Stories in organizations can be very heroic in structure, using principles found in classic tales of heroes and their actions. These may include:
A bad situation where people are panicking and nobody is there to save them.
The identification of the villain who is causing the problems.
The emergence of a person who will do whatever it takes.
The forming of a party around the hero.
A journey of the hero and the party through difficult times.
Trials whereby the hero's heroic nature and ability is tested and proven.
Action by the hero that nobody else in the party can or will undertake.
The winning of tokens and symbols of heroism.
Final overcoming of the ultimate challenge, with the defeat of villains.
The triumphant return of the hero.
Hero stories may also include other archetypal characters, rounding out the story and showing the value of supporting roles. Author Steven Pressfield writes about it eloquently here.
The hero’s journey in real life is personal. It is about us and us alone. Our gift—which is unique to you and me and which no one else on the planet possesses—breaks through the soil like a fiddleheaded sprout, which is ourselves-in-becoming. No wonder our knees knock as we launch on the journey. No wonder we feel fear and pain. No wonder the stakes seem like life and death. They are.
Start with yourself. Read any famous biography or autobiography. All stories have the same story arc. Communication experts Patti Sanchez and Nancy Duarte write about the common story arc of the hero's journey and how to incorporate it into your business presentations.
Hero stories are often used as teaching tales, showing others what behavior is praiseworthy and valued.These tales may well become exaggerated in some ways over time as the hero is portrayed in whiter-than-white perfection and the story is elaborated to make it more exciting and attractive for the listener.
In the whirl of our day-to-day interactions, it’s all too easy to forget the nuances that distinguish great teams, great cultures, and great products/services.
Mental Model Flash Cards bring together insights from psychology into an easy reference and brainstorming tool. Each card describes one insight into human behavior and suggests ways to apply this to your teams as well as the design of your products and services.