Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)




A leader's behavior and actions flow from their values and beliefs. The focus of this thesis is to create a forum where people can explore their beliefs around how to positively influence others when in a position of leadership.

The forum is a three-session study group using a 2,500 year-old book of Chinese philosophy called the "Tao Te Ching." The 5,100-word book of 81 aphorisms provides pearls of wisdom on leadership--using nature as the model. Participants documented their leadership philosophy in session 1 and after reading the "Tao Te Ching" in session 3. Session 1 is an introduction to the text and the dialogue method of conversation. Session 2 and 3 take place a month apart. Between each session, the participants read an aphorism a day and document their thoughts in a study guide. The dialogue method of conversation is used to process the text together during sessions 2 and 3.

Reading the "Tao Te Ching" brought new insights to the participants. They felt their philosophy of leadership had deepened through the experience.


SC 11.MAL.2000.Light.MJ