My Doctoral Journey

Leadership and Progress Development

Welcome to the Doctoral JourneyThe Leadership I reflect mirrors the SPL model, in that it is only through continual application and practice that the doctoral student or leader can rise to the demeanor that balances confidence, competence, and achievement with the humility that stems from continuous learning (University of Phoenix (a), 2016). The month I entered my doctorate program, was also the same month my mother lost her battle to cancer. My mother was always my greatest support and when no one else understood why I continued to pursue more and more challenging studies, she would cheer me on. My life was far from perfect and my mother and I did not always agree on everything, but education was different. Academics were special, it was something we shared. The love of learning, the smell of a new book, the feeling of mastering a subject… these were the moments I lived for. These were the moments she lived for. Education was a passion we shared. After she passed, I was introduced to the doctoral demeanor and its subsequent expectations. I was introduced to the SPL model. And what I did not understand at the time, was I was already displaying key aspects of the SPL model.

1Progressive Development

When you think progressive development, many people think of grit, operational growth, or overcoming a grand challenge. At this time of my life, breathing was my progressive development. I still remember and get, the sharp pain in my throat as the anxiety builds and I remember that my life is different, that my mom is gone. It feels so personal. It feels so final. And at great lengths of time progressive development is the ability to draw your next breath without screaming.

The moment I felt the coursework was advancing me as a scholar was in DOC/700, and the research of information literacy. Russell (2009), asserted the most valuable ability for the researcher is to gain a variety of information sources to explore and build upon using conceptual frameworks. I am taking the first steps required to gain a foundational understanding of leadership so that I may lead with grace, compassion, and love.

I was finding memories of the best parts of my mother in my coursework. Even though she was gone from this world, our passion was still being shared. I became motivated. Jung & Sosik (2002) asserted that transformational leaders motivate followers with greater expectations that result in advanced standards of performance.

In LDR/711, I developed as a writer and learned to display my natural service and human orientation in my authentic leadership further developing and adapting social responsibility into my professional and academic pursuits. I mirror the leadership style of Lao Tzu, where like water, the leader is selfless, fluid and responsive (Greenleaf, 1995).  I was raised on a leadership, I do not see represented in the texts held within the University library. Many tribes represent the western hierarchy of modern wisdom, but some, such as my own reject the hierarchy as it stands and have a supportive, collaborative, and intuitive leadership style that functions in the feminine energies of nurture and nourish. I share the ideals of Du Bois in that I am accountable and responsible for my culture, people, and community. Du Bois’ focus on academic welfare and community growth resonates with my leadership structure. Academia is also a requirement of my own leadership and includes learning beyond the classroom. I do not follow traditional western leadership styles, as intuition, meditation, and seeking a comprehensive understanding beyond the material has been a part of my life long education and culture.

The collaborative function of the residency provided a brilliant learning opportunity, that challenged cultural boundaries, maximized peer engagement, and formed true bonds with peers. Residency 1 was such a profound experience. I got to learn from 1st years and 5th year doctorate students. My evenings were late and my mornings too early, but that is a story for another night.

RES/709 has been my favorite to course because I feel challenged by the work, and motivated to push myself. When I imagined my doctorate program, Research 709 is exactly what I wanted to be learning and engaging with. The research course rounded out the first 6 months of my life without my mother. It was in this class I found myself buried in texts, reading was more intense with a greater focus and purpose. For eight weeks I was driven, focused, determined, and did not cry. I mean I still cried, more than I like to admit, but these tears fell with grace, not pain. These tears fell with the promise of progressive development of the self.

2SPL Model

The SPL model is the representation of Scholarship, Leadership, and Practice (University of Phoenix, 2016). Scholarship for me, is the ability to embrace learning with the objective of gaining the most from every experience. Commitment to one’s education is a lifelong obligation. I intend to discuss with my peers the possibility of developing a critical thinking development group where we can incorporate our synthesis ideas and come together to learn from one another. The literature and peer feedback supports the idea that our critical development could produce reflective development in critical thinking and academic writing.

Instilling the belief to practice perseverance in the face of doubt. I have overcome great challenges in this program and I excelled in the face of each. I am growing beyond the analytical black and white into the realization that intelligence is reshaped and knowledge evolves with the willingness to seek out truth.  In practice, I have found the drive to overcome my situatedness.

Leadership is a daily practice in my life. I incorporate social responsibility into my entrepreneurial endeavors and adapt my leadership to maximize the success of The Gypsy Rose and my other philanthropic and entrepreneurial adventures. Using referent power and authentic leadership will maximize the successful implementation of value-based principles of transactional leadership further developing a foundation for future transformational learning operations. Jung & Sosik (2002) asserted that transformational leaders motivate followers with greater expectations that result in advanced standards of performance

In concluding, literary competency, was my greatest advancement, it allowed me to understand the wonder of developing academics over time. The world revealed itself a new and I learned how to move with ease through academic literature. My rationale example of leadership is my commitment to my academic frameworks. Leadership is displayed through the implementation of learned concepts and the ability to adapt them. My concepts are developed and woven into the companies I have devoted my life to developing. The mission of the University’s SPL model is to develop leadership that will advance new models that can explain, predict, and increase operational performance (University of Phoenix (b), 2017).  The SPL model recognizes both cognitive and affective domains of learning (University of Phoenix (b), 2017).  I will be evaluating the conceptualization of the SPL model in my personal development in leadership, scholarship, and practice from my ACCESS coursework to date. And as always, I will continue to thrive in this life, to honor my mother, her struggles, her joys, her accomplishments, and mine.



Greenleaf, R. K. (1995). Servant leadership. In J. T. Wren (ed.), Leader’s companion:

 Insights on leadership through the ages (pp. 18-23). New York: The Free Press.

Jung, D., & Sosik, J. (2002, August). Transformational leadership in work groups the role of empowerment, cohesiveness, and collective-efficacy on perceived group performance. Small Group Research, SAGE publications, 33(3), 313 – 336. doi:10.1177/10496402033003002

Russell, P. (2009). Why universities need information literacy now more than ever. Feliciter, 55(3), 92-94. Retreived from

University of Phoenix (a), (2016). The history of leadership thought and practice. Required reading University of Phoenix, LDR/711A website.

University of Phoenix (b), (2016). scholarship, practice, leadership presentation. Required PowerPoint University of Phoenix, DOC/700 website.



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