Who’s your hero and what would they do?

Who even said your hero had to be a person?

On September 11th, 2001 New York City faced an unprecedented crisis with the attack and collapse of the World Trade Centre. Never before had any North American city faced such a tragedy, never before had a country seen such purposeful devastation.

As a leader, how can one find the inspiration, the power and the wisdom to rise above and lead during such a horrendous time in history? Rudy Guilliani, then mayor of New York City, was faced with that exact dilemma. Somehow in a crisis, he needed to find the power, the commitment, and the insight to carry a world that was in immense pain! Rudy Guilliani knew he couldn’t do it alone so when he went home that night he sought out the wisdom of his own personal hero, by re-reading much of what had been written by Sir Winston Churchill.

I share this brief story with you because it allows me to introduce this month’s powerful question, “Who is your hero and what would they do?” Imagine for a moment that you stepped into the shoes of someone whom you greatly admire. What do you think they would do if they were facing your challenges? You see, a hero is someone who shares your values and beliefs but is also someone who has another skill, characteristic or ability that you desire.

For many of us, our parents have played the hero role for much of our lives. I know when I feel challenged I often find myself wondering what would my Dad/Mom would do in this situation. Who else might play the hero role for you? Sports stars, movie stars, friends or relatives are just a few of the many possibilities. Have you ever noticed how many business books are sharing the insights of people who have succeeded in their goal? Could any of these people be your hero? Who even said your hero had to be a person? Why couldn’t your hero be a company? Ask yourself, what would Wal-mart, Microsoft or Ben and Jerry’s do if they were in your situation!

In order to apply this question, just ask yourself, “who is my hero (and yes you can have many!)” Write down their name and then ask yourself why are they your hero? Are they more knowledgable, driven, committed, caring, dedicated? What is it that you think they do better than you? If your hero is more compassionate, then ask yourself how can you show more compassion with the situation you are facing. If your hero is more caring than ask yourself how can you be more caring. When you model the skills and abilities of someone you admire, you soon develop them yourself.

Try using this approach on a situation you currently are facing. I will bet you the results will be incredible and it will open you up to new possibilities that have escaped you in the past.

Brainstorm Activity
Make a list of all the heroes in your life and write them down.

Ask yourself, why exactly are they your hero? What is it that they have/do?
Reframe your own thinking to ask yourself what you would need to do to become more like them.

One final note, whenever I present this question, undoubtably someone tells me that they don’t really have a hero in their life. If that is you, ask yourself, “why not?” as we all need heros in our lives to inspire and motivate us.  If you are really stuck for a hero just remember I am available to be your hero!!

Curt Skene