowly step back into the spotlight in his last years, he lived on a large estate in Los Angeles, which he shared with some people he claimed had been his fellow students of Don Juan Matus.

Each went on to write books that explored the experience of being students of Don Juan Matus and his world from a more feminist perspective. We set up an interview and our readers loved it. We did an interview and our readers again loved it. In Carlos Castaneda and some of his closest companions incorporated a company called Cleargreen and began spreading his new teachings called Tensegrity. This is a term used by Castaneda to refer to a way of being he claimed was taught to him by his teacher Don Juan Matus. It includes some movements called magical passes positions of body and breath that Castaneda claimed were developed by indigenous peoples of the Americas who lived in Mexico in times prior to the Spanish conquest, and had been passed down by 25 generations of Toltec shamans.

Cleargreen was incorporated as a for-profit corporation founded by Castaneda in order to promote his Tensegrity teachings. Castaneda and his people sent us videos and press releases and articles announcing and explaining Tensegrity and we did reviews and ran articles about Tensegrity. I was invited to attend for free at an expensive Tensegrity workshop. I readily agreed to attend and got to spend some time talking with Castaneda and his closest companions. They thanked me for our support over the years and treated me as an honored guest.

Unfortunately, the whole experience was a bit of a let-down, and felt mechanical, rather than magical, to me. Margaret had been married to Castaneda for six months when his first book was released. Soon thereafter they were divorced. I contacted Margaret and C.

However, as it turned out, they were so bitter and hateful of him that we decided not to run it. At this point Castaneda had also ended the relationship with Merilyn. Merylin felt real and her story was fascinating. We helped her edit the article and printed it. The response was off the charts. People loved it and people hated it. Soon after, we printed a second article by her. When that appeared, I received a call from the lawyer of Deborah Drooz from Cleargreen, who threatened to sue us and Merilyn if we continued printing her articles.

Cleargreen had already sued Victor Sanchez and the publishers of Bear and Company with the result of economic damage to Bear and Company in regard to court costs. We consulted some lawyers and informed Ms. Drooz we were within our legal rights. During the call I laughed nervously and retorted that the Magical Blend staff and associates had powerful magic as well.

I told her their spells would bounce back at them. Truth to tell, as soon as I hung up the phone, I called up every magic worker I knew and asked for assistance. I took a whole day to perform my most powerful protection spells. I took my two young children camping to be close to them and cast protective spells over them. I attempted to explain what I was doing and why. They both still speak of that camping trip today, which is quite understandable. They were schoolkids who happened to find themselves in the middle of what must have seemed like a fantasy battle of wizards and witches.

After that I called Merilyn and told her we needed to know that her stories were real. Everyone was charmed, in love with her, and very impressed. No one doubted her claims after that day. We all had experienced different things. I called her up and asked her why that was. Today Merilyn Tunneshende seems to have mystically disappeared. Some claim she died of AIDS, others suspect suicide, but there are no certain records. Whether by accident or design, these new areas of inquiry had the effect of elevating the needs and desires of the employee and making them a functional element of leadership.

From there, it took only a small leap for leadership theory to integrate these concepts into models that emphasized the personality traits and behaviors that motivated and inspired staff. Once the connection between leadership effectiveness and employee motivation was established, leadership research migrated toward isolating the personality traits present in inspiring leaders as well as the behaviors that led to staff motivation. The nexus between charismatic leaders and transformational leadership was a natural outcome of this line of investigation.

Charismatic leaders are defined by high levels of energy and enthusiasm as well as strong ideals and superior communication skills that engender loyalty, devotion, and commitment from followers Nahavandi, This kind of leader-follower interaction when positively directed supports the norms that leadership scholars associate with transformational leadership.

Servant and authentic leadership theories take this profile and add a values orientation. Servant leadership is premised on the equality of all participants in an employment relationship. While hierarchical structures may formally exist, the servant-leader model eschews dominating or controlling tactics of supervision in favor of employee empowerment Daft, Lessons learned from the contingency paradigm of leadership theories make clear that certain contexts are less amenable to a servant leadership model than others. Finally, authentic leadership emphasizes the values system of the leader and its role in leading from a base of self-awareness, integrity, compassion, interconnectedness, and self-discipline Nahavandi, Clawson advances a similar concept that he calls Level Three leadership.

