Have you heard of a “showrunner”?
Writers in the TV industry are now expected also to manage—or to have the skills and strengths that would allow them to manage.
According to John Wells, Writers Guild of America West president and writer/producer of E.R., Third Watch, and West Wing, it is almost impossible to be just a writer anymore in television.
Instead of “head writer,” the path for the writer is to control the material and make decisions, thus be a “showrunner.”
Similar to the showrunner, you are managing your career, and an important step on the ladder of your academic career is writing the dissertation. How are you managing the important project of writing your dissertation? When will you close and deliver the project?
To deliver the dissertation:
1. Use the process and mindset of a showrunner/ Project Manager.
2. Exercise the strengths and skills of a showrunner/ Project Manager.
What strengths do you think an effective showrunner/ Project Manager has?
2. Judgment and critical thinking
4. Diligence and perseverance
5. Creativity and ingenuity
What happens if you look at your dissertation project through the lens of leadership?
A showrunner/Project Manager has the job of providing leadership in these areas:
3. Organizing and holding to a timeline
4. Collaborating with team members
5. Working with superiors/bosses
6. Managing a budget
7. Closing the project
How can you encourage and motivate yourself to get things done? How can you organize tasks to make following through more of a given?
Along with writing content, make sure you are managing your project:
— Closing the project depends on planning, scheduling, and organizing.
–Exercise your strength of working with others. Don’t hide out to avoid all personal contact with advisors or others who can help you in the process.
— Consider the costs.
You may not be managing a $26-million-dollar budget for a TV show, but consider what it costs you not to make and meet a schedule.
Writing a dissertation is a great time to practice the strength of leadership. How are you running your show?
I’d love to hear from you
All good wishes,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach