Integrated Leadership (2021): 7 Ideas To Be A Better Leader

8 min read

Are you looking for proven ideas to become a better leader? The guide below presents 7 of these ideas based on the concept of integrated leadership.

In my role providing life coaching services, I’m often helping people to improve the effectiveness of their leadership, both in their professional and personal lives. 

The concept of integrated leadership is deeply fascinating and useful, and I’m excited to break down the most helpful ideas from this concept with you. 

So, let’s dive into your masterclass on integrated leadership.

Integrated Leadership
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1. What Is Integrated Leadership Development?

A quick internet search will reveal that many intelligent people have their own unique vision of what integrated leadership development means.

However, throughout this insight, it’s widely agreed that this term is used to represent a coming together of several ideas about leadership. 

This creates a multi-dimensional approach to leadership, preventing you from becoming a one-dimensional leader who is stuck in their ways. 

The development of an integrated leadership model is being offered by several coaching  companies that specialise in creating better leaders. These companies offer education and insight on leadership concepts discovered through integrated research into leadership. 

A chief executive or business founder will search for these services if they feel they need to improve the effectiveness of the leadership within their company.  

This training is typically offered to a large group of employees, rather than individuals.

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2. What Is The ILM72?

The Integrated Leadership Model 72 (ILM72) is an assessment that you can use to measure the quality of your leadership abilities.

It was created off the back of a huge research programme into leadership competencies around the world in several fields. 

This research programme examined more than 50 different types of leadership models – and discovered a range of skills which remained crucial to effective leadership.

It is regarded as one of the most complete integrative research programmes into leadership skills. 

In an academic review, it was described as being able to bring ”order into the chaos that is leadership thinking”.

The popular assessment, which is available to buy for around £60, measures an individual’s competencies in the skills that really matter.

3. Determination and Engagement Are Regarded As Key Elements Of Leadership

In the research conducted to create the ILM72 assessment, three leadership traits were identified as being key to inspiring a team of willing followers.

Throughout several industries and in a huge group of countries, it was found that leaders are able to inspire their followers more, the more these three traits were demonstrated. 

These three key elements to successful leadership were:

Determination To Deliver

First off, determination to deliver means having a clear vision of what your goal is and where you’re leading people. Furthermore, great leaders will have laser-like focus on achieving this goal and a willingness to do whatever it takes to reach it.

This determined energy was found to be infectious in a huge range of fields. When leaders are determined and passionate, their followers tend to display these values with greater intensity.

Engagement With Individuals

A great leader ensures other individuals receive the engagement they need to perform at their best and provide the most value to their team. 

Of course, different individuals will require different types of engagement. Perhaps that’s additional support, extra training, new tools to complete the job better or a good old-fashion kick up the backside. Great leaders are able to discover and deliver the unique engagement that specific individuals value. In doing so, they’re creating more intelligent, self-confident, useful and engaged followers.  

But who are these individuals? Of course, they are the employees that a leader is officially responsible for…but it’s not just these people. Great leaders will engage with any individual on their team, whether they’re officially responsible for their management or not.

Engagement With Other Teams

The research concluded that great leaders are happy to lead outside of their official ‘team’. The ability to break down the barriers between organizational teams to create a “one team” mentality was highly valued throughout the study. 

It would appear then that the best leaders can inspire and lead people outside their circle of official responsibility.

This gives weight to the argument that you can (and should) crown yourself as a leader, rather than waiting for your organizational superiors to give you an official title.  

4. What Are The Different Leadership Styles?

It is commonly suggested there are four key styles of leadership (autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire and paternalistic).

There are other online articles detailing as many as 10 key types of leadership.

However, the ILM72 assessment takes a more detailed and flexible approach to determining your leadership style.

When you take this assessment, you’ll be asked a series of questions and given a score based on six scales regarding six elements of leadership. 

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These are: 

  • Goal Focus. Do you focus more on results or how the work is done? 
  • Motivation. Do you focus on the success of the team or the success that the individual desires? 
  • Flexibility. How much do you consider your team’s opinions when making decisions? 
  • Control. How strictly do you control the way your team goes about their business? 
  • Recognition. Do you give positive recognition only when success is achieved, or do you also recognise hard work? How about critical feedback?  
  • Structure. How attached is a leader to the organization of their project? Are they willing to change things as they go?  

