What is the most common misconception or distorted belief about calling?
The most common misconception about calling is that it is primarily about passion and destiny. While those are elements of a calling, they are neither the main or most important elements. Many people have unquestioningly accepted this diluted meaning of calling without analyzing reasons for their belief or understanding how the broader cultural has shifted that meaning. I explore reasons for the shift in my book, the consequences for organizations and society, and what we can do to fortify calling in our daily lives.
Why is this focus on passion problematic? Over 100 years ago, sociologist Max Weber warned that if calling drifted in this direction, toward individual passions and away from the highest religious and cultural values, it would have a corrosive effect on business and society, because people would carelessly treat business as a competitive sport.
Would you describe your writing of this book as an act of calling? What prompted you to write it?
I became intrigued by the idea of calling nearly 20 years ago, while still in the corporate world. However, I didn’t understand my curiosity as part of my calling at the time. Over the years, that curiosity morphed into a commitment to gain insights into an idea that I still find intellectually compelling and socially relevant. In hindsight, I can now say that writing this book is part of my calling.
Valerie Myers is a dynamic scholar, speaker, and author of the “Conversations About Calling.” She is a management professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the President and CEO of Myers Management Consulting, LLC. She is a pioneer on the topic of the meaning of work as a calling. Her calling is to elevate the character, climate, and quality of work. I interviewed Valerie to share her insights on calling and meaning of work. Paul: Why should I care about calling at all? Isn't this reserved for people who are in vocational ministry? Valerie: The revolutionary idea of calling espoused by Protestant Reformers 500 Read more…