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Student Reflections on Integrative Leadership

Core to the our strategy as a Center is supporting the inclusion of integrative leadership into curriculum and teaching across the University. We see this as a key competency for leading in any 21st century field, discipline, or profession.

Now in its third year, an interdisciplinary, graduate-level course is led by co-instructors from multiple schools of the university. It has been interesting for us to see how the students in this course describe the concept of integrative leadership after spending a semester studying the theory and application of it.

Students in the 2010 class shared their fascinating reflections here on Time to Lead.

The Spring 2011 class worked together to craft the following definitions:

Facilitating a collaborative process that spans traditional boundaries and expands the pie to positively impact the common good

Thoughtful integrative leadership is the actions and processes that empower affected/interested parties to discover shared values to work toward a sustained public benefit.

Leadership that seeks input and ideas from diverse perspectives and across boundaries and strives to give equal voice and impact to all stakeholders through a process that involves give and take of leadership, and boundary objects. The result is a shared vision that catalyzes movement toward a greater outcome that is more than the sum of its parts that fosters inclusion, participation, diversity, public engagement, deliberation, community of practice.

Integrative Leadership is...

  • Promoting the common good (difficult to identify, need to intentionally include diverse voices)
  • Working across boundaries, utilizing the skills of those involved
  • Taking a long-term focus
  • Integrating systems/processes/values, not just collaborating
  • Being open to redefining success

We're looking forward to hearing the reflections of this semester's class. These reflections help us all think deeply about how we make this abstract concept real in our daily lives.

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