Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Continuing the Journey of Leadership: Song of Degrees

Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Continuing the Journey of Leadership: Song of Degrees

Article excerpt

Abstract: The author discusses how her experiences at Project LEAD have improved her ability to be an effective administrator and faculty member through her "songs of degrees." She discusses her journey as an African American leader and how the principles learned in Project LEAD impacted her leadership style and ability to collaborate with peers and colleagues. Leaders who spoke during workshops provided blueprints for mentoring and discussed the journeys of notable leaders, which provided attendees with insights into the successes and challenges of leadership. During Project LEAD, Dr. Hattie Bessent focused upon five leadership principles and applied Structural, Human Resource, Political, and Symbolic Frames. The author determined she primarily used the Structural and Political Frames after studying the frames of Bolman and Deal (2003) discussed by Dr. Bessent. The Project LEAD model focused allowed her to grow as a mentor and guided mentees to the successful completion of projects.

Key Words: Project LEAD, Songs of Degrees, Bessent, Frames

The Leadership, Enhancement and Development Project (Project LEAD) model of leadership includes character, integrity, humility, and accountability. There are numerous leadership opportunities within any organization or within the multiple complex organizations in the environment. Many organizations employ various executive training models for various types of leaders, including nurse leaders. According to Ulmer (2006), "The ultimate measure of effectiveness of course is mission success.. .To achieve that success, leaders must create and sustain robust, focused, resilient organizations." We believe that the primary responsibility for identifying and educating leaders in the organization in which they find themselves does not reside within one place. Recognizing the limited resources of many organizations, especially selected Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other colleges outside of the ivory tower, the exposure to national and international acclaimed leaders through Project LEAD was invaluable. Project LEAD was designed to give leaders in nursing and health-related organizations a forum to share challenges without a fear of anyone misunderstanding their intentions. Further, Project LEAD provided a forum that would allow leaders not to feel debased by judgments made before the reality of their situation was fully understood even among those who grapple for guidance themselves. Thus, we build support and directions for leadership and mentorship from a set of core values of leadership that we hope to see replicated in the behavior of faculties in the schools or organizations among those leaders represented in Project LEAD. The message of the leadership for this mentor is expressed as "songs of degrees." This message comes from a biblical reference to the journeys of travelers in a time when the common mode of transportation was walking (Christian Answers Network, 2006). The "song" for the pilgrimage was a respite for the heart, soul, and body of the traveler who realized that during the journey he or she would have light and dark places, twist and turns, and all that we call today challenges and successes.

In Spirit and Truth

Tavistock (Tavi) was at the door, invited in,

And lay prostrate on the altar of sacrifice.

A scene was revealed and stolen peeps exposing,

A reality that would take me far.

Did not know then that in the end,

Twists and turns, insights about resolve,

Would build hedges with peepholes of light showing,

A reality that would take me far.

Over time what I thought was benign,

Was challenged by darkness and light,

But holistic health brought untold wealth revealing,

A reality that would soon take me far.

I thank God for Tavi's revelations of

Spirit and Truth.

Bertha L. Davis, PhD, RN, FAAN


As I reminisce about the "songs of degrees," and my journeys, I know that I have been privileged. …

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