Date of Award

Summer 5-1-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Keith Larick

Second Advisor

Cindy Petersen

Third Advisor

Karen Bolton


Purpose: The purpose of this explanatory mixed methods study was to identify and describe what exemplary California Army National Guard (CA ARNG) company grade officers do to maintain their physical, emotional, intellectual, social, vocational, and spiritual health. Methodology: This study used a mixed methods approach relying on the collection of data to provide for a more flexible platform to triangulate multiple data sources and increase the validity of the study’s findings. The study used a quantitative survey to examine how exemplary company grade officers in the California Army National Guard rated their use of grounded leadership strategies along with follow-on interviews and collected artifacts to discover in-depth and personal details regarding the participants’ wellness-related practices. Findings: Examination of mixed methods data from the 16 participants found that exemplary company grade officers maintain grounded leadership by (a) practicing activities that renew their physical energy sources, (b) practicing behaviors that foster an environment of positive emotions, (c) seeking opportunities that allow them to achieve different perspectives for problem solving, (d) using effective communication practices to meaningfully connect with others, (e) fostering a positive environment that prioritizes high performance results in meaningful achievement, and (f) appreciating others and finding ways to show others they care. vii Conclusions: Exemplary CA ARNG company grade officers who (a) mitigate stress by engaging in activities that renew their physical energy have increased ability to withstand stressors, (b) mitigate stress and lead with a positive outlook will build the confidence of followers, (c) embrace constant learning will be more successful problem solvers, (d) practice effective communication will build and maintain genuine and meaningful relationships, (e) build a positive culture will have a positive influence on mission readiness, (f) build a positive work climate will instill a sense of mutual respect and discipline, (g) develop shared beliefs and values will unite a unit motivated to succeed. Recommendations: Further research is recommended to replicate this study with different populations in the CA ARNG and other states to determine strategies to maintain grounded leadership and how they change throughout a military career.