Humility & ignorance in the Leaders journey

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Humility & ignorance in the Leaders journey

Sonja handed me a book the other day with these words, “This is the best fantasy novel ever written!” Being a avid reader and an ever-increasing fan of the genre I obliged and took the book. Raymond E. Feist’s Magician is the afore-mentioned n­ovel.

Barely a few chapters into the book I am struck by a thread in the Hero’s Journey narrative plot that is still fresh in my mind after reading Philip Pullman’s­ Northern Lights recently. In both stories the central character is an orphan child who is predestined for greatness, without their knowledge. In addition to this, they both possess powers unknown to them that they discover as the story unravels. And finally …­ the most significant part of this plot is that they both rationalize their gifts as either needed action (what anyone else would do in the same circumstance) or serendipitous luck (it was not of their doing). This humble approach to their gifting is common in plots of this nature (oh, add Harry Potter and countless others to this list) This humility, and often blind ignorance seems to be to be a precursor to being the hero i.e. the hero needs to be unaware of their gifting as a start.

Christopher Booker would argue that this element of the hero’s character is essential in that the hero is the culmination of our human aspirations and the antithesis of our egoism i.e. the humility of the hero cancels out the greed and egoism of the darker side of humanity.

Having said this, I am sure there is a link to the way in which we choose and follow leaders (our organisational heroes) in the context of the company, but it seems to allude me now. Perhaps you can help me finish this line of thinking?

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