Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Marie McNeff

Second Advisor

Margaret Thompson

Third Advisor

Bradley Holt


This thesis takes a rather unusual approach to leadership. lt may be the only MAL thesis that contains abstract colored drawings instead of charts or graphs. lt focuses on the internal development and experience perspective of my leadership journey which begins in my inner soul and spirit. I have openly shared the methods I have used and my experiences, as well as my findings, results and conclusions.

Moreover, this was definitely a journey of listening to my heart and allowing what was in my heart to come forth. Sometimes what came out was in words, but sometimes it was an abstract drawing. lnitially I was confused by these drawings, but they changed and developed over time and took on more meaning and depth. They continued to speak, and I came to appreciate them not only for what they said, but for how they were a significant part of my journey.

This whole process has influenced who I am and how I lead, both personally and professionally. l've experienced the fulfillment and meaning in life that comes from listening to my heart and to my art or of being led rather than leading. Living life from this perspective is challenging and risky, but I've been obedient and courageous and have embraced the opportunity that this thesis presented. lt's been a very powerful and rewarding experience in my life.


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