George Gregory Houston is a 2014 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. George Houston with his committee at his Dissertation Defense.
Left to Right : Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts, Committee Member, Dr. George Houston, Dr. Carol Baron, Dissertation Chair, Dr. Alan Guskin, Committee Member.
[Not Shown: Dr. Karen Eriksen, External Reader]
leadership, spirituality, definition, effectiveness, development, quantitative, competency, correlation, T-test, regression analysis, Campbell Leadership Index, CLI, Executive Dimensions, ED, leaders, senior level executives
The role of leadership continues to be a consistent topic of discussion whether you are considering the seminal work of Stogdill (1974), Burns (1978), Kouzes and Posner (1995), or Van Hooser's (2013) Leaders Ought to Know, one of Amazon's 2013 Top Ten Leadership books. A consistent question in leader development circles is-how can leaders be more effective in their role given the current state of leadership? One dimension of leadership development that is often overshadowed, downplayed, minimized, or completely ignored is the concept of spirituality. If the spiritual development of individual leaders can be integrated with other accepted leadership skills, such as job specific technical skills, emotional intelligence, and physical fitness, then there is an exponentially greater possibility that both the ineffective and the good leader will improve their effectiveness. Without improving the effectiveness of individual leaders and the organizations they lead, not only we can expect a continued decline of leadership as we know it, but all aspects of society, organizations, groups, and individuals will be compromised on multiple levels. In this study, the relationship between spirituality and leadership effectiveness was explored in ways that identify spirituality as an additional factor that may contribute to the effectiveness of leaders. Based on study findings a definition of spirituality is proposed: Spirituality is accessing a universal understanding that life can be greatly enhanced in all relationships by developing our inner wholeness and other connectedness. Survey results indicated that six Campbell Leadership IndexTM items that were rated as at least quite descriptive of spirituality by 80% of the respondents. These items included: considerate, encouraging, enthusiastic, helpful, trusting, and trustworthy. Correlation analysis found that the spirituality items were correlated to the Executive Dimensions leader effectiveness competencies, particularly in the area of Leading Others and Leading by Personal Example. T-tests showed that the six spirituality items distinguished between high and low scores on most of the sixteen Executive Dimensions competencies, except in some of the Leading the Business competencies. Regression analysis showed that the spirituality items most influenced the competencies of forging synergy and interpersonal savvy. The results of this study are a part of the next step in affording spirituality its place in the development of leaders alongside more traditional leadership competencies or behaviors. The electronic version of this dissertation is at Ohiolink ETD Center, www.ohiolink.edu/etd
Houston, G. G. (2014). Spirituality and Leadership: Integrating Spirituality as a Developmental Approach of Improving Overall Leader Effectiveness. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/87