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The long and winding road...

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Some of you may have noticed that I have been a little quieter than usual over the past few months...less 'coffee and conversation' than there has been in previous months. Others may just have been glad of the peace?! Anyway, I have been somewhat hidden away since February as I have focussed my efforts on completing my PhD research and writing up all 80,000 words of my thesis. It's been challenging, and very lonely at times, but there is light at the end of that tunnel. I am now at the final checking/edit stage before the scary process of actually handing in my work. That day is getting ever nearer.

My research has been on authentic leadership in sport coaching, and I have loved it (mostly)! As my methods were firmly narrative, I thought I would share a few reflections in an appropriate style. For anyone who gets as far as the end paragraphs...this is a genuine call for interest. I am putting together an 'action research' style project to bring my research to life, so please do get in touch if you would like to know more. It would be great to talk.

It’s a PhD life: From theory to practice and beyond?

So another month’s beginning; I’m not sure where this year’s gone

It’s been a long adventure, where the days and night’s felt long

My task has kept me focussed, kept me hidden from your view

But the light is finally dawning, there’s a glimmer shining through

I’ve been working on my thesis, on my doctoral research

Delving deep inside my subject from my oft precarious perch

Its been tough and its been testing; it has challenged me for sure

As I reach the final furlong, it has left me wanting more

I’m intrigued by hearing stories, learning much from brilliant folk

From a narrative perspective, I just listened whilst they spoke

Then we tried to find some meaning, making sense from all they said

So many awesome insights; ideas buzzing round my head

Its all about great leaders, and authentic ones at best

I have analysed their history, life experience and the rest

To see how they developed through their journey, on their way

To understand their progress and what drives them on each day

Through method (and through madness) I’ve reflected on their lives

For a sense of understanding; five core themes I’ve then derived

That define authentic leaders, help us see how they have learned

To orchestrate the chaos of this sometimes complex world

They’re passionately curious and they know just who they are

Surrounded by great people who will guide them from afar

There’s nurturing environments where they feel that they belong

And they’ve courage in abundance and they know their right from wrong

Its now time for that submission, send my thesis on its way

I have loved my PhD life; I’ve learned more than I can say

I’m still filled with fear and doubting that my work is ‘good enough’

But I’m ready and I’m willing and can navigate the rough

Of the final, scary viva, where I must defend my work

There’s no place to run and hide in, this is process I can’t shirk

Must believe in what I’ve written, what I’ve learned and what I’ve found

My methods were well chosen, research vigour – it was sound

So this last step is exciting, a chance to talk about this ‘stuff’

How I found it awe inspiring; how I found it just as tough

It can help to shape my thinking; may be more that they suggest?

It’s a chance to share my findings, put my research to the test

Then my next step is to take this from the paper to the stage

I want to test my theories, free the model from its cage

So I’m looking for some crew mates to join me on this quest

Help me pilot my new thinking, see how this can be progressed

If you want to lead authentically, work out who you really are

If you’re searching for identity, and don’t know where to start

If you want to find your meaning, or your purpose, or your dream

Come along and join me, sign yourself up for this team

I would love for you to be there, be a part of where this goes

To help evolve this study and to see how research flows

Curious or intrigued? Want to learn a little more?

Drop an email or just phone me…I am waiting for your call!

NB. The words in bold italics are the five key themes I elicited from the research.

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