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Dissertation Abstract

Shift in Spiritual Leadership: Analysis of Metanoia Stories to Get at the Spiritual Aspect

Kevin Grant
December 2008

The purpose of this dissertation is to consider a new meaning of leadership as a result of leaders who have had a metanoia experience. Metanoia experiences of leaders such as Job, Abraham, David, and others are told in the biblical text. In Mark 1:15, Jesus used the word repent, which in the Greek means metanoia. As a result of this metanoia experience, leaders feel they have a higher calling to integrate spiritual values into their personal lives, which then influences the workplace to create spiritual community. Research for this project used storytelling from leaders who described having a metanoia experience. The leaders chosen for this study expressed they had a new sense of meaning and purpose in their lives because of having a metanoia experience. The data collected compares the similarities and differences of how these leaders described their spiritual leadership. As a result of these stories, the leader's personal transcendental experience provides a new meaning of leadership, which can be used to transform the workplace into a spiritual community where workers feel a new sense of purpose. The study sample includes leaders from various backgrounds, education, experiences, and religions who described their personal metanoia experience. In an interview context, leaders described their personal viewpoints of spiritual leadership and how they live and work using a spiritual perspective. Using research narrative analysis of storytelling, stories were separated according to frequency, patterns, emerging themes, and constructs related to the research questions. As a result of these spiritual experiences described by these leaders, other organizational or institutional leaders may consider going beyond one's self-interests and become more concerned for the interests of others, thus creating spiritual community.