Strengthening Ties Between Healthcare and Leadership
International Leadership Association (ILA) Healthcare Leadership Conference, May 17-18, 2021 - Virtual Conference
Personal Development: An intersection of Transformational Leadership and Discursive Leadership with Mindfulness Practices
There is hardly any challenge too difficult to tackle when you choose to soar with the eagles at the University of Possibility. As leaders and research scholars of the Northwest University Center for Leadership Studies doctoral program, we have been carefully monitoring the global leadership crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, in response to this revolutionary change, we employed our leadership and consultancy expertise to equip healthcare practitioners with the knowledge and practices necessary for organizational success. As we reflect, we are pleased to share a brief synopsis of our experiences presenting at the inaugural International Leadership Association (ILA) Healthcare Leadership Conference.
So what is (ILA)? The International Leadership Association facilitates transboundary leadership learning and stands as a leadership giant for advancing leadership knowledge and practice for a better world. The International Leadership Association as its name entails is an international stage where leaders from all levels and expertise come to share their work, and elicit best practices and approaches to support their communities (ILA About Us, 2018). The vision of ILA is to provide trusted spaces and sources for leadership learning and resources to all leaders globally from every sector, profession, and discipline in order to cultivate a global leadership community that is prosperous (ILA About Us, 2018).
The spark of inspiration began with doctoral candidate Debbee Maraglio-Lynn attending the 2019 ILA conference in Ottawa, Canada. The experience and insight of ILA would be a source to the cultivation of the Dissertation Warriors. The other elements that influenced the creation of this peer group were Dr. Jeremy Delamarter’s Guided Reading course and the book The Dissertation Warrior by Dr. Guy E. White (2017) and our Organizational Change course with Dr. Gloria Burgess’ (2016) Flawless Leadership. Further support came from Dr. Earl Creps to attend ILA and Dr. Ben Thomas to be an advisor and cheerleader for attending. These factors would culminate in a partnership with doctoral candidates Salisha Allard-Blaisdell and Debbee Maraglio-Lynn to form and ultimately grow the group.
The Dissertation Warriors, founded in January 2020, are committed doctoral students who work on dissertation writing, course work, International Leadership Association (ILA) conference proposals, and presentations. We assist with preparation for the Center for Leadership Studies (CFLS) Comprehensive Exam: Scholarly Article, Dissertation “Ted Talk,” and Oral Interview. We intend to provide peer mentorship, including accountability study sessions, research, skill-building sessions, and encouragement for one another.
Mission- The mission of this group is to assist, inspire, empower, lead and follow with success throughout the doctoral program.
Vision- To be actively engaged in learning, mentoring, coaching, and completing the doctoral degree.
Values- Respect, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accountability, Humility, Integrity, Responsibility, Uplifting support, Compassion, Collaborative teamwork, Ethics, and Morality.
Here are the presentations that the Dissertation Warriors contributed to ILA.
Debbee A. Maraglio-Lynn | Mindfulness Leadership Practices and Communication Consultant
Washington, United States
The International Leadership Association (ILA) Health and Leadership Conference in May 2021 was a collaborative step-by-step process from submission to acceptance to virtual presentation. First, the proposal was a brainstorm and collaborative effort following the guidelines for an open call to participate in the ILA Health and Leadership Conference.
The core group of the Dissertation Warriors thought, "why not?" and we went for it. I was worried we were "out of our league" with the healthcare aspect. However, COVID-19 clarifies that healthcare and well-being are of the utmost importance in the workplace, personally, and in the community. Therefore, we encouraged and provided each other support to come together as a team organizing our research, thoughts, and ideas around the conference.
Despite the goal being seemingly out of reach, we followed through with our submission. We were confident that bringing together transformational and discursive leadership theories with mindfulness practices would be a positive addition to the conference and add to the resources for healthcare well-being in patients and providers.