The third level in Clawson's model refers to the role that values, assumptions, beliefs, and expectations VABE play in the behavior of the leader and the led. Taken together, the progression of leadership theories over the last half-century can be viewed as a cascade and an evolution with each set of theories being enlarged by the theories that followed it. However, despite the compelling perspectives offered by the current iteration of leadership theories, a gap remains.

The prevailing views of leadership present it in dialectical terms Popper, The leader's relationship to the led, the team to the organization, the goal relative to the context - leadership interactions are reflexively treated as a series of causes and effects. However, in reality these interactions are typically nonlinear. This helps to explain why achieving the most desirable leadership outcomes remains unpredictable despite the compelling theses offered by situational and integrative leadership theories.

Every individual, entity, or event that is impacted by a leadership process produces its own effects through the idiosyncratic responses being generated. Accordingly, however else leadership is defined, it must also be regarded as a "complex, dynamic and adaptive process. By doing so, it is also recast as a holistic process which provides the starting point for the leadership theory presented here. Popper asserts that leadership is a relationship that extends beyond the properties of leaders and followers, because "the conceptualization of leadership as relationship permits an integrative view of leaders, followers, and circumstances, and thus reduces the bias.

According to Popper, influence is a central feature of leadership and it arises from the emotive force that emanates from leadership relationships. It is this emotive force that creates the leadership mandate of charismatic leaders which has evolved into its operationalized and most researched form - transformational leadership. In describing the three forms of relationship that leadership can produce, Popper noted that developmental relationships are characterized by the ability to create an environment of psychological safety that allows participants to engage in developmentally oriented behaviors including those most closely associated with transformational leadership - individualized consideration, autonomy reinforcement, and the promotion of trust, self-confidence, self-esteem and achievement orientation.

However, even this interpretation remains constrained by the very limitation that it exposes: that is, positioning the leader as the locus of causality in the leadership relationship. Popper hints at the solution by referring to the routinization of charisma, noting that this process breaks the bond between follower and a specific leader and converts it into a property of the institution or organization. Thus, the glaring conundrum in the leadership literature lies in how to successfully instigate this routinization process.

Holistic leadership theory suggests that the answer lies in defining the unit of analysis not as the leader, the follower, the circumstance, or the relationship, but rather as a holistic system of development. Wapner and Demick maintain that holistic development is inherently systems-oriented and identify the "person-in-environment" as the system state. This interface is contextualized according to three dimensions that relate to both person and environment: the bio-physical, the psychosocial, and the sociocultural. A holistic system's features are interactionistic, involve a process of adaptation, reflect change as a feature of transformation, and require synchronization and coordination of its operating elements Magnusson, From this perspective, leader, follower, and circumstance are not jockeying for a position of control but are instead discrete components of a series of interconnected systems that continuously "adapt, transform, coordinate and synchronize" with each other throughout the leadership process.

Lips-Wiersma and Morris add to this construct by emphasizing the role of meaningful work in framing the holistic development process, stating that "a sense of coherence and wholeness is particularly important in experiencing meaningfulness" p. Based on research into the elements of meaningful work, they produced a model of holistic development comprised of four quadrants - developing and becoming self, unity with others, expressing full potential and serving others - that, it can be argued, orient the person-in-environment system state.

Popper also addresses the role of meaning in symbolic leadership relationships by highlighting the impact that leaders have on followers' self-concept and motivation for self-expression. Leaders in positions of formal authority have the opportunity to project values that followers can internalize as prized components of their self-concept and sources of motivation through linkages to an idealized vision articulated by the leader.

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Lips-Wiersma and Morris's theory of holistic development asserts that leadership does not, and in fact cannot, manufacture or manage meaning for others. It is instead challenged to find ways to promote the integration of self-defined meaningful purposes that emerge organically from the individual and are subsequently aligned with the broader goals and objectives of the organization.

This view is embodied in the definition offered by Rogers, Mentkowski, and Hart in which holistic development is described as "a further integration of the meaning making self" p. In their investigation of the relationship between holistic development and performance, Rogers, Mentowski, and Hart conducted a meta-analytic review of research studies in support of their metatheory that "person in context" and intentional focus of meaning converge to create a framework for holistic development and performance.

