In the Beginning...
A Calling to Durban, South Africa
Chesterfield Township, St. Francis A.M.E. Church
A work crisis, professional ennui, and a personal Bible study to make sense of it all were the catalyst for my calling research. My private study evolved into facilitating several workshops at my church. Then I pursued graduate studies at the University of Michigan to understand connections between faith, psychology, management, and policy.
During graduate school, I was awarded an academic fellowship to facilitate a 6-week seminar that helped young adults (and 1 youth) live their callings in the new South Africa. The transition from Nelson Mandela's historic presidency to his successor, Thabo MBeki, happened while I was there. It was a summer of profound political and personal change.
Working with Rev. Mayekiso and this energetic group was a delightful, life changing opportunity. We learned a lot from each other; perhaps I learned the most.
The church sat atop a mountain, barely visible from the neighborhood below. To my surprise, I had to climb that mountain to go to work every day. But if granny can do it so can I!
I also spent a day climbing the breathtaking Drakensburg mountains. However, my most challenging efforts involved releasing my assumptions and responding to new rhythms that surrounded me. I s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. As a result, I discovered profound new insights about the intersection of calling, diversity, inclusive leadership, the value of being deeply curious, and so much more!
My curiosity matured after I returned to the United States and continued studying the science of behavioral change interventions. I published those insights in my doctoral dissertation, followed by scholarly presentations, papers, a book, a business case, and updated seminars.
Stretching and climbing continues as I reach for new insights. Yet I remain forever grateful for these pivotal early experiences in my work on calling and learning to help others live theirs.
I pray that you have the courage to answer your calling, the will to stretch, and strength to climb your mountains!
Myers, V.L. (2021). Inspiring Inclusion: What is the evidence for a faith-based approach to leadership development? A chapter in Blessed are those who ask the questions: What should we be asking about management, leadership, spirituality and religion in organizations? J.Goosby Smith & Erin D. Renslow Eds. Information Age Publishing: Charlotte, NC.
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. (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. (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. (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. (2002). 6 Days Shalt Thou Labor: Constructing Theory for Engaging the Spirit at Work. Organizational Psychology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.(November)
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.
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. (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.(2013). The Calling to Leadership. Vocation of the Business Leader Conference, Seattle University - Seattle, Washington (Oct).
Myers, V.L. (2012) Live Your Calling. Keynote Speaker- Marygrove College, Annual Master in the Art of Teacher Mentoring 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. (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)
Climb every mountain, search high and low.
Follow every byway, every path you know.
The Sound of Music