Updated: Sep 3
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.