Their metatheory forms a matrix in which the structures of the person and external contextual frames such as the working environment intersect a plane of internal versus external foci of meaning. This matrix yields four domains of growth - reasoning, performance, self-reflection , and development. Several concepts emerged from their analysis that would be germane to an emerging theory of holistic leadership.

When combined, these theories coalesce as a leadership imperative highlighting the need for:. These perspectives on holistic development map to elements of the leadership theories that have retained their salience and applicability over time. They include the relationship between leader personality traits and leadership performance; personal and organizational values and leadership behavior; leader influence and follower motivation; and follower motivation and organizational performance.

Further, this convergence of holistic development and integrative approaches to leadership presage the type of learning organizations described by Senge In the opening pages of his book, Senge describes learning organizations as places "where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together" p. According to Senge, these organizations can be identified through the presence of five distinct disciplines:.

The evolution of leadership theory as articulated above has, when joined with theories of adult holistic development, provided a kaleidoscopic image of the learning organization. The articulation of holistic leadership theory that follows seeks to bring that image into a more unified focus. Emerging from these precepts, holistic leadership is defined as a values-based approach to producing optimal outcomes through the collaborative development of all participants in the process, at all levels of functional performance. The theory and resulting definition of holistic leadership presented here is not the first or only one attempted.

Taggart offers a holistic leadership model on his website that he refers to as an "integrated approach to leadership. Similar to Orlov, Taggart's model also addresses a psycho-spiritual triad of personal wellness focused on mind, body, and spirit. Tice describes holistic leadership as a people-centered approach that is both process and outcome oriented.

Participants at all levels of the organization share responsibility for the activities that contribute to successful functioning and produce an environment where the organization serves more as an interactive and self-reinforcing community then a top-down hierarchical structure. These depictions of holistic leadership align with the prevailing research on adult holistic development which - when integrated with the integrative paradigm of leadership theories - transmute into the singular theory of holistic leadership presented here.

Reflections on Leadership: Authentic Leadership Style

A closer inspection of each element of the definition of holistic leadership will illustrate how. Leadership ethics is the most readily identifiable example of a values-based approach to leadership. Ethics and moral orientations are values representations and have been directly linked with servant and values-based leadership styles McCuddy, However, the very definition of a value suggests that a "values-based approach" can be broadly defined.

In quoting Pearsall and Trumbell , McCuddy describes values as those principles, standards, and judgments that one deems as significant or important. He proceeds to suggest that elevating standards on a personal level will not necessarily correlate with what is "good, right, fair and just" according to the standards of others. Thus, a values-based approach in this or any context must be explicitly defined. The values-based approach of holistic leadership places equal emphasis on the welfare of the individual, the organization, and the larger community.

This fragment of the holistic leadership definition finds initial affinity with the stewardship theory. Lussier and Achua define stewardship within a leadership context as "an employee-focused form of leadership that empowers followers to make decisions and have control over their jobs" p. While this definition functions well as a description of the outcome of a values-based approach to leadership, it obscures the central function that stewardship actually plays in facilitating that outcome.

Stewardship is more appropriately described as the "wise use, development and appropriate conservation of resources that have been entrusted to the care of human beings" McCuddy, , p. When combined, Lussier, Achua, and McCuddy's definitions translate into a value element dictating that holistic leadership must cultivate entrusted resources - both human and economic - in a way that supports growth, self-determination, and both individual and collective responsibility.

Such a perspective also aligns with the four quadrants of Lips-Wiersma's and Morris's model -developing and becoming self, unity with others, expressing full potential, and serving others - which suggests that a values-based approach is likely to produce working environments that members find meaningful. Reprinted with permission. In addition, through their research into the relationship between servant leadership and leadership effectiveness, McCuddy and Cavin were able to link servant leadership with moral orientations.

McCuddy's theory of fundamental moral orientation has three basic categories arranged on a continuum anchored by selfishness on one end, selflessness on the other, and self-fullness in the middle. The values element of holistic leadership aligns with self-fullness in several respects. First, it accommodates the remaining fragments of the definition of holistic leadership, including the pursuit of optimal performance outcomes in a manner that is inconsistent with selfish goals and supportive of - though not necessarily requiring - selfless acts.

