Leadership Mapping

How to use the integral method in leadership.

May 10, 2021

Last time we looked at leadership and how the integral 4 quadrant method can help us take stock of the way we lead. By looking at each of the 4 quadrants we get 4 different perspectives on our leadership - 

  • How we lead ourselves 
  • How we lead our teams 
  • How our systems help us work together
  • How we work together as a group 

Within each of those perspectives we can apply the intent based leadership model of Clarity, Competence and Care to see where we are leading well, and where there may be gaps. 

That’s a lot to keep track of though so to make it easier, R:AF has introduced the Leadership Map. This is a canvas that allows you to walk through the four quadrants and do a leadership assessment.

The canvas can be used in a number of contexts - a leader could use it for self assessment, a group of leaders could use the canvas as a group activity or a R:AF guide could use the canvas to help a leadership team transition to remote working.

The Canvas starts in quadrant 1 - Leading our teams then leading our Systems, Leading Together and finally Leading ourselves. Why end with self? Often when you ask someone up front how they are feeling, whether they are taking care of themselves, more often than not they will reply that yes, they are. Its not until someone has walked through all the things they need to do to lead others, to build systems and come together as a group that they realise that they have left no time in that for themselves. So we look at care for self last to make sure its not left out.

The map makes use of guide questions to prompt reflection (if you are doing this alone) or discussion (if you are doing this as part of a group). These aren;ty the only questions you can ask, they are there to start the thinking, not to finish it. If other questions occur to you while walking through the map, ask them. And don;t be afraid to double back and take a second look at something you have already done if something new occurs to you later in the journey. 

Let’s take a quick walk round the map and see where it takes us.

leading our teams

Starting in the Leading our teams quadrant, we look at clarity, competence and care in the context of our teams. On the competence side we ask ourselves -  do our teams have the right skills to work remotely? What new skills are they likely to need in future? Are there any skills they no longer need and will get in the way? For Clarity we ask ourselves what information the team needs to work remotely, how they want to receive that information and whether they know who to contact if they are missing something. In Care we ask whether we are aware of our team’s needs (individual and collective) and whether we anticipate any changes in those needs into the future.

leading our systems

In Quadrant 2 we turn our lens on our systems. Don’t fall into the trap of just thinking just about IT systems here. We don’t necessarily need (or want) a database. A system is any set of actions that is followed regularly. It could be regular meetings, it could be scheduled conversations, or it could be an IT tool. What systems do we have in place to ensure competence - what systems do we have in place to ensure people have the right skills, do those systems help us anticipate changes in the skills needed? Whether our systems will cope with remote working. Turning to clarity we ask whether we have systems in place to give people the information they need when they need it and whether the methods we use now need to change as we work remotely. Care is often left out when thinking about systems because its seen as a personal thing or at most between a person and their manager, but we can and should have systems in place to ensure care. Do we have systems in place that help us identify and meet people’s needs? Remember, we aren’t just talking IT systems here.

leading our together

In Quadrant 3 we look at how we come together as groups. We look at how we work together as a group and whether that needs to change as we move to remote working (and before you laugh its amazing how many organisations are trying to do exactly what they did before only with everyone on video calls). We look at how we share information amongst the group effectively and how the group cares for its self and its members - how are they staying connected, are they looking out for each other. Are work and life well integrated or hugely out of balance?

leading ourselves

Lastly we turn our gaze on ourselves. How are we enduring our own clarity, competence and care? Do we have the right skills? Do we need new ones or to unlearn old ones? Are we clear personally on where we want to go? Does what we are doing align with our values? Lastly and perhaps most importantly, we ask whether we are remembering to look after ourselves. Whether we have any needs that aren’t being met. Self care is the basis of all other care. We can’t look after others unless we first look after ourselves. 

That ends the guided tour, why not try a walk around the leadership map yourself? Or maybe take a group along with you.