Resilience, Leaders, Leadership, Education Leaders


Leadership is a challenging task. Vibrant enduring leadership over time is a greater challenge. Cultivating "leaders that lasts" is the desire of this study. The purpose of this research was to determine the resiliency of leaders in Central Florida. Additionally, this study examined the resilience of educational leaders in Central Florida along with leaders from the business community. The analysis and comparison of the results revealed beneficial information regarding the factors that are substantial in resilient leaders and how these factors might be further cultivated. Educational leaders were randomly selected from school administrators in the Central Florida region, as well as department leaders at two primary local universities. Participants from business were selected from a list of business leaders from the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business MBA Alumni, as well as participants in the Palm Beach Atlantic University Executive Leadership series. The study utilized the Resilience Factor Inventory (RFI) from Adaptive Learning Systems. The RFI is a valid 60-question on-line questionnaire that evaluates the four resilience factors identified in the Review of Literature: (a) realistic optimism, (b) emotional intelligence, (c) relational abilities, and (d) problem-solving abilities. Participants were invited to complete the RFI through a series of four emails explaining the study and the Resilience Factor Inventory with a sufficient response rate (83 leaders). Analysis of the data revealed the following findings: (a) all three of the sampled leader populations were significantly above the national norm in resilience, with those in education the highest; (b) educational leaders, both Pre K - 12 and university leaders, were statistically higher in several resilience components, with emotional intelligence being a strong component in both educational groups; (c) leaders from the business realm were significantly higher in several resilience factors with their distinguish component being problem-solving; (d) while education leaders were strong in emotional intelligence, this population could develop their problem-solving capabilities; (e) in direct contrast, the business were strong in problem-solving, but could enhance their emotional competence; and (f) an examination of leaders who have served the longest have a statistically significantly higher relational abilities and realistic optimism suggesting that these two resilience factors would be important for longevity.


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Graduation Date



Murray, Kenneth


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership








Release Date

September 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)