Yǒng qì: The Assessment of the Inventory of Leadership Courage in Support of the Construct of the Adult Self-Directed Leader
David H. Hartleyk
The 6th-century Chinese military philosopher, Sun Tzu, identified five characteristics necessary for leadership: knowledge, trustworthiness, courage, humaneness, and sternness (Cleary, 2000). Carr, Coe, Derrick, and Ponton (2007) proposed these characteristics as the defining characteristic behaviors of the adult self-directed leader. Further, Carr et al. identified these behaviors as conative factors as they appear to be co-occurring in the behavior of the adult self-directed leader. To assess the behavioral intentions of the adult self-directed leader, behavioral intention scales have been or are being developed for each of these factors. Yŏng qì is the phonetic spelling of the Chinese word for courage. Hartley (2011) conducted a qualitative study of military veterans, assessing their definitions of leadership or commander's courage—bravery—and the opposite of courage. The qualitative responses from this study were reviewed, a thorough analysis of the courage literature was conducted, and the Inventory of Leadership Courage was developed. This instrument is a 38-question survey assessing six proposed factors of leadership courage: (a) makes the hard choices, thinks; (b) confronts risk and fear without showing fear; (c) integrity, honesty, adhering to a personal code; (d) accepts responsibility; (e) a willingness to learn; and (f) continues to try, mission completion. This scale was analyzed for face validity and then subjected to reliability testing through the use of a web-based survey tool and test-retest procedures. The Kaiser—Meyer—Olkin measure of sampling adequacy and Bartlett's test of sphericity indicated that the data were acceptable for principal component factor analysis. The principal component analysis supported the premise that these assessments support a single component proposed to be leadership courage. Cronbach's coefficient alpha for the scale also supported the reliability of the instrument as a whole; however, only three of the six supporting factors supported alphas above the .70 level of acceptable reliability. Test-retest analysis was explored with inconclusive results, as the number of complete responses was insufficient (Kline, 2000).
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