Second, it frames leadership values as a balance between "reasonable self-interest and reasonable concern for the common good" McCuddy, , p 3. Third, it contextualizes values-based leadership theories like authentic and level three leadership which both focus on the moral orientations and behaviors of the leader. Accordingly, a values-based approach serves as a precursor that supports and validates the four remaining components of holistic leadership. Namely, it establishes the collective development of all participants in the leadership process as a central principle that will guide future behavior and decision-making.

A leadership model that does not address performance outcomes has limited utility in practice. The goal of any leadership effort is to direct behavior towards a desired goal. As with other integrative leadership theories, a basic premise of holistic leadership is that it actually supports the achievement of the most desirable outcomes for the leadership unit organization, group, or individual.

The mediating effects attributable to transformational leadership represent core elements of holistic leadership theory. For example, team-based work produces optimal outcomes because it capitalizes upon the collective strengths of team members while redistributing weaknesses so that they can be absorbed and compensated for by the group. These correlations form the basis for asserting that the collaborative development of all participants in the leadership process will produce the types of psychological climates that facilitate optimal outcomes.

Transformational leadership has been empirically linked with team effectiveness in part because of its role in facilitating team learning behavior and a team learning orientation that in turn supports team behavioral integration in ways consistent with the findings described in the Burke et al. Accordingly, the residual effects of the transformational leader's attention to the specific needs and concerns of individual members - even within a team setting - appear to translate into an increased commitment to the goals of the organizational unit.

Likewise, holistic leadership practice leverages these same attributes by inculcating them as leadership values. In that study, transformational leadership and learning orientation were associated as predictors of creative self-efficacy. Similar research on transformational leadership and social exchange theory attribute these connections to the increase in trust and loyalty to leader that transformational leaders engender. Based on this research, it is reasonable to expect holistic leadership practices to produce environments of increased trust and loyalty that extend beyond specific leaders to the collective leadership enterprise.

This set of leadership literature suggests that integrative models engage participants in ways that inspire trust because they demonstrate a commitment to the welfare of the individual. In turn, the individual is inspired to commit to the values of the leadership unit which includes the success of organizational goals and objectives.

Thus, we can conclude that a values-based approach to leadership that evidences support for the collaborative development and continuing well-being of participating members should produce better outcomes. The next element of holistic leadership must then specifically address how to demonstrate a commitment to the welfare of individual members through their collaborative development. Individuals who are brought together by the pursuit of the same or similarly aligned goals represent a unique collective unit.

Organizations accomplish their goals through the efforts of their members. Transformational, participatory, and other empowering approaches to leadership link successful outcomes to the ability to encourage employees to align personal achievement goals to organizational goals. Transformational leadership as the most widely researched of the integrative theories, suggests that this link is accomplished through the inspirational vision and idealized influence of the leader.

Participatory leadership styles rely on social exchange theory by promoting the involvement of members in exchange for a commitment to advance organizational goals. Holistic leadership extends these approaches by explicitly predicating success in achieving organizational objectives on the personal and professional development of participating members. By shifting the focus from the charismatic capabilities of a transformational leader to the ongoing relationship between individual members and the organization, holistic leadership offers a more stable and transferrable structure upon which to establish personal and organizational goal alignment.

There are at least two residual benefits to this approach. First, individual members of the organization no longer need to experience personal achievement vicariously through the articulated vision of the leader but are instead facilitated in making a direct connection between their efforts and the organization's success. Moreover, the notion of pursuing goal achievement collaboratively is at the heart of the servant leader model. In articulating Greenleaf's servant leadership model, Daft lists four basic precepts: 1 put service before self-interest ; 2 listen first to affirm others ; 3 inspire trust by being trustworthy and; 4 nourish others to help them become whole.

It is the fourth of these precepts that speaks specifically to the collaborative development element of holistic leadership while aligning it with holistic development models like the one offered by Lips-Wiersma and Morris A holistic approach is motivated by more than improved organizational performance.

It is committed to the personal and professional growth of participating members, ostensibly putting the former before the latter. This element is not necessarily a prerequisite of participatory models but is nonetheless compatible with them because it anticipates variability in the capacity of organization members and commits to bringing developmental opportunities to them wherever they are in their growth process.

