leadership mastery  



Many leaders and organizations have begun to recognize that fragmented, incomplete approaches are inadequate for today’s multidimensional, multilayered, ever-changing leadership and organisational challenges.

Given the sheer complexity of today’s organization’s problems, it is no longer tenable to simply try to “plug-and-play” the latest management fad from a current bestseller. Experience shows this random approach to Leadership Development hinders as often as it helps. Organizations can no longer afford the unintended and often expensive consequences of partial approaches to Leadership Development. 

Yet, it should be acknowledged that leaders and “experts” hold very different, and often contradictory, beliefs about the “right things to get done” that lead to effectiveness. Some leaders look for transformational leadership,” others call for “transactional leadership,” and still others demand for the more traditional “authoritarian, command-and-control” leadership. 

Different mindsets, in different contexts, point to very diverse approaches to leadership. How can we make sense of this apparent complexity? Are all these perspectives in fact partially true?

At Cornerstone Integral, our Integral Framework approach provides us with the ability to consider all the different patterns and perspectives that exist within an organisational system and design a truly integrated intervention that ensures all possible organisational phenomenon are taken into consideration in order to more adequately answer the question of “What is the right thing to do?

Most if not all leadership development programs designed and delivered by organisations tend to be designed to provide a participant with a set of skills to meet a current need. These programs generally have limited effectiveness as they lack connection a common language and a sense of progression for the participant. They typically are conducted in 2 or 3 days and are expected to change the way the participants think and act without a deep connection to the organisational context.

This effectively wastes organisational resources and leads to chastened participants who often feel little has changed after the euphoria of attending the program has passed.

 So how do we at Cornerstone Integral differ in our approach?

There are two clear distinctions in the way we think about the question of leadership development.

Firstly, we diagnose need by taking a holistic perspective using the Integral Framework. This approach enables us to examine leadership through the lens of the organisation as a complete system.

Secondly, we have clarity about the difference between horizontal leadership development and vertical leadership development and how a blended approach can be tailored to suit the needs of our clients.

Horizontal development is the development of new skills, abilities and behaviours. It is technical learning. It is most useful when a problem is clearly defined and there are known techniques for solving it.

Horizontal Development = Competency building at a current stage of development.

  • Increases what you know and strengthens technical expertise.
  • Essential for using known techniques to solve clearly defined problems
  • Develops functional knowledge, skills, and behaviours that strengthen your current level of capability

Vertical Development, in contrast, refers to the ‘stages’ that people progress through in how they ‘make sense’ of their world. Research has shown that adults continue to progress (at varying rates) through predictable stages of mental development.

Research from Harvard and Berkley Universities confirms that the rate of vertical development can be increased with appropriate testing and skilled developmental coaching by trained coaches.

At each higher level of development, adults make sense of the world in more complex and inclusive ways – their capacity to solve ever more complex problems grows bigger.

Vertical Development = Increased capacity to solve ever more complex problems

Improves how you think and how you interpret any situation.

  • Essential to address complex problems, cultivate high-stakes relationships, and navigate rapidly changing, uncertain circumstances
  • Develops your mental complexity and emotional intelligence, literally upgrading your internal operating system for more wisdom.


Accordingly, Cornerstone has designed its Integral Leadership Mastery Program to reflect a sense of progression. We call this our Leadership Ascension process. Whilst each program can stand alone, over time each program builds on the previous one thus creating a common scalable Leadership language for the organisation. This means that if an individual starts their career in an organisation and begins their development journey with the Self Leadership program, over their time in the organisation they would participate in a range of leadership programs that would build their capacity and capability to meet the increasing complexity of any leadership role.

An overview of each program can be downloaded as PDFs below

In addition to each of these programs Cornerstone has designed a range of Leadership Programs that address a specific Leadership need for organisations. An overview of these programs can also be downloaded as PDFs

At Cornerstone we believe that we have the most comprehensive approach available in the marketplace today. If you would like to discuss your organisation's specific leadership needs please Contact Us on 1300 133 550