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The relationship between self-awareness and leadership effectiveness

VUHRD adjunct faculty member, Dr. Patricia Sullivan, recently completed her dissertation to earn her Ph.D. in Curriculum Instruction with an emphasis on Adult Education at the University of South Florida. Dr. Sullivan's dissertation, on The Relationship of Self-Awareness to Leadership Effectiveness for Experienced Leaders, studied whether or not leaders' self-awareness made them more effective in their role. In order to collect data on the leaders, the leaders themselves completed a questionnaire and also had four or more of their direct reports complete a questionnaire about the leaders' behaviors.

The questionnaires, which were the Leadership Practices Inventory SELF (what the leaders filled out about themselves), and the Leadership Practices Inventory OBSERVER (what the direct reports completed), yielded information about 5 leadership competencies: Modeling the Way, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Challenging the Process, Enabling Others to Act, and Encouraging the Heart.

Dr. Sullivan's research concluded that a positive, but not strong relationship existed between the leaders' own effectiveness and their self-awareness, however the direct reports' observation of the leaders and their self-awareness was determined to be positive and strong.

We are excited to share our faculty's research, and would encourage you to learn more about Dr. Sullivan's research by exploring her dissertation further! If you have questions or would like to discuss with Dr. Sullivan, you can reach her at:


Dr. Patricia Sullivan is an adjunct faculty member in Villanova's Graduate Programs in Human Resource Development. She also owns an HR consulting firm, Tampa Coaching. Connect with her here on LinkedIn

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