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The Leader as Hero: 5 Essential Daily Acts

I often talk to leaders about putting themselves in the role of “Hero” as they tell their stories. Using the Hero’s Journey as a framework for explaining your vision and how you and your team will get there is a powerful tool to get people on board and start feeling the excitement of taking on a new challenge.

This post is about how you as a leader can be a Hero in your everyday life. Heroic leadership is about inspiring and serving your stakeholders—your team, coworkers, managers, and customers—as you guide them on their own paths. Below are 5 essential acts of heroism that you can do on a daily basis. Click on the headlines below for more on each of these valuable tools for inspiring and serving others.

1. Find your moon shot

A moon shot is a qualitatively inspiring vision that gets the leader and everyone else out of bed in the morning. It is the reason for your Hero’s Journey—the game-changer that you and your team believe in wholeheartedly and are determined to make happen. Use your moon shot as fuel to motivate your team to think creatively every step of the way. Read more here.

2. Mean what you say and say something meaningful

Authentic communication helps you to connect with others on a more personal level. When you bare your soul in your words, that vulnerability gives people something to hold on to, something to trust. This deeper connection is the key to truly engaging others and getting them on your side. Read more here.

3. Respond, don’t react

In stressful times, people look to the Hero for how to act. If you automatically go into high-alert mode, so will your followers. When this happens, it is difficult to think clearly. In addition, your followers may lose faith in you to find a rational solution to the problem at hand. Alternatively, if you take the time to react thoughtfully and intentionally, you and your team have a much better chance of working together to find a possible way out of the situation. Read more here.

4. Go from setback to bounce-back

Every hero encounters a supreme ordeal, a make-or-break turning point. On a daily basis, you probably encounter smaller-scale setbacks that can derail progress if you let them—or lead to unforeseen opportunities. By acknowledging the negative that has happened, shifting your mindset toward one possible positive and acting on it, you too can turn these obstacles into assets and lead your followers toward “victory,” whatever that may be for you. Read more here.

5. Ask “What if”?

Heroic leaders are the ones that can sense moments of despair and find ways to re-energize the group. One method for sparking new life into a project is playing the “What If?” game. If your team is feeling stuck and unmotivated, start asking, “What If?” Give each person license to think expansively about the possibilities of success and the rewards that will come with it. Anything goes. This simple act encourages new ways of looking at situations and injects excitement into the process. Read more here.

What acts of heroism do you perform on a daily basis? Tell me in the comments!

Photo Source: JD Hancock

Dr. Kathy Cramer

Kathryn D. Cramer, PH.D.
Founder and Managing Partner, The Cramer Institute