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LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

The Power of Saying “Yes”

Answering The Call to Lead

» Guiding Questions for Leaders – Critical Qualities That Ensure


We are Worthy of Our Followers
» Templates for Creating Our Leadership Profile – Our Commitment
to Ourselves and Our Followers

QuickStart is designed to provide structure for fast application of the key


elements of heroic leadership. It is action focused. See Also:

» “I’m Just Curious” – an overview of the book


» The other QuickStart packets
» The Chapter Summaries & excerpts
» The download section for complete chapters

Illustrations by Jim Borgman


© 2008. Gordon Barnhart. All rights reeserved.
The Power of Saying “Yes”
Answering The Call to Lead
LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

3 Why This QuickStart Topic?

» The Guiding Questions for Leadership Teams

3 1 » The Three Classic Barriers to Accepting the Heroic


Leadership Challenge

4 2 » Leadership “Lite” or Leadership Leverage?

5 3 » The Four Forms of Leadership Courage

5 4 » Individual Growth on the Journey

» Templates for Creating Our Leadership Profile


7 Leading to be Worthy of Followers: Critical Success Factors

8
Overcoming The Three Classic Barriers to Embracing the Heroic
Journey

9 Personalizing The Heroic Journey

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Leadership Commitment
Why this QuickStart Topic?
LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

There are two central reasons for focusing on the leadership commitment
made in saying “yes” to the heroic journey.

1 » Sustained Performance. The level of sustained performance that can be


achieved by leadership is heavily dependent upon the extent of leader-
ship’s knowledge about the heroic journey and the strength of the web of
leaders and followers that is built. It is equally dependent upon the depth
and authenticity of an individual’s or group’s commitment to leading – the
“Every journey offers extent to which they commit themselves fully and with excitement.
leaders the chance to
grow personally and 2 » Reaping the Personal Benefits. The heroic journey is about the path to
deepen their leadership becoming increasingly whole and complete - more mature, wise and
resilient. Every journey offers leaders the chance to grow personally and
capabilities, but only
deepen their leadership capabilities, but only if those leaders truly commit
if those leaders truly themselves to leading the journey.
commit themselves to
leading the journey”
The Guiding Questions for
Leadership Teams

This QuickStart has guiding questions that fall into four categories. It is de-
signed to complement the other QuickStart packets.

1 » The Three Classic Barriers to Accepting the Heroic Leadership Challenge


2 » Leadership “Lite” or Leadership Leverage?
3 » The Four Forms of Leadership Courage
4 » Individual Growth on the Journey

1 » The Three Classic Barriers to Accepting the


Heroic Leadership Challenge
“The heroic myths are There are three classic barriers that tend to turn people back from the concept
of the heroic or the heroic journey. They will be in operation, so it’s best to
told in larger than life
address them directly and get them out of the way. The first challenge is
form involving grand often to get past these barriers and take back the heroic journey as our story.
deeds, so it’s sometimes
difficult to remember 1 » Larger than Life Portrayals. The heroic myths are told in larger than life
that “they are us” and form involving grand deeds, so it’s sometimes difficult to remember that
“they are us” and the heroic journey is our story. It’s not just grand events
the heroic journey is
or being superhuman.
our story”
2 » The “Aw Shucks Phenomenon.” The “aw shucks phenomenon refers to
people saying, “Aw shucks, I’m not heroic.” We have all followed the
heroic journey at times in our lives (and failed to do so at others), so it’s a
matter of traveling the journey and exercising the required leadership, not
avoiding it with a shrug and an “aw shucks.”

3 » Exclusion of the Feminine. In most cases women have been excluded


from the good roles in the heroic myths. Plus, the myths have mostly

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showcased traditionally masculine strengths such as direct aggressive
action, defeating others or rescuing damsels in distress. The challenge
is twofold. One challenge is the inclusion of women in the heroic roles.
The other is remembering that the heroic journey is about becoming as
whole as possible, which means developing both traditionally masculine
LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT and feminine characteristics.

? Which of the three classic barriers to saying “yes” to leading


heroically have we overcome?

? Which of the three classic barriers might be undermining us?

? How do we get past any of these barriers that might be posing


a problem?

“The six leadership roles 2 » Leadership “Lite” or Leadership Leverage?


in the heroic model can
be played superficially. The six leadership roles in the heroic model can be played superficially – just
They can also be played checking them off the “to do” list. They can also be played thoughtfully,
thoughtfully, strategi- strategically and courageously. There are lots of everyday pressures and de-
cally and courageously” mands for time that push leaders toward the superficial. They combine with
any insecurity that exists or a lack of trust in others to create a potent bar-
rier to effective leadership. The heroic leadership roles provide tremendous
leverage for leaders, but there is an investment required to get the return.
Discussing the following questions can help leadership teams transcend the
superficial and play the leadership roles with the commitment necessary to
take advantage of the inherent leadership leverage.

Significance. How will we lead with a sense of our own significance


as leaders? This is not arrogance, but rather an understanding that
? our choices and actions make a significant difference. Leaders who
lead with a sense of their own significance are very different from
those who do not – particularly over time.

Integrity. Do our actions match our words? Is there a wholeness and

? consistency to our actions or are we constantly changing or failing to


show how everything fits together?

Leadership Web. How will we lead as part of an expanding


“What would our lead-
leadership web? Or are we likely to try doing it on our own? What
ership look like if we
were to lead with the ? would a leadership web look like that would be exciting and clearly
up to the challenge? Heroes don’t go alone and neither do successful
four forms of courage?”
leaders of change.

Courage. What would our leadership look like if we were to lead with
the four forms of courage? Seeing and speaking the truth? Creating
? and championing a vision of the desired state? Acting and persever-
ing – holding the course? Collaborating with and relying on others?

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Courage is the characteristic that supports all other qualities.

? Beyond Self. What difference might it make in our leadership if we


think beyond ourselves to the well-being of others – in service of oth-
LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT ers and our mission? Are we looking at our leadership as leadership
in service or leadership that brings privilege?

“What difference might 3 » The Four Forms of Leadership Courage


it make in our leader-
Courage is the quality underlying all other qualities and courage will be
ship if we think beyond
tested throughout the journey. Will we find the courage to:
ourselves to the well-
being of others” 1 » See and speak the truth

2 » Create and champion a vision of the desired state

3 » Act and persevere – hold the course

4 » Collaborate with, and rely upon, others

? How have people shown these types of courage in the past?

? Where did we miss opportunities to demonstrate courage – or come


up short on past journeys?
“The heroic journey is
life’s great advertnure
and there are always ? What might the challenges to our courage look like on this journey?
In the beginning? Over the course of the journey?
benefits for an
individual – even on the
toughest of journies”
? What can we do as leaders now or in the near future to role model
these forms of courage?

4 » Individual Growth on the Journey


The heroic journey is life’s great adventure and there are always benefits
for an individual – even on the toughest of journeys. That’s why it is impor-
tant to remember that there are always two journeys. There is the external
corporate or community journey and there is the individual internal journey.
Even if we don’t have a lot of influence over the external journey, we still
have the ultimate responsibility for our own individual journey. If we do
have a lot of influence over the external journey, we still have the responsi-
“Even if we don’t have bility for our own journey.
a lot of influence over
the external journey, we Heroic journeys are the crucibles in which we are formed.
still have the ultimate
responsibility for
our own individual ? What opportunities for growth are presented by the current journey
in which we are engaged?
journey”
» Intellectual understanding and competencies?

» Emotional competence and resilience?

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» Physical capabilities?

» Growth in a spiritual life?

LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT » Leadership capability?

» Understanding how organizations work? Human nature?

» Purpose and meaning and contribution?

“We find a model for learning how to live in stories about heroism. The heroic quest is about saying
yes to yourself and, in doing so, becoming more fully alive and more effective in the world. For the
hero’s journey is first about taking a journey to find the treasure of your true self, and then about
returning home to give your gift to help transform the kingom – and, in the process, your own life.
The quest itself is replete with dangers and pitfalls, but it offers great rewards: the capacity to be
successful in the world, knowledge of the mysteries of the human soul, the opportunity to find and
express your unique gifts in the world, and to live in loving community with other people.”

– Carol Pearson Awakening the Heroes Within

Other QuickStart Packets


Guiding Questions and Templates for
Implementing Heroic Leadership

Customized Quickstart Packet


Choosing the sections from each QuickStart packet that gives your
leadership team the best quick start

Leadership Knowledge
The foundation on which the roles and strategies are built – the rationale
for the roles and strategies
» The first test – The Threshold Guardians – they stop journeys before
they really begin
» The three tests on the path – endings and letting go, discovery and
mastery and dealing with the land in between
» The three tests in completing a journey – dealing with the “ripple ef-
fects”, aligning the organization and attuning the people

Leadership Roles and Strategies


Six leadership roles with their core strategies to match the requirements
of the heroic journey
» Creating tactics for each of the strategies
» Determining the highest leverage strategies
» Assessing success mid-course

Leadership Webs
The web of aligned leaders and followers required for leadership reach,
power, flexibility and resilience
» How to build leadership webs
» How to maintain leadership webs on the journey
» The contract between leaders and followers
» How followers support and challenge leaders

HeroicLeaders.com 
Leading to be Worthy of Followers
Critical Success Factors LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

Leading with a Sense of Significance Leading with Integrity Leading “Beyond Self”
How will we keep ourselves aware of our How will we demonstrate our integrity Where are we likely to be challenged to
significance? What difference will it make – words matching actions – maintaining the think beyond ourselves – to sacrifice for
if we are successful in acting from our wholeness of the initiative? others? How do we support each other in
significance? doing so?

Leading with Courage Leading with a Leadership Web


How are we likely to be challenged to (1) see and speak the truth, (2) How will we build and maintain the web of aligned leaders and
commit to a clear vision of the desired state, (3) persevere and “hold followers required by our journey? (Different than the four
the course”, and (4) collaborate with and rely on others? What might characterstics, but required to be worthy of followers).
be the toughest test of our courage?

HeroicLeaders.com 
OVERCOMING THE THREE CLASSIC BARRIERS
TO EMBRACING THE HEROIC JOURNEY
LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

THE BARRIERS HOW WE WILL GET PEOPLE PAST THE BARRIERS

#1 Larger than Life

It’s not about larger than life figures –


it’s our story

#2 Grand Deeds

It’s not just about grand deeds – it’s


usually about dail heroism or “little”
heroism – it’s a journey, not a deed

#3 Excluding Women

It’s not just about men and masculine


characteristics. It’s equally about women
and feminine characteristics. It’s about
integrating both – it’s about becoming
whole/complete.

HeroicLeaders.com 
PERSONALIZING THE HEROIC JOURNEY

LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

USING MY GIFTS OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH

SPECIFIC BENEFITS NETWORKING + SUPPORT

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