What Do You Think . . . was a defining moment in your leadership development?

One of the lessons I learned from J. Robert Clinton’s Leadership Emergence Theory is that there are “defining moments” that occur in the life of the leader.  These moments are pivotal moments in the leadership development process – a crucial lesson learned, a principle recognized, a change in behavior, and so on.  Can you identify any particular defining moments in your leadership development?  Please share them in the comment box below.


  1. Matt Vander Wiele says:

    Honestly, I was actually fired from my father’s company in my twenties. I was offered the job back, however, I realized that even in my career I quickly was allowing that to identify me. God has much to teach me. This may be a poor opinion, but I have learned to prioritize the importance of my job in relation to other things such as what I call my first community (family) etc. In other words, I have learned to take my employment seriously, but not too seriously.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for sharing the story, Matt. I also had an experience that taught me that my job was not more important than my family.

  2. Erik Smith says:

    I think defining moments most often come in the midst of failure or disappointment. One such experience for me was when I applied for a position in administration at the school where I had been working for years. I had many colleagues encouraging me to do so, it seemed God was leading me there, and at the last moment a close friend applied and got the job. At first I was very hurt and confused, and others were upset on my behalf, but I had a choice to make. Would I be bitter, complain, and feed dissension, or trust God and respond in humility? In this case, by the grace of God, I chose wisely and publicly supported my friend who got the job. As a result, we were able to work alongside one another and help build a stronger leadership team that walked together through some challenging times.

    • jsmcmaster says:

      Erik, your response showed maturity and growth, and I believe you became more effective from what you had learned in the process.

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