This study investigated the relationship between educational leaders’ spirituality and leadership practices.
Participants were school principals from 100 varied schools in Texas, of which 71 responded (35 females and 36 males). The majority of respondents were in the 36-55 age range, Caucasian (67%), married (80%), college graduates (97%), with less than 10 years experience as a principal (68%). Respondents completed the Inventory on Spirituality (Rayburn & Richmond, 1996) and the Leadership Practices Inventory. Based upon a practice-by-practice factor analysis, the author deleted item 28 from Challenging and item 30 from Encouraging.
The three scales on the Inventory of Spirituality (Goodness, Trust/Forgiveness, Cooperation and Peacefulness) associated with horizontal spirituality were positively correlated with all five leadership practices. The subscale of Transcendence was positively correlated with Challenging, and also with the other four leadership practices, just not as strongly. Caring for Others was positively correlated with all five leadership practices. The overall measures of spirituality and leadership (combining all of the subscales for each inventory) were positively correlated.
“This strong relationship between spirituality and leadership practices magnifies the importance of examining effective leadership behaviors and practices in order to identify areas that may serve to increase leadership capability through ideological approaches that previously have not been mainstream, or were previously perceived as inappropriate for classroom discussion…..opportunities for exploring the student leader’s own moral philosophy, principles, ethics, values and background factors should be incorporated into leadership development programs” (p. 78).