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The Journal of Spirituality, Leadership and Management

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Confronted by today’s epidemic of corporate meltdowns, broken institutional paradigms, unethical decision-making, and demand for innovative competencies in order to remain competitive, educators and researchers are challenged to examine how today’s future leaders develop the skill and will to be effective. Whether labeled GenY, Generation Next, Generation Tech or Millennials (i.e. individuals born between 1982 and 2003), this group of change agents differs in attitudes, behaviors, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivations from older generations (e.g. Taylor & Keeter, 2010; Twenge, Campbell & Freeman, 2012). The scholarly debate on the role of meaning making (Park, 2005) describes the Millennial on a continuum from being community-minded and actively seeking meaning (e.g. Drath & Palus, 1994; Gehrke, 2008) to being less interested in meaning making and purpose (Twenge et al., 2012). This study examines the relationships between two meaning making constructs, flourishing and religiosity, and proactive leadership development in college students (N=282). Both flourishing and religiosity were significantly related to leadership development, and the relationship between flourishing and leadership development was partially accounted for by perceived climate for leadership development. Our study has implications for both researchers and educators as we seek to understand how Millennials develop into values-based leaders.


Originally published by Spirituality, Leadership, and Management Inc. in , Journal of Spirituality, Leadership and Management, 2012, vol. 6, no. 1. DOI: 10.15183/slm2012.06.1115