Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

David Shellman


The purpose of this qualitative study was to address the problem of ineffective leadership by focusing on the impact life experiences have on leadership development. Participants in this qualitative study were educational leaders (principals) located in a central North Carolina school district. The researcher sought to study how select leaders’ life experiences impacted their leadership development, identify common themes that influenced select leaders, use the results to address the need for effective leadership in educational environments, and use the results to bring awareness of the importance of leadership development through experiential learning. Qualitative data in this study revealed that that life experiences are vital in developing a leader’s growth, and findings in the study are consistent with research that our “life experiences and our response to them are of critical importance in how leaders are formed and the kind of leaders we become” (Ambler, 2012, para. 6). As a result of this research, educational systems, companies, and/or organizations seeking effective leaders may find this study beneficial when seeking and developing leaders.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.