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

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Why This QuickStart Topic?

» The Guiding Questions for Leadership Teams

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

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2 » Leadership “Lite” or Leadership Leverage?

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3 » The Four Forms of Leadership Courage

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4 » Individual Growth on the Journey

» Templates for Creating Our Leadership Profile

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Leading to be Worthy of Followers: Critical Success Factors

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Overcoming The Three Classic Barriers to Embracing the Heroic
Journey

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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.

“Every journey offers
leaders the chance to
grow personally and
deepen their leadership
capabilities, but only
if those leaders truly
commit themselves to
leading the journey”

1 » Sustained Performance. The level of sustained performance that can be
achieved by leadership is heavily dependent upon the extent of leadership’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
extent to which they commit themselves fully and with excitement.
2 » Reaping the Personal Benefits. The heroic journey is about the path to
becoming increasingly whole and complete - more mature, wise and
resilient. Every journey offers leaders the chance to grow personally and
deepen their leadership capabilities, but only if those leaders truly commit
themselves to leading the journey.

The Guiding Questions for
Leadership Teams
This QuickStart has guiding questions that fall into four categories. It is designed 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
told in larger than life
form involving grand
deeds, so it’s sometimes
difficult to remember
that “they are us” and
the heroic journey is
our story”

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
address them directly and get them out of the way. The first challenge is
often to get past these barriers and take back the heroic journey as our story.
1 » Larger than Life Portrayals. The heroic myths are told in larger than life
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
or being superhuman.
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
and feminine characteristics.

LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

“The six leadership roles
in the heroic model can
be played superficially.
They can also be played
thoughtfully, strategically and courageously”

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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?

2 » Leadership “Lite” or Leadership Leverage?
The six leadership roles in the heroic model can be played superficially – just
checking them off the “to do” list. They can also be played thoughtfully,
strategically and courageously. There are lots of everyday pressures and demands 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 barrier 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.

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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
leadership web? Or are we likely to try doing it on our own? What
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
leaders of change.

?
“What would our leadership look like if we
were to lead with the
four forms of courage?”

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.

?

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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 persevering – holding the course? Collaborating with and relying on others?

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Courage is the characteristic that supports all other qualities.

?
LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

“What difference might
it make in our leadership if we think beyond
ourselves to the wellbeing of others”

Beyond Self. What difference might it make in our leadership if we
think beyond ourselves to the well-being of others – in service of others and our mission? Are we looking at our leadership as leadership
in service or leadership that brings privilege?

3 » The Four Forms of Leadership Courage
Courage is the quality underlying all other qualities and courage will be
tested throughout the journey. Will we find the courage to:
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

“The heroic journey is
life’s great advertnure
and there are always
benefits for an
individual – even on the
toughest of journies”

?

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

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Where did we miss opportunities to demonstrate courage – or come
up short on past journeys?

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What might the challenges to our courage look like on this journey?
In the beginning? Over the course of the journey?

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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

“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”

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 important 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 responsibility for our own journey.
Heroic journeys are the crucibles in which we are formed.

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What opportunities for growth are presented by the current journey
in which we are engaged?
» 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 effects”, 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

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How will we build and maintain the web of aligned leaders and
followers required by our journey? (Different than the four
characterstics, but required to be worthy of followers).

How are we likely to be challenged to (1) see and speak the truth, (2)
commit to a clear vision of the desired state, (3) persevere and “hold
the course”, and (4) collaborate with and rely on others? What might
be the toughest test of our courage?

Where are we likely to be challenged to
think beyond ourselves – to sacrifice for
others? How do we support each other in
doing so?

Leading with a Leadership Web

How will we demonstrate our integrity
– words matching actions – maintaining the
wholeness of the initiative?

How will we keep ourselves aware of our
significance? What difference will it make
if we are successful in acting from our
significance?

Leading “Beyond Self” 

LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

Leading with Courage

Leading with Integrity

Leading with a Sense of Significance

Critical Success Factors

Leading to be Worthy of Followers

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.

#3 Excluding Women

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

#2 Grand Deeds

It’s not about larger than life figures –
it’s our story

#1 Larger than Life

THE BARRIERS

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HOW WE WILL GET PEOPLE PAST THE BARRIERS

OVERCOMING THE THREE CLASSIC BARRIERS
TO EMBRACING THE HEROIC JOURNEY 

LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT

NETWORKING + SUPPORT

SPECIFIC BENEFITS

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OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH

USING MY GIFTS

PERSONALIZING THE HEROIC JOURNEY 

LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT