The Godfather and Dissertations

April 8th is the Anniversary of The Godfather, Part II‘s triumphant night at the 47th Academy Awards, which coincidentally happened the day after writer/director Francis Ford Coppola’s birthday. Here are 4 lessons from The Godfather saga for dissertation students everywhere.…

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
— Vito Corleone

So, how do you make your proposal into an offer your committee can’t refuse? Listen. Follow the feedback they provide. Revise each draft to make it exactly like they ask. At that point, how can they possibly refuse?

“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgement.”
— Vito Corleone

I’ve consulted with hundreds of doctoral students who considered their committee members to be their enemies. They dreaded every interaction, resented every revision request. They were convinced each committee member was out to get them. These feelings would cloud their judgment and impede their progress.

“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
— Peter Clemenza

Don’t be emotional about your dissertation. When part of your project has outlived its usefulness, you should simply prune it away. Keep what’s still useful and move on.

“It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.”
— Michael Corleone

Your dissertation isn’t your baby. It’s not your legacy. It’s not your life’s work. It’s a means to an end. If you want to graduate, you have to complete your dissertation. So, get down to business!

If you feel like you’re too emotional about your dissertation and you want to free yourself to finally move forward in the dissertation process, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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