However, holistic leadership takes a contrary position. Rather than limiting participation based on these contingencies, participants should be developed so that they will be capable of responding appropriately to the tasks or situations that may confront them. Consequently, each member's personal commitment to the organization's success is more firmly rooted because of the organization's demonstrated commitment to each member's personal success. Collaborative development is achieved because the organization's approach is to develop itself and its members together.

To be effective, collaborative development must take the individual capacities of organization members into account. True empowerment and participation provides choice in the form of opportunities to:. Holistic leadership theory rests on the central premise that it is only through the opportunity to exercise self-determination that one can find meaning in one's work, develop self-efficacy, and see the impact of his or her contributions to the organization's objectives.

Therefore, for individualized consideration to result in member empowerment, it must be embedded in institutionalized structures that position all participants in the leadership process closer to the right on the self-determination continuum developed by Ryan and Deci Each member of the leadership process - regardless of formal position - brings with them their current motivational tendencies , which range from amotivation at the left most end of the continuum through extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation.

Each motivational tendency is coupled with a corresponding self-regulatory style. While the first two elements of self- determination reside within the constitution of the individual, collaborative development has the potential to influence the perceived locus of causality and the dominant regulatory processes by shifting actual decision-making to the participant wherever possible and anchoring those decisions in pro-social values that support the meaning-making experience in a positive way.

As participants are regularly afforded opportunities to engage in autonomous decision-making, the perceived locus of causality shifts from the impersonal or external on the left most end of the continuum towards an internal locus of causality resulting from repeated opportunities to direct ones' own activities.

Similarly, the least determined regulatory processes are described by Ryan and Deci as non-intentional, non-valuing, incompetence and loss of control. However, actively engaging participants in decision-making processes that relate to their work and supporting their evolving mastery as autonomous decision-makers causes their efforts to become intentional and their contributions to be perceived as valued. They now acquire control and experience-increased feelings of competence.

These experiences would be expected to move their dominant regulatory processes to the right, engendering increased interest, enjoyment, and inherent satisfaction. Houghton and Yoho cite as a limitation of fully participatory decision-making, the cost of investment when weighed against the potential returns for certain classes of employees e. However, there is no way to avoid the fact that this is a values proposition. When decision-making opportunities are offered to some members but not others, existing power disparities are exacerbated and can only undermine even the best intentions for member involvement.

Social exchange-based theories of leadership rest on perceptions of equity and justice. When members are afforded opportunities to participate in the decisions that affect them, not only does that contribute to increased feelings of meaningfulness, it engenders a level of trust in their organizations that promotes member commitment to the achievement of an organization's goals. This approach also demonstrates the individualized consideration identified with transformational leadership and helps to routinize it by conveying the residual goodwill from the individual leader to the organization as a whole, as Popper recommends.

Individually-focused developmental activities also build the functional capacity of the organization by extending the range of talent and expertise available internally. This is an indispensible requirement of any participatory approach that seeks to respond to the inherent vulnerabilities highlighted by situational theories. For all members to have greater access to participation in the conditions of their engagement with an organization, all members must have access to developmental opportunities that will enable them to participate competently and effectively.

It is the principle of participant development as a requisite element of leadership practice that distinguishes holistic leadership theory from its paradigmatic counterparts. The definition of holistic leadership theory presented here infers the demonstration of a commensurate level of leadership on the part of all participants in the leadership process. Consequently, functional performance emerges as a primary concern that must be further segmented into two categories - functional level and level of function.

The multidirectional and interdependent nature of holistic leadership suggests that it is unilaterally applicable across a range of settings and contexts. To be practical, however, this premise requires a unifying construct that is described here as the leadership unit. The leadership unit, for purposes of this theory, is deemed to exist in one of four forms that often operate simultaneously. They are:. The dictates of holistic leadership apply to any and all leadership units individually and collectively with the understanding that all leadership units are ultimately a collection of "I" units.

Therefore, all levels of functional performance as the phrase resides within the complete definition of holistic leadership theory, refer first to the individual capacity to perform as a member in different leadership units. Thereafter, as those leadership units self-organize or are organized externally, holistic leadership theory dictates how Weam and some team level leadership units function when formally structured.

