The search for authentic leadership and the quest for the full life : utilization of signature strengths of principals in Northern Illinois
Monson, Kelly (Student of education)
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This dissertation analyzes the profiles of signature strengths among public school principals in the northern collar counties of Illinois. Profiles are analyzed based on the demographic information gathered by the participants on the categories of age, gender, number of years experience as a principal, school type (grade level of students in the participants’ buildings), and county where the participants work. A three-part survey was utilized to facilitate a description of the patterns of the perception and utilization of 24 signature strengths (curiosity, love of learning, judgment, ingenuity, social intelligence, perspective, valor, perseverance, integrity, kindnesss, loving, citizenship, fairness, leadership, self-control, prudence, humility, appreciation of beauty, gratitude, hope, spirituality, forgiveness, humor, and zest) and the extent of agreement of Seligman’s definition of the “full life” defined as “experiencing positive emotions about the past and future, savoring positive feelings from the pleasure, deriving abundant gratification from your signature strengths, and using these strengths in the service of something larger to obtain meaning.” This study makes use of both descriptive and inferential statistics to examine the obtained data. The outcome variables are the scores on each of the 24 perceived signature strengths, scores on each of the utilized signature strengths, and the agreement score on the “full life” item. The survey provides the researcher with the data necessary to carry out both descriptive analyses and profile analyses, which is an application of multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA). The parallelism, overall differences among groups and the effect size of the profile analyses are analyzed. It was discovered that significant differences were found in the profiles of participants based on the demographic categories of school type and gender for perceived strengths, number of years experience, and gender for the utilization of signature strengths and gender in reference to achieving the full life in the principals’ profession through the utilization of identified signature strengths.