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This is a brief discussion of spiritual and ethical leadership. There are forces that affect the behaviors of leaders that are not always visible or evident to the leaders themselves. It is useful to analyze these forces in order to understand what influences leaders. Both spiritual and ethical dimensions come into play in the work of leaders. The spiritual dimensions work to create a culture of meaning and community in the organization. The ethical dimension serves to create the integrity within the organization which is essential to sustaining the community.

This Instructional Module was written and published by Kevin Bezy and Joseph Makolandra, doctoral students from Virginia Tech, and is a chapter in a larger collection entitled, 21st Century Theories of Educational Administration. This Collection is a series of modules written by Virginia Tech Doctoral students in Summer 2009. Professors, Practitioners, and Graduate Students of Educational Administration are granted full rights to use for educational purposes.

The National Council of Professors of Educational Administration has reviewed and accepted this Instructional Module for inclusion in the International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation (IJELP) , the official publication of the NCPEA Connexions Project and is catalogued under Instructional Modules and Education Material. In addition, the instructional module has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC).


The unexamined life is not worth living. In the translation of Plato’s Apology, Socrates said this before his execution for corruption of the youth of Athens. He was offered freedom as an exile, but he chose to die because he claimed that one must look deeply into life to look for meaning (Hamilton&Cairns, 1961). Why did Plato write this? What did he mean? Are there implications for leadership? These are major questions that form the foundation of spirituality in leadership.

One can look to leaders of the past who performed leadership tasks with what seemed to be a deeper purpose. These leaders took on the leadership roles motivated by more than pay or personal glory. Often it would have been easier to have declined the leadership role in order to avoid personal loss or misfortune. This theme occurs early in literature in the epic stories of ancient people. Throughout history we also find people who embraced leadership at great personal loss. While these people may seem heroic and bigger than life because of their fame and the continuous retelling of their stories, they are ordinary people who were driven by forces that can drive any one of us.

Ethical leadership does not always have the legendary status of the ancient Greeks and Romans or even American icons like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. All children learn about George Washington’s story of telling the truth of chopping down the cherry tree. However, we do not have to look too far back in our nation’s history to discover leadership figures that have questionable ethics; the Watergate scandal with President Richard Nixon, the Iran-Contra scandal with Colonel Oliver North, and the Monica Lewinski and President Clinton. These and other scandals have brought to light the need for those in power to lead in an ethical manner. Leaders are expected to reflect and uphold the morals, norms and principals of conduct that are universal to the population they are leading. They must assess and reflect upon all conditions and possible outcomes prior to making a decision.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, 21st century theories of education administration. OpenStax CNX. Jul 08, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10727/1.1
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