Recognizing Workplace Heroes

As promised, each Friday I will post a “Craig’s Top Five List”.

Much of what we have addressed in the infancy of this site concerns the definition and development of leadership capacity.  One of the points raised in my Heroes and Villains post is that workplace heroes already exist.  We know they are present, but using a traditional definition of hero, they are difficult to discover.  So, I am asking you to imagine your workplace; somewhere in your workplace there is a hero.  So start looking.  Your hero may, in that Waldo sort of way, be disguised.  Your hero may not even be a senior manager or a manager at all.  And, your hero may be emerging; just starting to develop an understanding of what heroic leadership means.

Where is your hero?

Where is your hero?

With these preconditions, you say, “Craig you are not making this simple”.   Absolutely!  Imagine you are mining for gems — diamond, emerald, ruby.  The process of discovery would be equally demanding.   Heroes are gems whose unearthing requires effort.   So let me help you in your search with Craig’s Top Five List for this Friday — 5 ways to recognize workplace heroes:

  1. Heroes are guided by a moral framework: I have a conscience, I can distinguish between right and wrong and I take the time to weigh my decisions.  When push comes to shove, I listen to that anxious little bug in my tummy and I make the honest decision.  As one former manager once advised me, if you have any doubt that your choice is integral, you have your answer.
  2. Heroes act locally and think globally: Simply put, if something I do here negatively affects someone somewhere else, I need to stop and rethink my proposed action.  I can no longer ethically define the world as my town or my neighbourhood.  If a family is suffering in Africa, I am also suffering.  The world is my family.
  3. Heroes problem solve: “You can’t get there from here” is not a viable answer.  I think emotionally and spiritually.  I listen.  I search for new paths; I solicit peaceful arrangements.
  4. Heroes lead through service: I am interested in the success of others.  I recognize that building a community takes all kind of skills.  I understand that by building the capacity of the team we will all achieve more and serve more. I have nothing to hide.  Even if I must make difficult decisions, I am transparent and open in my actions.  Heroes carry their behaviour into all parts of their lives.
  5. Heroes are detached from their heroic actions: Heroes do not see themselves as heroes.  They are just doing what they feel is the right thing to do.

Do you know any workplace heroes?  Do you understand why this style of  leadership produces herioc behaviour?  Please leave a comment and I will respond.

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