Holistic leadership does not conflict with existing hierarchical structures. Rather, it recognizes that collaborative development within a Weam context i. In addition, every type of leadership unit within a Weam context must be able to associate the responsibilities of its assigned function s with the broader mission if the mission, vision and values are to be internalized for consistent practice by constituent members. A clearly identifiable structure supports this requirement. For development of all members of a Weam to occur in place, more experienced members must be appropriately positioned to facilitate and support the development of less experienced members.

Thus, holistic leadership also recognizes that development occurs in successive stages or levels of function. The formally designated structure of these stages is of less consequence than the levels of performance that must be represented. Accordingly, holistic leadership theory posits four distinct levels of functional performance at the Weam level: 1 executive , 2 managerial , 3 supervisory ; and 4 frontline.

The executive level is responsible for creating and maintaining a climate hospitable to holistic leadership principles. Executive level commitment is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of holistic leadership practices throughout any collective enterprise. Referring once again to Popper's characterization of leadership as relationship, the influence of this leadership unit is on the moral or values level of development.

The charismatic content of the leadership relationship can only be successfully routinized if a collective identity exists through which values are transmitted so that individual members can identify and internalize them for meaning-making purposes. This includes the utilization of constructive mental models. The managerial level then translates these values into an organizational structure with supporting policies and procedures. This level is distinguished from the supervisory level by the latter's function as the direct and proximal reinforcement of holistic leadership practices along with the modeling of those behaviors for the frontline level.

As Popper notes, developmental interactions require close interpersonal contact. It is only through these one-on-one interactions that the prerequisite developmental conditions of psychological safety and trust can emerge. In this respect, the supervisory and managerial leadership units serve critical functions. The supervisory level underscores that all leadership relationships in a holistic leadership framework have a supervisory component that will either undermine or reinforce the salience of holistic leadership principles by virtue of the extent to which supportive psychological climates are established and maintained.

The managerial level of function serves as the conduit through which individual psychological climates become organizational climates. Finally, it is the frontline level whose practice directly impacts upon how different leadership units are experienced by those on the outside and thus validates the extent to which holistic leadership practices are fully functional within a collective setting e.

Frontline level leadership represents the proving ground for whether the prevailing leadership structure meets these needs. Through its emphasis on the collective development of all participants in the process, holistic leadership theory offers a means to do so. The four levels of functional performance are applicable to Weam units of all sizes.

Smaller settings not able to support four levels of supervision will nonetheless need to perform all four levels of function even if those functions are collapsed into fewer hierarchical levels or formal titles. For example, a small nonprofit organization with a limited number of employees must still establish the values for the organization executive , an organizational structure for their implementation managerial , mechanisms for supporting their consistent practice supervisory and the unfailing fulfillment of those practices with all external participants frontline.

The primary implication of holistic leadership theory as it is presented here lies in its connections between the development of the leader, follower, and circumstance and the interactions that recast leadership as a holistic process i. These processes are theorized to produce the best outcomes when focused on a values-based approach to the collaborative development of all participating members.

This view of leadership is implicit in several leadership theories already identified as having informed holistic leadership theory - namely transformational, servant, stewardship, authentic, and level three leadership. However, each of these leadership theories rests authority and responsibility with the titular leader as the arbiter and primary instigator of those philosophies in practice.

As a consequence, the outcomes even in the most participation-oriented environments become leader dependent. Holistic leadership theory mediates this limitation. With holistic leadership, a baseline level of leadership behavior e. This view leads to a more authentic expression of participant empowerment because responsibility is shared rather than conferred. Treating all participants as leaders supports the concept of leaders as partners in the leadership process.


Thus, as the traditional leadership profile is transformed, the holistic leader becomes more adjuvant than advocate. The emphasis on collaborative development as a parallel pursuit with goal attainment comes closer to realizing the aspiration of full participation by organization members than has been realistically articulated by other leadership models. In the present theory, each member of a leadership endeavor is viewed as a full - albeit developing - partner in the process. The enterprise itself serves as both structure and catalyst for the emergence of self-leadership qualities through self-determined activities that allow each member to develop his or her relative capacity to contribute.

The leadership hierarchy is then more accurately viewed as a measure of the ability to facilitate growth in self and others, with organizational outcomes serving as external referents for success. One of the most important facets of these leadership interactions relates to mental models.

Mental models are the cognitive processes that shape perceptions of external reality and our personal responses to it.