Today, I was reading an article on leadership heroes at ChristianityToday.com. I was surprisingly shaken when, after being asked by the author to think of my own leadership heroes and struggling to do so, I read:
I couldn't name one. The author's statement bothers me...in a good way; I think. I guess that not having a strong family background and having a few of my heroes prove to be unworthy of admiration has hurt that in me, but I do want to have heroes. I want to have people that inspire me. I think there might be some, but I have never consciously placed the hero tag on them, and I haven't sought to emulate their best qualities.
Were you able to quickly access your heroes? Maybe the first one came without much effort and the others took some pondering. Or perhaps you had to really think about it and even then had a hard time putting the hero label on someone. Or maybe, for whatever reason, you couldn't name anyone who serves as a hero in your life.
When it comes to naming one's heroes, I've noticed a distinct pattern: the progress a leader makes in moving toward his goals is directly correlated with the degree of speed and certainty with which he can name his heroes. The pattern is most obvious in the negative: I've never coached leader who is unable to name a hero and who also makes substantial progress toward real goals.
I don't know if I completely agree with the author's conclusions, or maybe I do and that is what is so unsettling. I am going to give some serious thought to this; try to discover my heroes
In the meantime, to steal the author's questions:
- Who are your heroes?
- Can you name two or three persons you admire and want to emulate?
- What heroic qualities do you admire?
- What is it about each of these persons that makes them a hero for you?