Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Keith Larick, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Cindy Petersen, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Felicia Haecker, Ed.D


Purpose. The purpose of this explanatory mixed method study was to identify and describe what exemplary mental health leaders in Puget Sound area mental health facilities serving veterans do to maintain their physical, emotional, intellectual, social, vocational, and spiritual health based on the six dimensions of Rosen's (2014) healthy leader model.

Methodology. An explanatory mixed methods approach was selected to allow the triangulation of data to increase the validity of the findings. The study analyzed quantitative surveys to identify how exemplary mental health leaders rate their use of grounded leadership strategies and qualitative semi-structured interviews to identify strategies exemplary mental health leaders use to stay grounded according to a six dimensions framework.

Findings. The findings of this study revealed strategies exemplary mental health leaders use to maintain their health were: taking time to relax, sleep 7–9 hours, and maintain a nutritious diet; mind body awareness; having compassion and remaining calm; challenge yourself; demonstrate interest and listen to others; contribute in meaningful ways; and focus on values and beliefs.

Conclusions. There were eight conclusions drawn from the data analysis. It was identified that exemplary mental health leaders who use strategies based on Rosen’s (2014) healthy model, to be grounded leaders are (a) better at managing stress and crisis, (b) role models who demonstrate resiliency through mind-body awareness, (c) create safe space for sharing ideas, (d) create inspiring and collaborative environment, (e) create work atmosphere of confidence and cohesion, (f) nurture curiosity and decrease stagnation in the profession, (g) ensuring work remains meaningful and purposeful, (h) are focused on values and beliefs making them predictable and influential leaders.

Recommendations for Action. Further research should be conducted to do a mixed-method study on a specific mental health organization and how the leaders stay grounded. Further research using causal-comparative research to compare grounded strategies exemplary mental health leaders serving veteran population use compared to leaders not serving the veteran population. It is recommended that a mixed-method study be conducted examining strategies exemplary mental health female leaders use to stay grounded.