It’s important to recognise that great leaders were deemed to be able to adopt the three key elements of leadership, regardless of their leadership style. There’s no reason for any individual not to adopt these habits in a leadership role. 

5. Leadership Styles Tends To Remain Consistent Throughout A Business

Wondering how your leadership style is developed – and whether you’ll be able to change it?

Well, the researchers behind the ILM72 assessment suggested that people tend to choose a leadership style and stick with it. 

However, it was also concluded that most employees will conform with the overriding leadership style of a company.

If true, this means the leadership styles adopted by those at the very top of an organization is crucial, as it will drip down throughout the company all the way to the bottom.

This can be good for businesses. It creates organizational consistency and makes it easier to develop a consistent company culture. This consistency can help to ensure consistent productivity and results throughout the organization. 

Employees know what to expect as they move into different roles within the business. Meanwhile, senior figures at the organization can expect to have greater control of how their employees are managed.  

However, the ILM72 researchers also acknowledged that this consistency can sometimes be bad for business. It leaves no room for flexibility of management style throughout an organization, which might be crucial to inspire and lead specific employees or departments with individual values.    

6. Courage Is A Hugely Desired Leadership Trait

Brene Brown is the author of #1 New York Times best-selling book ‘Dare To Lead’.

She also led a 10-year integrated leadership study anlaysing leadership across a huge range of businesses offering various services throughout the world. 

As part of this research, hundreds of participants were asked who will be the leaders of five years in the future?

It was universally agreed that courage was the most desired quality among future leaders.

Wondering what courage means in the context of leadership? Well, Brown broke it down into four personal values. 

  • Vulnerability. The ability to show up fully even when things get tough. Instead of ‘tapping out’ of difficult conversations or other scenarios that might leave them feeling vulnerable, great leaders are brave enough to take them on while staying true to their thoughts and beliefs. They don’t crumble or become too emotional under pressure.
  • Living your values. When it comes to their own personal values, some crummy leaders adopt an attitude of “do as I say, not as I do”. Great leaders are the opposite. They are the shining example of the standards they expect of others. They’re daring enough to hold themselves accountable, as well as their employees.
  • Building trust. This isn’t just behaving in a way that allows your team and customers to trust you. It’s also being brave enough to trust others in your group to complete important tasks. 
  • Picking yourself up after a setback. Failure hurts. It takes bravery to dust yourself off and try again after you fail. A great leader has the courage and skill to learn from their mistakes, pick themselves up and lead their team back into battle.      

Brown’s book ‘Dare To Lead’, published in 2018, dives deeper into these values and the results of her study. She also hosts a podcast of the same name, which is packed with ideas from around the world about leadership.

A constant theme of Brown’s work is that anyone can crown themselves as a great leader, regardless of whether they have an official leadership role. This takes a great deal of courage in itself.

In an interview on The Tonight Show, she said: “I define a leader as any person who holds themselves accountable for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage, the guts, to develop that potential.” 

You can watch the interview in full below. 

7. How Does Having An Integrated Model Of Leadership Help Me Become An Effective Leader? 

Integrated leadership development programs are typically based on the results of studies of hundreds of diverse workplaces. They therefore allow you to develop transferable leadership skills, rather than a leadership style that one works in one type of organization (if that). 

This one-size-fits all leadership process boosts your chances of appealing to a wide range of individuals. It’s certainly less complex than trying to tweak your leadership approach for every individual you encounter.

In short, an integrated leadership model allows you to consistently be seen as a great leader by the majority of people you work with. The ability to achieve this is crucial when working with a big group of people or in large corporations.

No wonder so many of the world’s top corporate leaders are choosing to adopt insight from  integrated leadership models in their businesses.  

Do You Have Any More Questions About Integrated Leadership Development?

I hope this guide helps you develop a stronger idea about integrated leadership and the practical ways it could help you in your career – and in your day-to-day life!

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If you have any personal questions related to integrated leadership development or the values of this model, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

I’d be excited to review your comments and provide whatever support I can!

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