Although I grew up in the world of goal setting, I have always displayed a fluid approach to life. I let things unfold, give them my best shot, and repeat. This style matches my temperament and coding. There are, however, a few dreams that I have possessed ever since I was a little girl: to travel into space, to be a writer, to retire in NM, and to earn a Ph.D. Everything else that transpires in between these desires is fine by me.
This past week I moved one step closer to achieving one of my life goals; I completed my Prospectus hearing for my doctorate in leadership. This milestone includes the written front end of your dissertation and a briefing on your research problem and the methodology whereby you intend to go forth and gather data. My hearing was this past Wednesday and my readers and several faculty members who were with me since the beginning were in attendance.
It was surreal; it was exhilarating; it was fun; and most importantly, it targeted the three things I love to study the most: followers, motivation, and crises. The title of my dissertation is Perceptions of Leader Effectiveness in an Organizational Crisis: A Case Study in Follower Self-Efficacy. If there’s one thing in life you can bank on, it’s that something is going to go amuck. If there’s something else you can bank on, it’s that certain members of your team will be all in and others won’t care. And if there’s a third thing you can bank on, it’s the degree of the individuals level of self-motivation makes all the difference in the world. I’m researching the intersection of these three topics.
I now get to conduct a case study in an organization that encountered a crisis and emerged successfully on the other side. I get to interview leaders and followers and answer the question every one of us has ever wondered, “Does my team understand what I am saying and trying to do?” and to hear from those supporting their leader why they chose to stay with the organization and help right the ship.
For those of you that have ever thought about diving back into the knowledge pool as an adult, I cannot encourage it enough. I began the program at 52 years of age. I will complete it at 56. Guess what? The more you use your brain, the better it works. That's called intellectual efficacy. I learned that in my research! But the real reason you should go back into a structured learning program is that it will completely transform you. You will become a better, sleeker, more critical thinker, competent writer, and proud owner of a first-rate mind. In today’s world, that’s priceless. You’ll process things differently. You won’t get upset and be led by your emotions because you have trained your mind to dive deep and search for facts. You'll become more precise on your own values, so you don't feel threatened at every turn of the discussion. I not only got smarter, but I also got a whole lot more happy, peaceful, and —you guessed it —tremendous!
I cannot wait until I am completed and when someone yells, “Is there a doctor in the house?”’ I can stand up with confidence and exclaim, “Why yes—yes there is!” And maybe I’ll sell enough books or give enough speeches with my tremendous findings that I can buy one of those tickets into space for the public and purchase my dream home in the mountains of Northern NM!
Thanks to all of you who have been the most tremendous group of mentors, thinkers, and encouragers anyone could ever ask for. I am also thankful for the new people this program has brought into my life. Well, enough with the celebration. It’s off to the research races for me. I’ll check back in when the journey is complete and let you know when and where the celebration will be held.
If you’re interested in a tremendous school where you can pursue whatever degree you desire, please check out the link below for Lancaster Bible College.