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LEADING HEROIC JOURNEYS:

DRAWING ON THE WISDOM OF CULTURES THROUGHOUT TIME


BY GORDON BARNHART ILLUSTRATIONS BY JIM BORGMAN

HEALTHY ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES

Answer the Call Knowledge of the Heroic Journey

Leadership Roles and Strategies

Leadership Web

515 Terrace Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 USA 513.221.0833 2008. Gordon Barnhart. All rights reserved.

CONTENTS
Going Forth Together to Meet the Challenges of Our World

CHAPTER 1
THE POWER OF SAYING YES ANSWERING THE CALL TO LEAD

CHAPTER 2
THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE THE FOUNDATION FOR LEADING WITH CONFIDENCE

CHAPTER 3
THE POWER OF CLEAR ROLES & STRATEGIES

CHAPTER 4
THE WEB OF LEADERS & FOLLOWERS

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the

POWERofSAYING
Answer the Call Knowledge of the Heroic Journey

YES

ANSWERING THE CALL TO LEAD


HEALTHY ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES

Leadership Roles and Strategies

Leadership Web

Gordon Barnhart 515 Terrace Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 USA 513.221.0833 2008. Gordon Barnhart. All rights reserved. Illustrations by Jim Borgman

THE POWER OF SAYING YES


LIFES GREAT ADVENTURE WHY ME? IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO AND IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN? THE LEADERSHIP PERFORMANCE IMPERATIVE WHY THE HEROIC A COMPLETE AND TRUSTWORTHY MAP FOR LEADERS WHY THE HEROIC LIFE ENERGY AND ROLE MODELS WHY THE HEROIC VALUE FOR THE INDIVIDUAL RECLAIMING OUR HEROISM WHO ME YES, YOU. SOMETIMES HEROIC AND SOMETIMES NOT THE HEROIC JOURNEY THREE PARTS OF THE JOURNEY

3 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12

WARNING THE THREE BARRIERS TO ACCEPTING THE HEROIC CHALLENGE THE HEROIC CHALLENGE THE FOUR FORMS OF COURAGE REQUIRED OF HEROIC LEADERS LOSING HEART ANSWERING THE CALL SAYING YES

13 16 18 20 21

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ANSWERING THE CALL TO LEAD


GETTING IN THE GAME
We are called to do things of importance as well as things of necessity. We are called to lead and we are called to follow. The calls are many, they occur in different parts of our lives, they are complex, they are difficult, and they are usually beyond the abilities of any one person. It is very easy to refuse the call. The inherent questions are: Will we answer the call?

LIFES GREAT ADVENTURE


For us as individuals, the heroic journey is the great adventure of life. Although usually told on a larger than life scale, it really is our story. The organizational and community journeys of change in which we are involved join with our personal and family changes to provide the opportunities for us to grow and discover our , become more whole, wiser, more resilient and truly alive. The heroic journey provides the guidance for us as individuals just as it does for our organizations and communities. We just have to say yes to the journeys. The value of the heroic journey for leaders and followers who are called to lead major change is that it provides extraordinary guidance in finding the answers The challenge to these questions. It provides guidance will be to find in both understandyour call or ing what to expect and why things hap- opportunity even in the midst of pen as they do on the journey. It also prohaving been vides a framework thrown into for planning what to change. do as well as how to respond to events as they unfold.

What will we encounter?

What qualities will be required of us and will we be ready and capable? What roles must we play and what strategies can we have confidence in? With whom will we lead and follow? On what foundation can we rely to see us through?

WHY ME? IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?
If you are reading this you are probably experiencing one or more of the following: 1 You are heeding a call to go forth and do something that is of major importance to you and that will lead through significant change. The call may have been your own internal voice or an external voice or messenger to whom you listened and responded. Regardless of the voice, you are standing on the threshold or have already embarked on a journey.

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2 You are finding that you have been lured into a much bigger change than you at first thought and the journey is appearing to be of a much more challenging nature than anticipated. What may have looked like a small change is much more challenging than it first appeared to be, is requiring more of you, and will involve more endings and new beginnings than at first thought. 3 You have been thrown into a major change by another person, a group, an organization, or a community. It may not feel like your choice, even if the envisioned outcomes are desirable, but you are on a journey of major change nonetheless. The challenge will be to find your call or opportunity even in the midst of having been thrown into change. 4 You have blundered into a major change challenge. This is an instance where a journey or going forth was really necessary, but strongly resisted. The theory is that in such cases, when the conscious self will not respond, the unconscious causes a person or group to mess up, fail, start something unanticipated, end up in crisis, or even be injured. In some form a blunder occurs to begin the necessary journey or change process.

be surprisingly similar. Regardless of the particular role, the heroic journey will fit. It will provide a framework for understanding what to expect on the journey as well as what to do to successfully lead or follow.

