The leadership lifestyle lived by academic leaders is characterized by fast pace, high responsibility, and little personal time. This lifestyle may be unattractive for professionals seeking high-level academic leadership positions. The purpose of this paper is to discover the meaning of wellness for leaders in higher education and better understand how they achieve and maintain wellness in their lives.
This study used a qualitative methodology and specifically a grounded theory approach. Grounded theory was the chosen methodological approach due to its applicability to academic and non-academic audiences as well as its ability to better understanding the processes associated with certain phenomenon such as wellness.
The results yielded a grounded theory called wellness maturity with four supporting axial categories: intention, gauge of wellness, reflection, and adaptation. Wellness maturity, depicted as a continuum, represents an optimal wellness destination with constant movement toward the destination for each leader.
The results of this study offer greater insight into practical applications and considerations necessary for the achievement or maintenance of wellness while working in a higher education environment.
This is critical as the future of higher education suggests a large number of vacancies of leadership posts. With the increasing pressures for administrators, the need to create a desirable and attractive climate for potential leaders is necessary.
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