Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Terry Jo Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Ericka Mingo


This study was designed to explore a lineage of leadership enacted through mentoring from individuals with respected reputations for excellence in leadership. Using a narrative inquiry approach, I explored how I used knowledge gained from past mentors to inform future leadership actions and decisions based on the examples through their leadership. An exploration of leadership models uncovered the interconnectivity among the life of the mentor, the lessons passed on to the mentee, and the manner in which the story is told. Resonant leadership, transformative leadership, and servant leadership theory provided the theoretical framework used to analyze in-depth interviews in which the researcher and his mentors explored their interconnected leadership journeys. The self-inventory conducted through the dismantlement and deconstruction of the researcher’s life, and his life choices, was an essential part of understanding the leadership models inherited through mentorship and how they transformed into a servant leadership model. Implications for leadership practice and education are included.