Date of Award

Summer 8-4-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Ainsworth

Second Advisor

Dr. George Giokaris

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephanie A. Herrera


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore and describe how exemplary middle school principals perceived practices of Sinek’s (2019) infinite mindset framework were embedded in their organization to inspire achievement of extraordinary results. A further purpose of this study was to understand organizational supports and barriers exemplary middle school principals perceived affected infinite mindset development.

Methodology: This phenomenological study explored experiences of exemplary leaders and their perceptions of how the five practices of Sinek’s (2019) infinite mindset framework were embedded in their organization. The target population for this study was exemplary middle school principals in Harris County, Texas. Purposive sampling based on criteria and recommendations from an expert panel was used to select eight exemplary leaders participating in this study. Qualitative data were gathered through in-depth interviews and collection of artifacts. Interview questions were designed around the five infinite mindset practices: just cause, building trusting teams, worthy rival, existential flexibility, and courage to lead.

Findings: Examination of qualitative data from eight middle school principals participating in this study indicated exemplary leaders perceived embedding practices of Sinek’s (2019) infinite mindset framework supported achievement of extraordinary results. Findings from this study included 19 themes, seven key findings, and one unexpected finding.

Conclusions: Based on findings in this study, seven conclusions were drawn to demonstrate how exemplary middle school principals embedded Sinek’s (2019) infinite mindset practices. Each research variable was included in these conclusions. Perceived supports and barriers that impacted embedding of infinite mindset practices in an organization were also included in the conclusions. Exemplary middle school principals focused on the mission and vision for student achievement in their organization and collaboration with district administrators and staff members.

Recommendations for Action: The researcher provides six recommendations for further research. It is important to explore the experiences of middle school principals in areas outside of Harris County, Texas. Further research could include other types of schools such as elementary and high schools, and combine the eight dissertations from the current study’s thematic team to identify patterns and trends.