We love stories about heroes, and in TV, film, and fiction, there are plenty to talk about. We take a look at what makes them great – and how you can use their example to transform your business character into the hero of your own story.
We all need someone to look up to. In today’s complicated world, where change comes quickly and outcomes are sometimes tough, our heroes can provide inspiration and leadership. In business, life is complicated too and change is a given. Generating the hero response is one way to encourage people to buy in to a new reality.
We need to believe we’re heading somewhere better; we need someone to help us get there. And heroes come in many different forms.
“No-one will forget me. Not my look, not my name. Katniss. The girl who was on fire.”
She incited a revolution, overcame disability, outwitted the Capitol and was a mean archer. Katniss Everdeen is a pillar of strength throughout Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games series and is a resilient female protagonist at the heart of an action-packed adventure. Although there’s more murder than might be normal in the average working day, she led people to a new future.
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
And Tolkien’s hobbit hero Frodo Baggins did, in The Lord of the Rings. Little hobbits aren’t natural heroes, fond as they are of food and tobacco. So Frodo, who had never left his home patch of The Shire, was all the braver for sticking with the quest he was sent on. A reluctant hero, he changed the world and himself.
Five tips on how to use heroes to change the way people think and feel:
1. Heroes don’t hide – it’s about leading by example, doing the difficult thing not just talking about it. Heroes go first, go further, take risks, make sacrifices – these are the crucial elements of any hero story.
2. Every business has its legends at every level– by celebrating their achievements we can help create the culture we’re aiming for. Take the story of a delivery driver who became curious when a regular customer failed to answer the door – he found the man collapsed on the back patio after a heart attack, promptly administered CPR and saved his life.
3. The business that clearly identifies its heroes is more resilient in tough times, as it can rely on them to lead others through a storm. Don’t rely on one person to carry everyone through.
4. Look for heroes at every key turning point – we never hear about a computer that inspired recovery or change, so find and celebrate the people who really make things happen.
5. Heroes can, and perhaps should, be fallible – being human is what heroism is all about. Authenticity is perhaps an overused word now, but this is what it means. And never underestimate the power of the comeback story.
How can you use heroes more effectively to build your story?
Write the Talk shapes stories for bold organisations across the world. Our unique story shaping approach turns cold hard facts into a living and breathing narrative, transforming the way you connect with the people that matter. Get in touch!