The concept of leadership as a “vocation” greatly distinguishes leadership from a job, career, or what one simply does for a living. A vocation can be thought of as one’s calling. Vocation is often associated with the clergy or missionaries who feel called by a higher power to fulfill a specific purpose. Vocation is also a concept associated with careers like teachers, emergency responders, doctors, or other health care professionals who feel strongly compelled to dedicate their own lives to improving the lives of those whom they serve. Consider your own view of leadership. How does understanding leadership as a vocation inform your understanding of the personal and moral commitments required of leaders? If leadership is not a job, but a calling, what responsibilities do leaders have towards their position, their organization, and their followers?
Leadership is a complex process that requires leaders to critically appraise the circumstances in which they find themselves to best determine how to lead and influence those around them. There are multiple tactics a leader can employ in any given circumstance to influence a situation or their followers. Compare two leaders you have dealt with in the past. What different tactics did these leaders employ to influence situations or people? Which tactics were successful? Which tactics were not successful? As a leader, how can you critically appraise situations to make sure you select appropriate tactics for influencing a given situation?
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