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Doctoral Project Abstract

Advance Practical Application of Leadership Concepts and Methods
Focusing on Assessment and Developmental Transitions

Mark Petri
Regent University

The project under proposal is to develop and test a seminar on leadership development. An attempt will be made to advance practical application of leadership concepts and methods. This project will focus on an assessment, an intervention of leadership development, followed by a final assessment. The participants for this seminar consist of the leadership team of Oceanside Christian Church in Atlantic Beach , Florida . This three person team is made up of two Elders and one Deacon. These participants and this organization were chosen because of my three year relationship with them as their Senior Pastor as well as the dire need within the church of lay leadership to be raised up. The thirty year history of this church has been marked by the turnover of nine pastors, attendance and finances in plateau or decline, the near closure of the doors permanently on two occasions, the inability to pay a pastor for four years, the lack of an Eldership for ten years and attendance dwindling down to less than twenty attenders. The participants have had no previous leadership development and the church has had no organizational assessment effort in the past. These participants only attend a monthly church board business meeting where the agenda consists of finances, building and grounds.

A Transformational Leadership style would seem to be a good fit for the apparent weaknesses of this leadership group and the church. This lack of effective leadership could be inferred from the less than illustrious history of this church's effectiveness in ministry. Oceanside is losing membership, running a negative cash flow, unable to retain a pastor long-term and has come close to going out of business consistently. The exercise of this leadership model could provide the vision, charisma, equipping and inspiration which is lacking from this leadership group as well as within this local congregation. Kouzes and Posner's leadership model closely resembles the Transformational Leadership model. The Leadership Practices Inventory by the authors is widely accepted for its reliability and validity. The L.P.I. also offers a standardized leadership development module to be implemented in conjunction with the L.P.I. test instrument. The L.P.I. will be used in this project for the assessment. The standardized participants guide from Kouzes and Posner will be used for the subjects. The Facilitator's Guide from the authors will be used by myself for the one-time seminar experience. This prepared material is then adapted for individual application in practicing the leadership behaviors within an organization. After these behavior practice exercises are completed, retest of the participants will take place utilizing the L.P.I.

Kouzes and Posner contend that leadership, within the context of their model, can be developed by a process of knowledge acquisition as well as the practice of leadership behaviors. The conceptual framework of this model consists of five key leadership practices: challenging the process, inspiring a shared vision, enabling others to act, modeling the way, and encouraging the heart. The actions that make up these practices were translated into behavioral statements.

In an attempt to work this leadership model into the framework of Oceanside 's recognized leadership body, instruction will be given to the subjects consisting of the prepared material written by the authors. The administration of the Leadership Practices Inventory assessment instrument will also be used. The feedback session to the L.P.I. is considered vital by the authors to the development process. Discussion centers around a deeper understanding of the construct of the leadership model. The subjects have the opportunity to understand at a deeper level how the leadership practices and behaviors apply in their role as church leaders.

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