They call it a defense – interesting word for this process. I will be asked to present my data, my findings, and my conclusions about what it all means. Then, I have to support those conclusions based on my data – defend them shall I say to a panel of scholars and academics. They will question my tactics and my findings, my results and my conclusions – all in the name of scholarly discourse and learning. My Dissertation Chair regularly reminds me that this is my chance to present myself as the expert on the subject. Expert – another interesting word. By virtue of my dissertation and defense, I am now the expert.
It’s here – my oral defense is scheduled for this Friday! Someone asked me yesterday if I was nervous, and I wasn’t sure how to answer. I’m not nervous really; I’ve been working on this data for months now and feel as if I have a pretty good idea what it means. But, there is always the nagging thought in the back of my head – did I miss something?
The whole process is a bit daunting, and it is meant to be. This is an extensive process that results in significant knowledge being contributed to the literature based on my research, interpretations, and conclusions. As such, it is not undertaken lightly. I’ve spent the last several years exploring the leadership writings and views of other experts in the field. I’ve taken that knowledge and built my own research to fill in existing gaps. With the support of my university, I interacted with leaders across the country to build a collection of data on my particular leadership niche.
I’ve changed; I’ve grown. I discovered my own expertise and voice on the subject of leadership. I am certain of what I know and confident in my discoveries throughout this process. Assuming all goes well of Friday, I move forward from that day in that voice. I am the expert. There is great responsibility wearing that label. If anything makes me nervous, it is that. May I walk worthy of the title of expert as I step into my leadership identity as Dr. Karavedas.
I am ready!