THE LEADERSHIP PERFORMANCE IMPERATIVE

The challenges presented us by our world keep These are the four classic ways to begin a hechanging. What worked before in meeting roic journey (a major change). The changes those challenges often no longer works. Old may be personal, family, group, orways must be left behind and new ganizational or community in focus The heroic is the ways must be found. We must conor they may be a combination. The level to which we sistently find new levels of perforstory follows the same pattern in mance in our organizations or risk need to go to find each case and the key questions are corporate decline or death. This is the same: Whats going on? and sufficient strength, not a new scenario, although it is one What are we going to do about energy, wisdom, that appears to be broader in scope it? and courage to and more rapid than in the past. This successfully deal has always been true of our organi5 Your role or roles may also vary. At as well as our communities. times or in certain settings you may with the amount zations The degree of impermanence now, be in a leadership role and at other and rate of however, is changing the game dratimes or in other settings you may change we face matically. be in the role of a follower. Even in the same change setting your role may shift More people are called to lead (together). We over time, although the qualities and characare being asked to perform at high levels in teristics required for success in each role may

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rapidly changing environments characterized by shifting requirements. And we are usually asked to do that in groups ranging from a single team to extraordinarily complex organizations or communities. Not only are the performance demands rising for leaders, but more and more people are being called to lead. The challenges we face require increasingly sophisticated webs of leaders and effective followers. We are Cheated of the Heroic. The truth is that the heroic journey is whats required in cases of major individual, group, organizational or community change. Unfortunately, the truth is usually not told. The complexity and difficulty of change is undersold. People and what is required of them are underestimated and, in return, people underestimate themselves and the challenges and opportunities they face. We are thus cheated of the truth and cheated of our possibilities. The heroic is the level to which we need to go to find sufficient strength, energy, wisdom, and courage to successfully deal with the amount and rate of change we face; socio-political change, technological change, demographic change, the globalization of the economy, environmental change, and the resulting corporate and community changes. Its our world our choice. Both the health of the economy and the health of our social fabric (from local to world) are going to require a significantly different quality and quantity of leadership and followership than we have yet witnessed. The challenge is not for larger than life heroics, but the reclaiming of the heroic journey as our story, the story of what is required of us in change. The heroic journey must be embraced not only individually, but also collectively and it must become the norm rather than the exception. We are, however, usually left with the impression that less will be sufficient. We are also left to go forth without adequate guidelines about

what to expect and what to do. We are left without the truth that would help us understand the experience, choose how to deal with it, and become more complete human beings in the process.

WHY THE HEROIC? A COMPLETE AND TRUSTWORTHY MAP FOR LEADERS


What the heroic journey provides is a call to go forth to do things worth doing, quests worth our effort and sacrifice. It also provides guidance about the path required, a path known by almost all cultures throughout history. It provides guidance, a sense of hope and anticipation, asks for our best and it is ennobling by its very nature. It also provides common ground for collective action even among people with very diverse backgrounds, styles, capabilities, gender, race or ethnicity. The path is known and others have gone before. The experience, however, is different for each person and each challenge. It is thus both universal and intensely personal. The story of the heroic journey provides us with the knowledge of what to expect as we go forth as well as defining the leadership roles we need to play and the strategies we need to execute. It also naturally calls for our best in playing those roles. It provides us with the foundation blocks on which to base our leadership. It shows us what to expect, what the experience is likely to be for us as leaders as well as for those who will follow us.

What We Can Expect The Realities of Change We can plan our journeys effectively. We can prepare people to be successful. We will rarely be surprised by events as the journey unfolds and can respond

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quickly to unforeseen events and needs. We can act with confidence and sureness because we can see how our actions match the requirements of the journey.

