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Strategic Leadership Doctoral Program: Lessons Learned 1


Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

Doctor of Strategic Leadership: Weeks 1-3

They don’t call it a “terminal degree” for nothing.

A longitudinal study of sleep deprivation and the effect of neuroplasticity metacognition models (I jest)

Three weeks ago I began my doctoral journey at Liberty University, and this is the first time I’ve allowed myself 5 minutes to do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) other than my job and writing academic papers.  I’m exhausted physically and mentally.  You may be asking “Why do this to yourself, Doug”?  Or you may be saying “Deal with it, you big baby!” Either way, I am numb to your comments and have no extra room to consider your thoughts just yet.  Give me time.

I’d also like to express how freeing and joyous it feels to use contractions, give an opinion without a reference, and generally get back to writing with emotion.  Hah! No reference!  Double-space after the period! I’m, can’t, won’t, oxford comma isn’t…ahhhhh. I can see how amazing Jim Collins and Dan Pink are now.  They crossed over from research and nerdery to mainstream writing and still kept the research edge.  Impressive.

Here are a few things I’ve learned so far:

  1. Writing in an academic scholarly fashion is maddening at first.  Well, it still is for now.  I find myself toiling over every sentence, panicked by the possibility of over paraphrasing without proper citation and the plagiarism police software ID’ing me as a violator.  Finding a scholarly peer-reviewed journal to support every assertion, concept, or analysis is quite an adventure.  Creating an annotated bibliography is like a 600-word secondary assignment on top of the paper.
  2. Citing and referencing in APA 7th edition style shouldn’t be hard given the software available today.  It is.  For me. Why do my exported bibliographies never have exactly the right formatting even those I’ve configured the software to use APA 7th Ed. (Zotero, Mendeley, RefWorks) correctly?  Maybe I haven’t.  I need help in this area.  I know how powerful it will be to have a solid workflow for this.  If you’re reading and you have one – please in the name of all that’s good in this world – share it with me!  I haven’t found the time to search, study, and assimilate this knowledge. I’m pretty good at such things – but I’m trying to change the wheels on the bus while cruising 90 if you know what I mean. Oh, and you only italicize the journal VOLUME but NOT the issue number!!! Duh.
  3. The concept of using data vs. surveys to analyze team engagement, leadership performance, and diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics is mine for the taking.  I must find a corporate partner to fund this research.  Maybe you’re reading this and want to know more.  I will not complain if you choose to contribute a little scratch to the effort. More on this soon but I do feel confident that LeaderQuant is building some intellectual property now.

That’s it for now.  If you’re going through the same thing or have learned how to push through and overcome – I’d love to hear from you.

Remember:  What people actually say and do – does not a survey prove.


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