Issue 3, Summer 2006
A. Everything! Some of you may be familiar with well-known author Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, in which Campbell describes a journey every hero makes, dating back to Greek mythology and beyond. Many modern-day leadership and self-help programs are modeled after Campbell's description of this journey. These programs primarily attract individuals seeking to improve their leadership skills by creating a hero's journey for themselves.
I strongly believe, however, that an individual's ultimate leadership abilities do not depend solely on whether he or she can map out their own hero's journey, but whether prospective leaders can successfully map out a similar journey for those they seek to lead.
One example: A disgruntled employee can turn into a branding nightmare; worse yet is a disgruntled workforce. While the organization may be working to create a positive brand image, unhappy employees, instead of acting as good brand ambassadors, often take every opportunity to speak ill of the organization and its leadership. The result: erosion of brand credibility.
I'm convinced that good leaders (including managers) can minimize disgruntledness in the workplace by instilling employees with a sense of mission, namely charting for them a hero's journey rather than just giving them a job.
Everyone from board members to staff and volunteers who are made to feel that they are playing a valued role — regardless of how large or small — in achieving the organization's mission, tend to embody and embrace a brand value that is priceless. And only good leaders with vision can instill that sense of empowerment and pride of mission — or hero's journey — in those they seek to lead.
As always, I look forward to receiving your feedback, questions, success stories and branding challenges. Also, if you are in need of a motivational speaker, trainer, branding consultant/coach, or management consultant who can help you answer the questions: Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And should anyone care? I invite you to for more information.
In the meantime, good luck with your branding! — Larry
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