The Power of a Calling
Insights from Joseph's Journey
 In the Beginning:  A Calling to Durban, South Africa


Chesterfield Township, St. Francis A.M.E. Church

During graduate school, I was awarded an academic fellowship to  facilitate a 6-week seminar for young adults (and 1 youth) to help them live their callings in the new South Africa. Nelson Mandela's historic presidency was ending; Thabo MBeki became president while I was there. It was a summer of profound political and personal change.

Working with this terrific group was a delightful, life changing opportunity. We learned a lot from each other; perhaps I learned the most.


Surprisingly, I discovered that I had to, and could, climb a steep mountain to go to work everyday! I also spent a day scaling the Drakensburg mountains (below) just for fun! But my most challenging efforts involved releasing my assumptions, paying attention, and responding to new rhythms that surrounded me. So I s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. And because I did, it was here that I discovered the intersection of calling, diversity, inclusive leadership, the value of being deeply curious, and more! 

My curiosity blossomed when I returned to the United States. I studied the science of planning effective behavioral change interventions. I published those insights in my doctoral dissertation. Presentations, papers, a book, a business case, and more seminars followed... my climbing and stretching continues. I am forever grateful for these pivotal steps in my work on calling and learning to help others live theirs.


Here's to answering the call to climb your mountains!  - Valerie



Myers, V.L. (forthcoming 2021). Callings & Crystal Stairs: How leaders can facilitate equitable ascent to elite and executive roles. Administrative Sciences Journal

Myers, V.L.(2013). The Calling to Leadership. Vocation of the Business Leader Conference, Seattle University - Seattle, Washington (Oct). 


Myers, V.L. (2013). Conversations About Calling: Advancing Management Perspectives. Routledge-Taylor & Francis: London/New York.


Myers, V. (2013). The Power of a Calling: Insights from Joseph's Journey.  Business Case, William Davidson Institute:  Ann Arbor.

Myers, V.L. (2009) What Did Weber Say?: A Comprehensive Materialization of his Implicit

Theory of Calling. Paper accepted for a presentation session at the Academy of Management Annual Conference, Management, Spirituality and Religion Division – Chicago, IL (August).


Myers, V.L. (2007). An Ontology of Calling: Examining Mechanisms and the Transcendent Possibilities of Work Orientation Theory. Critical Management Studies Conference Proceedings. Manchester Business School – Manchester, England.


Myers, V.L. (2006). Cultivating Calling: A Faith-based Approach to Work Orientation and Spirituality at Work. Symposium at the Society of Industrial Organizational Psychologists Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas (May).


Myers, V. L. (2003). A Review of Faith-based Research: Assembling Pieces to Advance Practice.  “Expanding Behavioral Health Services for Underserved Populations By Harnessing Faith-Based and Community Resources” Conference. Lincoln, Nebraska. (June.)

Myers, V.L. (2003). An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Faith-based Human Services: Analyzing Latent Organizational, Social and Psychological Processes. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan. 

Myers, V. L., Morgan, L. M., & Wrzesniewski, A. E. (1999). Calling and Coping: The Relationship between Work Orientation and Well-Being. American Psychological Association Annual Conference “Focus on Science Extended Poster Session: Psychology in the Workplace.” Boston, MA.

Public Speaking 

Myers, V. (2021). (Mis)Education About Calling: Recalibrate Your Perspective and Path. MBA Christian Fellowship, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan (February).

Myers, V. (2020). (Mis)Education About Calling. MBA Christian Fellowship, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan (February).

Myers, V.L. (October, 2015). Conversations About Calling: Advancing the Discourse with Research in Healthcare. Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Myers, V.L. (November, 2014). Specialists with Spirit: Strengthening the Healthcare System. Philadelphia Department of Public Health - Philadelphia, PA.

Myers, V.L. (2014). Realize the Power of a Calling: How a calling enhances performance, profitability and more. The American Business Women’s Association, Ann Arbor Chapter (March).

Myers, V.L. (2012) Live Your Calling. Keynote Speaker- Marygrove College, Annual Master in the Art of Teaching Mentor Conference, Detroit, MI (Aug).


Myers, V.L. (2011) Not Your Average Joe: Calling and Talent Development. Intervarsity Christian Fellowship – Black Scholars and Professional’s Association, Ann Arbor, MI (Nov).


Myers, V.L. (2010). Calling, Christianity & Organizational Performance. Keynote Speaker for Interdisciplinary Symposium. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI (March)              


Myers, V.L. (2010). Discover and Live Your Calling. Guest speaker and workshop facilitator at the Women Faculty of Color Task Force Annual Conference. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (March). 


Myers, V.L. (2009). Discover & Live Your Calling.  Guest lecturer for Ross Business School Executive Education and Positive Organizational Scholarship’s Booster Shot Series- Ann Arbor, Michigan (June).


Myers, V.L. (2009). Living Your Calling.  Keynote speaker for Coram Deo Christian Business School Students. Ross Business School - Ann Arbor, Michigan (April).


Myers, V.L. (2008). Weber’s Warning and the Unexamined Positive Consequences of a Sacred Calling Toward Work. Positive Organizational Scholarship Conference, Ross Business School.  Ann Arbor Michigan (December).


Myers, V.L. (2005). Six Days Shalt Thou Labor: A Biblical Approach to Flourishing at Work.  Guest speaker at St. Stephens A.M.E. Church, Laity/Lay Day Services: Detroit, MI. (February)


Myers, V. L. (2002). 6 Days Shalt Thou Labor: Constructing Theory for Engaging the Spirit at Work. Organizational Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.(November)