When we received word we were to present, we again came together to design how we would present as a collective, each of us speaking to our passion and research. My training, practice, and research of mindful awareness applications and how they can help individually and collectively in leadership and healthcare was exciting and purposeful during and post-pandemic to help with the many stressors that healthcare professionals face.
Salisha Allard-Blaisdell | Branding and Leadership Development Consultant
Washington, United States
As a leader, engaging in dialogue with global leaders is invigorating. In addition, as a woman scholar in leadership, it is intriguing to overcome the pre-presentation challenges and then later be recognized and appreciated as the content expert during the presentation itself. Earlier this year, course loads were over the top. Yet, I committed to my peer mentors/research colleagues to collectively write and submit a proposal to present at the inaugural ILA Healthcare Leadership Conference.
The COVID-19 pandemic shed light on existing gaps in our healthcare system. Moreover, COVID-19 also exposed the need for contemporary leadership practices suitable to address current challenges. As an organizational leadership doctoral student, my research and training have equipped me with seminal knowledge and practical skills to effectively respond to contemporary leadership challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Preparing the proposal was a beast. Our schedules were packed; however, we believed it was crucial to address the leadership crisis amidst the global pandemic. My healthcare administration background and my developed leadership expertise enabled me to pour into the proposal, which took roughly 4 weeks to complete. Designing the poster was so exciting and challenging at the same time. I really liked that we had an opportunity to dive into our backgrounds. We triangulated the transformational leadership theory with mindfulness practices and my own expertise in discursive leadership theory.
On the day we were scheduled to present, we showed up color-coordinated and eager to share. During the presentation, we each took turns to present. It was beautiful watching my peers crawl into their elements and unleash their unique scholarly perspectives. I learned so much about myself and my peers. Our presentation was recorded, as were the other sessions of this inaugural conference.
My peer mentors/research colleagues have mobilized me and pushed me into pathways I may not have taken. Our collective drive, eagerness, and undeniable passion for advancing the practice and process of leadership is a force to reckon with. We transform and are transformed as we work, learn, and grow together.
Pauline B. Elwin | Strategic Communication and Leadership Development Consultant
Virginia, United States
The International Leadership Association (ILA) Health and Leadership Conference in May 2021 was a relevant topic to present on. It demonstrated how healthcare and leadership tie together in navigating ways leaders could inform and address healthcare and leadership changes and challenges amidst the pandemic. Our group was delighted to be selected to present on our topic: Personal Development: An Intersection of Transformational and Discursive Leadership with Mindfulness Practices. We came together to research and outline our presentation in outlining the gaps in the literature while outlining this revolutionary change component associated with the pandemic. We were also proud to represent our institution Northwest University.
Although we were in the middle of coursework and comprehensive exams, as a group, we were effective in mapping out our presentation and preparing our poster board. Our group, Dissertation Warriors/ILA Adventurers, efficiently exhibited a brilliant presentation around our topic. Our professionalism and expertise allowed for a successful presentation at this conference. Our group held each other accountable in meeting deadlines and preparing to present at the event. It was an invigorating experience that showed our growth as women scholars and leaders. I have realized that we are blossoming into dynamic women leaders and teammates.
We were also selected from over 100 applicants to present at the annual International Global Leadership Conference this October in Geneva, Switzerland. I look forward to presenting in Geneva, Switzerland. We will be facilitating a presentation on Compassionate and Transformational Warriors: The Traits of Successful Women Leaders Mitigating Global Crisis.
Coral Crew-Noble | Global Leadership Development Consultant
Washington, United States
The opportunity to join the Dissertation Warriors in October at the International Leadership Association (ILA) Global Conference: Reimagining Leadership Together is exciting. After two years of no travel, social distancing, and being vaccinated, I am ready to go. I researched Air BnBs and reserved hotel rooms. A trip to Europe is every student's rite-of-passage, but to be in Geneva, Switzerland, the epicenter where global leaders convene, is exhilarating.
