Suzanne Stigler Martin
B.A., Samford University
M.Div. , The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Regent University
Book Chapter: Qualitative Research in the Study of Leadership
Research Interests: invisible leadership, gender balance, social change, qualitative research methods
Suzanne Martin, Ph.D. is the force behind transform. For more than 25 years, Martin has built a wealth of experience, theoretically and experientially in leadership and the development of both organizations and individuals. Martin sees her life and her consulting as a calling; bringing her life to bear on what she believes to be a mighty purpose ~ to bring about change. Martin agrees with George Bernard Shaw in his assessment of living a purposeful life, when he states,
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.
This purpose has driven her in every position that she has held, whether it be as a dental assistant, aerobics teacher, house cleaner, waitress, drama instructor, teacher, sales associate or youth minister. Her professional roles have taken her varied experience and built on her leadership expertise to bring a broad brush of consulting experience to her practice. For 15 years Martin worked full-time at Samford University in various roles culminating in her role as Director of Leadership Education. During her time at Samford University, Martin also served as an adjunct faculty member, developing and teaching a service-learning based leadership course, Foundations of Leadership.
Upon leaving Samford, Martin took on the task of Program Director for the Leading Edge Institute (LEI). She served in this position for three years, after which she served three years as both the Executive Director and Program Director, and then final year as Program Director. The Leading Edge Institute provided Martin a hands on opportunity to affect change as LEI provided a statewide program for college women committed to changing the face of leadership in Alabama. Martin brought the vision of LEI to new heights as she developed the program and worked tirelessly to promote the goals of the organization around the state. As a result, there are more women at the tables of decision-making and greater opportunity for a prosperous and equitable Alabama for all. Martin integrated her knowledge and understanding of the Social Change Model, service-learning methodology, and the tenets of Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership in the nine-month leadership development curriculum offered through LEI.
All of these paths led Martin to create transform. She uses her gifts to help transform the lives of individuals, organizations, churches and communities. Believing that leadership emerges as ordinary people work together to solve their problems, she helps create lasting, tangible and constructive change.