A few months ago a bookkeeper named Antoinette Tuff persuaded an armed gunman to surrender at a Georgia school, saving countless lives. Everyday heroes live in and around us, and we never really know who they are until they are under fire. Would you have the same courage if you were faced with a crisis?
How about in your business? As a leader you are faced with challenges every day that can require heroic moves. According to the book, What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness by Elizabeth Svoboda, there are four traits common to real-life heroes. I believe these traits apply to business leaders, too. Read below and let me know what you think.
1. Heroes live by a moral code.
If you are a transformational business leader, you live by a moral code. You have personal and spiritual values that drive what you do every day. The big choices and the smallest decisions are filtered through that code.
2. Heroes train to take action.
Just think about how hard Navy seals and Army rangers train. Their training is grueling and rigorous. Why? So they are prepared no matter what comes up. Preparation for business leadership is just as essential. And the ability to habitually take action on a moment’s notice will make the difference between success and failure.
3. Heroes are compassionate.
This isn’t touchy feely fluff! Research shows that business leaders who relate to the people around them on a personal level rather than a hierarchical one are more influential and productive. You can be strong, determined, and forward-focused, but unless you look around you and connect with the hearts of your team, you’ll be running out ahead all by yourself. That is not leadership – that’s just a nice run.
4. Heroes perform ordinary acts of kindness.
Here’s another research study for you: Stanford business psychologists have found that heroes and leaders volunteer in their communities an average of 60 hours a year. They are out in their communities building houses for the homeless, feeding the hungry, listening to troubled teens, serving on boards and committees that truly make a difference. All this service creates an awareness of people an circumstances around you. As a leader you need your Bat radar and your Spidey sense tuned in to opportunities to create change. And isn’t that why you’re in business in the first place?
We need heroes, leaders who are prepared to serve with compassion, take action and live up to personal and spiritual values.
We need YOU!
Who’s gonna fight for what’s right?
Who’s gonna help us survive?
We’re in the fight of our lives
And we’re not ready to die
Who’s gonna fight for the weak?
Who’s gonna make ’em believe?
I’ve got a hero, I’ve got a hero
Living in me
I’m gonna fight for what’s right
Today I’m speaking my mind
And if it kills me tonight
I will be ready to die
A hero’s not afraid to give his life
A hero’s gonna save me just in time
I need a hero to save me now
I need a hero, save me now
I need a hero to save my life
A hero will save me just in time
(Lyrics from Hero by
John & Korey Cooper)