However, the invitation to lead the Dissertation Warriors to the International Leadership Association Student Case Competition: Students Leading for Impact as a first-semester organizational leadership doctoral student was disconcerting. Who am I to be leading anything? I thought. I just got here! I am still adjusting to this rigorous program.
Confronted by the unknown, my faithful friends' doubt and fear quickly arrived. Thankfully, it was a short visit. The encouragement and confidence of the warriors sent them packing. The warriors influenced my decision to attend Northwest University and quickly reminded me of my previous achievement as the 2017 Conference for Global Transformation Award recipient.
Being part of the Dissertation Warriors is a privilege. An old African proverb says If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. I am so grateful to have this phenomenal team on my dissertation journey.
Moreover, I am honored and delighted to be leading the team and Northwest University Center for Leadership Studies to the annual International Case Competition. The predetermined area selected is Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #4 Quality Education.
Charva Brown | Global Learning and Development Leader
Washington, United States
There is strength, wise counsel, and safety in being a member of the Dissertation Warriors (DW), a communal tribe of women leaders who are determined, driven, and operate in excellence. I received an invitation to join The DWs in August 2021 and gladly accepted. It is an honor and privilege to be part of an amazing group of powerhouse women leaders who have collectively come together to inspire, motivate, sharpen, collaborate, and stir up the gifts and talents inside one another as we journey to becoming doctors in Organizational Leadership.
When I received an invitation to join the DWs at the International Leadership Association (ILA) Global Conference: Reimagining Leadership Together in Geneva, Switzerland, I eagerly accepted in anticipation of the opportunity to learn, share, connect, and network with other leaders from around the world. The invitation came with an appointment as the advisor for the DW’s International Leadership Association Student Case Competition: Students Leading for Impact. I was overwhelmed by the title of advisor but the DW’s confidence in my ability to advise, contribute, and impart wisdom as a leader at the table caused me to shift my thinking and accept the challenge. The DWs continue to pour out nuggets of wisdom and their encouraging words keep me focused on fulfilling the mantra “a good dissertation is a finished dissertation”. I look forward to continuing my dissertation journey at Northwest University with these wonderful women, and with grit, grace, and gratitude, it is an honor to serve.
We encourage any doctoral students interested in creating a group of 3-5 participants to apply for the student case competition. It has fewer demands on time and is a great way to collaborate with scholarly ideas. The feedback is invaluable, and the process grows scholarly discourse and thinking.
While only one winning team from each division walks away with the grand cash prize of $1,000 cash, all student teams receive an opportunity to practice synthetic thinking, apply leadership theories to real-world problems, and actively engage in constructing their leadership.
ILA International Student Case Competition
The ILA International Student Case Competition is an annual competition that provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to compete and showcase their knowledge and critical thinking skills about leadership. Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels form teams of no more than five to compete in one of the two divisions. Students are then required to select one of the six pre-determined U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. This year, the selected goals are SDG#1 No Poverty; SDG#2 Zero Hunger; SDG#3 Good Health and Well-Being; SDG#4 Quality Education; SDG#5 Gender Equality; SDG#13 Climate Action (International Student Case Competition, 2021).
Competing in the 2021 ILA International Case Competition, requires our team to:
- Develop a real-world case and learn about the systemic leadership complexities associated with a selected social problem.
- Comprehensively and collectively develop and articulate a deep understanding and proposed leadership solution to a problem you believe poses a significant societal challenge.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of leadership as it relates to contemporary social problems.
- Work together as a team to articulate a grasp of how leadership theories and practice can be applied to impact a local, national, and/or international social problem.
- Engage in dialogue and receive feedback to strengthen our analytical and presentation skills.
- Compete with graduate and other doctoral students.
We do so through the cultivation and submission of a case executive summary along with a narrated virtual poster. Once the team is selected for the third and final round, the team will have the opportunity to elaborate on strategic recommendations through a final presentation.
The DW’s Motto: “We’ve got this!” “We can do it!”