Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Deborah Schreiber, Ed.D.
Karen Bolton, Ed.D.
Donna Sonnenburg, Ed.D.
Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe how exemplary senior Navy female leaders used five principles associated with grit (courage, conscientiousness, long-term goals, resilience, and excellence versus perfection) to accomplish extraordinary results in their organizations.
Methodology: This qualitative study used a phenomenological method to describe how eight senior Navy female leaders use five characteristics of grit to accomplish extraordinary results in their organizations. Respondents were purposively chosen. The researcher collected data through interviews, transcripts, and artifacts that were triangulated and coded for themes using NVivo software.
Findings: Exemplary senior Navy female leaders use the five principles associated with grit to produce extraordinary results in their organizations. These principles are described in five major findings: staying true to their morals, caring for their people, communicating boundaries, getting the job done no matter what, and being flexible and asking for support in goal setting.
Conclusions: Three significant conclusions regarding leadership traits of exemplary senior Navy female leaders emerged. Courage emerged as the most pervasive attribute possessed by these leaders. Their actions demonstrated great courage in facing challenges and advocating for their teams. This study revealed that courage, conscientiousness, resilience, and long-term goals are interconnected and collectively support the concept of grit as a complex phenomenon in leadership. Lastly, while excellence was acknowledged as a significant trait, these leaders did not dwell upon perfection as they viewed it as unrealistic.
Recommendations: The researcher recommends five action areas to improve grit leaders. Two are expressed below, while additional details are explained under implications for action. Develop a course that captures the pros and cons of operational duty while providing counseling to support senior Navy female leaders' challenges. Gather and compare research on grit from varied populations and organizations to identify common themes and trends. This would build a comprehensive understanding of grit as a leadership trait and its applicability in different contexts.
Hapner, Cache', "Exemplary Senior Navy Female Leadership: A Study of How Navy Female Leaders Use the Grit Characteristics Courage, Conscientiousness, Long-Term Goals, Resilience, and Excellence Versus Perfection to Create Extraordinary Results Within Their Organizations" (2023). Dissertations. 502.