Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Gene Scheffler


Organizational Leadership


The focus of this Leadership Action Project is to explore how the ethical will can inspire authentic leadership. Authentic Leadership theory is predicated on the growth of self-knowledge and self-awareness in a leader. These twin notions, developed through practical experience and lifelong reflection, inform a leader’s legacy of values, beliefs, and behavior. Due to the immediacy of daily challenges, modern leaders often lack the presence of mind to reflect on their crucible experiences and practical wisdom. As a result of this lack of contemplation, these leaders do not extract as much self-knowledge and self-awareness from their personal ethical legacies. The ethical will, a document designed to articulate an author’s values and life experiences as a legacy for others, can be a practical medium for inspiring authentic leadership. The research findings inform a set of recommended best processes for inspiring authentic leadership through writing an ethical will.