by Craig O’Flaherty and Janine Everson
The search for new insights on leadership and leadership development appears to be insatiable. Indian scholar and spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba in his Mahavakya* on Leadership remarks:
“There are more than 350 definitions for the word Leadership in academic literature in the English language alone. It indicates the general confusion that prevails about the subject and also its complexity”. (Chibber 1995)
Some scholars ((Arthur et al. 1999-2000; Day 2000) postulate that the intense focus on leadership development has arisen through the urgent need for organisations to find ways of building capacity to deal with the unforeseen challenges brought by our ever- changing global reality. We use this article as a means of showing that by adopting an ‘integral’ stance – one which integrates different theories in the field, we are able to crystallise key insights and to add an extra dimension to the topic. We do this by exploring leadership through the lens of a process designed to aid in its development, namely coaching. Coaching here refers to the one-on-one process of business or executive coaching, through which leaders confront their competency to lead and develop an awareness of the road they need to walk to mastery of this capability.