Identify a leadership lesson from Harriet Tubman's life, and explain how you can apply it to your ministry or professional life.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Harriet Tubman offers us plenty of leadership lessons in her perseverance, courage, and commitment to self-sacrifice. Let’s look at these in more detail.

Harriet Tubman was born a slave, but she longed for her freedom and never gave up striving for it. Yet when she finally succeeded in running away, she could not leave it at that. She may have had her freedom, but while her people were still enslaved, she was determined to free as many of them as possible, even at great cost to herself. Harriet's husband refused to join Harriet in the North and married someone else. Yet Harriet refused to give up even amid the pain of that rejection. She had a mission, and she knew it.

Further, Harriet Tubman faced danger every day. She carried out about thirteen trips on the Underground Railroad and probably brought about seventy “passengers” to freedom. This took major courage. She could have been captured at any moment. Certainly, she knew the area in which she was traveling, but this didn't make it safe. What’s more, she had to travel by night, and she had to cope with the fears of her “passengers,” encouraging and sometimes threatening them to keep moving even in the midst of their terror. She never lost anyone.

Harriet Tubman didn’t have to do what she did. She could have remained safe in the North or in Canada. Yet she was willing to sacrifice herself for the lives of others. She had to be shrewd, too, knowing whom she could and could not trust, and she had to be quick-thinking and clever, ready to respond to any situation in only a moment.

Finally, Harriet Tubman trusted in God to get her through the danger. She had a deep faith, and she put her confidence in God, committing herself to following his will no matter what happened to her.

We can see how these lessons can apply to both ministry and professional life. Successful people are willing to take risks and even to sacrifice themselves for the good of others. They persevere through difficult times and courageously face trials with cleverness and, in the case of religious individuals, with trust in God.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial