What do wars, natural disasters, damsels in distress, and Bette Midler have in common? They all needs heroes.
Organizations don’t need heroes, they need leaders. Post-heroic leaders.
Post-heroic leaders recognize that organizational success does not hinge on their own, unique leadership ability. They believe they are simply the latest, not the greatest, organization leader. Nor the last.
They see leadership as the opportunity to motivate an organization to success, not to rescue it from itself. They don’t need it to be broken, so that they alone can fix it.
They accept organizational superiority but reject personal superiority. They empower those superior in knowledge and skill, develop those that can be, and never competing with anyone they lead.
They seek objective counsel, guidance, and education from sources outside the organization. They resist the subjectivity and bias of the organization, remaining ever skeptical of its uniqueness and greatness.
They are not afraid to ask for help, especially for themselves. They know that the egocentric approach to leadership disempowers and demoralizes people and destroys productivity.
We will always need heroes, but only when there’s nothing left to lose. Organizations have everything to lose.