Date of Award

Winter 1-18-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Cindy Petersen

Second Advisor

Jonathan Greenberg

Third Advisor

George Sziraki


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and describe how exemplary leaders perceive the practices of Sinek’s (2020) infinite mindset framework are embedded in their organization to inspire the achievement of extraordinary results. A further purpose was to understand organizational supports and barriers exemplary leaders perceive affect the development of an infinite mindset.

Methodology: The thematic team concluded a phenomenological methodology was the most appropriate approach to identify and describe the superintendents’ perceived importance of the practices of Sinek’s (2020) infinite mindset to achieve exemplary results. Identifying and describing the unique lived experiences of superintendents is best captured through a phenomenological methodology.

Findings: The consistent practices exemplary superintendents utilized to achieve extraordinary results were: intentionally keeping the mission, vision, and values at the forefront; developing strategic plans for alignment to the mission; focusing on building trusting teams through open communication and providing resources and supports for success; expecting all team members to engage in professional learning and collaborative structures to improve; continuously gather information through needs assessments to understand the evolving needs of the district; commit to open and transparent communication to move towards the vision; and remain focused on the barriers their staff and organization face and engage in meaningful stakeholder engagement to overcome those barriers.

Conclusions: It was concluded superintendents who engage in the following practices achieve extraordinary results: work is aligned to the vision; strategic plans are developed; trusting teams are built through communication and providing resources; a high value is placed on professional learning and collaboration; frequent needs assessments are conducted to respond to changing needs; foster open and transparent communication; and superintendents who do not engage in meaningful stakeholder engagement will not be prepared to address challenges faced by the district.

Recommendations: Additional research should be conducted to study: other superintendents in California and the United States; cabinet level leaders; the various needs assessments utilized by superintendents; collaboration with other associations to determine strategies superintendents perceive impact their districts post pandemic; and combine the 8 thematic dissertations to identify patterns and trends.