Vocational Leadership: How to Capture Leadership Moments

Are you a leader at work? Answer this question before reading on.

I mean it—answer the question.

If you answered “No” to the above question, it may be because at work you have no executive or administrative title or because you have no one who reports to you. Drew Dudley would not agree with your “No” answer!

He believes that the term “leadership” is defined too narrowly to mean only those who have recognized positions, titles or authority. He broadens the meaning to include what he calls “Everyday Leadership”—leadership moments which are present whenever we influence or impact another person for their good and so act like leaders.

Watch his six-minute video on this issue at: www.ted.com/talks/drew_dudley_everyday_leadership.html

There is no question that many of us have jobs which can seem, or actually are, mundane or repetitive producing little satisfaction or pleasure (see my post: Expanding Your Vocational Horizon). Truthfully, this idea will not change that.

However, each one of us has the opportunity to be a leader through leadership moments whenever they present themselves. If you have watched Dudley’s video, or plan to watch, he describes how he had a tremendous impact on a person though he was not even aware of that impact until four years later. The incident which so affected this girl’s life was one he could not even remember. It illustrates the power of our actions and words. He had unknowingly captured a leadership moment.

Capturing the Leadership Moments

How do you intentionally capture these leadership moments? The answer is not complicated. Those of us who believe the Bible accept that people are made in the image of God and this fact gives every person, believers and unbelievers alike, inherent value. This being true, they deserve to be treated with dignity.

When you are mindful of this truth, and look for opportunities to “dignify” people by seeking to influence or impact them for their good, you are practicing vocational leadership, regardless of what your position in your organization might be. Admittedly, this is more difficult with some people than with others.

I would venture a guess that many of you, if not most of you, actually performed acts of vocational leadership in the past week. Whether consciously or unconsciously you captured the leadership moment by influencing a person for their good and so performed the task of a leader.

I had a young woman in my office this past week who felt that the grade a professor had given her was unfair. Rather than hammer her with the policy she had failed to follow leading to this grade, I explained to her that the situation was not irredeemable and walked her through the process of how that could be accomplished. She was visibly relieved and, on her way out, told the administrative assistant that I had been “sweet” in handling her situation. I had influenced her in a way that was for her good. I had captured the leadership moment.

A difficult, mundane or monotonous job can be part of the grind we experience in life. But there is a good chance that opportunities to practice vocational leadership will be present.

Could you add some glory to your grind by intentionally seeking to capture leadership moments that present themselves this week?


About Dr. John H. Harbison

Son of God, Husband, Father, Author of "Keeping Christ in Ministry,"Vice-President for Academic Affairs, College Pastor, Runner, Writer
This entry was posted in Vocation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Vocational Leadership: How to Capture Leadership Moments

  1. writinggomer says:

    Oh how very true this is. I have been the boss, I am now self employed. To those that I work with, I try to be encouraging to but honestly don’t always succeed. Thanks for the reminder.

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