The role of spirituality in superintendents becoming transformational leaders
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the role of spirituality in superintendents becoming transformational leaders. The participants for this study were purposefully selected. The goal of the researcher was to purposefully select superintendents who could be identified as leading through spirituality. A survey was used that was developed using the book, The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership: 8 Key Principles to Leading more Effectively by Paul Houston and Stephen Sokolow. Six superintendents from West Texas were selected and asked to participate in this study. The three research questions that guided this research study were: 1. How have superintendents become transformational leaders using spirituality? 2. What evidence is there in a superintendent’s work life as they relate to the eight spiritual principles? 3. How do superintendents perceive the meaning of spirituality in their work? The findings of this study began by revealing the life history of the six participants. Each participant gave details of their lived experiences and those who had an influence on them from early in their lives and continuing to their professional lives. The study also revealed how each participant came to view spirituality and how their spiritual development along with life events assisted them in transforming their professional practice as a superintendent. The next set of findings dealt with how each participant used spiritual principles in their day to day praxis. In particular, the findings showed how the participants employed the eight spiritual principles as discussed in the book, The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership: 8 Key Principles to Leading more Effectively by Paul Houston and Stephen Sokolow, on a daily basis with the people they lead in their school districts. The data also revealed how the participants applied the eight spiritual principles to assist them in being more successful in their practice as superintendents. The findings also showed the obstacles and struggles that the participants encountered leading through spirituality. Finally, this study revealed how the participants viewed the meaning of spirituality as far as it related to their work as superintendents. The findings explained how the participants used their understanding of the meaning of spirituality as a catalyst in becoming a transformational leader. This study adds to the knowledge regarding spirituality and the role it has in superintendents becoming transformational leaders. The results of this study may be applicable to superintendent training programs geared at enhancing leadership effectiveness. This study also contributes to the original data that was gathered by the authors of The Spiritual Dimension of Leadership: 8 Key Principles to Leading more Effectively.