Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Alvin Holliman


Leadership, Skills, Promotion, Coaching




A qualitative case study allowed for understanding the skills and achievements desired for individuals holding formal leadership positions in rural businesses located in Indiana. The general problem to be addressed was leaders being promoted based upon achievements and skills not related to leadership resulting in diminished morale and lower productivity. The purpose of the study was to add to the body of knowledge by expanding on the understanding of reasons behind promoting leaders based on non-leadership skills and abilities and the impact it has on employee morale and company productivity. Three primary research questions evaluated the skills and achievements of non-leadership employees compared to the items desired for leaders. The final research question surrounded the impact on morale and productivity that formal leaders have on the company. There were twenty-five, in-person, one-on-one interviews conducted resulting in six key themes emerging. The themes combined with existing academic research established the creation of three critical recommendations for businesses promoting individuals to formal leadership positions. With completion of this study, businesses are able to understand better the desired skills and achievements of leaders to contribute to the greatest success for an individual leader. Lastly, the recommendations provide the framework for promoting the best individuals to leadership positions.

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