The Components of Integrative Leadership: Motivation, Behavior, and Style
Vera Katz gives voice and substance to integrative leadership. The current mayor of Portland and former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives believes she and other women lead by emphasizing collaboration and partnership rather than competition and self-interest.
Katz was not always perceived as a consensus builder. Early in her career, she earned a reputation as the aggressive chair of the Ways and Means Committee who eschewed a "give-and-take style" in favor of a "take-it-or-take-it" approach to issues she cared about. 1 Her detractors saw a legislator with little patience for those who disagreed with her; supporters, however, saw a caring, perceptive person who could "tune into precisely that thing that rings someone else's bell." 2 During her Ways and Means Committee tenure, Katz began a metamorphosis from Kennedy liberal to a more centrist, fiscal pragmatist. While shedding the sharp ideological edges, she also began to hone the skills of integrative leadership.
In 1985, after a seventeen-hour caucus and 101 ballots, she became the first woman in Oregon history to become speaker. 3 During her three terms as speaker, she made consensus building and collaboration the hallmark of her approach. 4 At one point she contrasted her consensus approach with more classically aggregative norms of legislatures:
Traditionally, legislatures have fostered the spontaneous generation of conflict and competition. Members are taught to look out for themselves. Protocol and titles are considered of central importance. The "victor" in any given struggle is often the one who pushes the hardest and the longest. 5
After being elected mayor of Portland, Katz continued with that style and developed "an unusually fruitful experiment in local-government inter-