Our Significance. The heroic naturally calls us to lead and follow with a sense of our own purpose and significance not boasting, but understanding that our actions make a difference. Our Integrity. The heroic also calls for us to lead and follow with integrity. Integrity that can have two definitions: either (a) matching our actions and our words and beliefs or (b) being whole, complete or unbroken. Beyond Self. In playing these roles we need to look beyond ourselves, particularly to the mission and our followers. We need to be willing to sacrifice for others - not being reckless or self destructive, but from a posture of seeing leadership as service, not privilege. Our Courage. The leadership roles and strategies rely on four forms of leadership courage the courage to: See and speak the truth Create and champion a clear and specific vision of the desired future Persevere and hold the course Rely on others along the path

What We Can Do The Leadership Roles There are six leadership roles to be played (Visionary, Architect, Catalyst, Guide, Builder and Integrator) Each role has three core strategies. The Visionary and Architect roles are played in the beginning (Act I of the journey) The Catalyst, Guide, and Builder roles are played on the path (Act II) The Integrator role is played in completing the journey (Act II) These roles can be played by people at any level corporate, division, department, team and provide a coherent common model around which people can align.

How We Can Do It How to Play the Roles

WHY THE HEROIC? LIFE ENERGY AND ROLE MODELS


People in communities and organizations who come alive through living heroically bring life to the community or organization. That has been one of the classic functions of the hero, to reinvest the community with life energy or the divine. For individuals whose life energy is restricted and bound up in living inauthentic lives, healing and release can be triggered by those living truly authentic lives, people living hero-

Leadership Webs. In the heroic myths, heroes who go alone fail. This is also true in corporate or community change, which is why the roles are played by an array of leaders and leadership teams throughout the organization. This leadership web provides the reach, power and resilience to complete the journey.

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ically and truly being the authors of their lives. Heroes may also be founders or creators, perhaps of grand things or perhaps of small ones. The challenge in either case is the same; to leave the known and comfortable world and go in search of the seed or germinal idea that can produce that which is needed by the community or organization. In People in the classic journey it communities and is a matter of finding organizations the source of life and who come alive allowing the old to die in order to be rethrough living born to a richer fuller heroically bring way of being. This is a more lyrical description than normal for organizational and community change, but it is completely applicable. And more lyricism would probably result in better outcomes. The effect of a successful heroic journey is the unblocking and release of the flow of life or creativity into the community or organization. Even a journey that is disappointing in specific outcomes can reinvigorate an organization or community and bring it more fully alive. Another critical function of heroes is to provide images or models around which people in the community or organization can come together. Heroes provide a pulling together force to counter the increasing forces pulling people apart. People acting heroically serve as role models, modeling the best of the groups characteristics, ideals to be pursued, and demonstrating that the heroic is for us and not just for mythical figures. The weaknesses, mistakes, failures, and foibles of those acting heroically are often as instructive as their strengths and successes and also serve to make the heroic human and accessible.

WHY THE HEROIC? THE VALUE FOR INDIVIDUALS


Adopting a heroic approach to life provides a path or framework for exploring the basic challenges of major change, whether individual, group, organizational or community. Such an approach is powerful because it is ennobling and implicitly asks for our best, whatever that is at the time. This holds true for individuals (or families) in the midst of a corporate or community change or for the authorship of an individual life. Less than heroic diminPeople often ishes the individual. find too little A less than heroic approach also asks too of themselves little of the individual. simply because It does not dignify the effort or give the mes- they dont look for enough sage that the individual can be ennobled in the response. People often find too little of themselves simply because they dont look for enough - the usual messages blind them to the possibilities. The heroic journey is about searching for and manifesting our best even if we dont know what that might be until we stumble upon it. It is about defining ourselves by how we relate to external circumstances, the challenges we encounter (What will I manifest today?). It does not provide specific answers, but provides a way to pursue those answers, including a way to understand events and experiences and to organize responses. The structure of the heroic journey can provide not only the proper perspective on the depth of the challenges, but also a framework for thinking about the experience, understanding what to expect, and choosing how to respond. It also challenges the individual to avoid or reject being a victim, even of imposed change, and choose instead to take as much responsibility and exercise as much influence as possible in shaping

life to the community or organization

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their experience. It is about refusing to be or stay victimized. The questions of life. As individuals we all face a set of basic questions about our lives. We can choose to answer or ignore them. The heroic journey provides a setting for answering these questions as well as living out the answers. It is always about what kind of a life are we going to create. Contemplating these questions is kind of like looking at the sun. You cant do it for long and its often best to look indirectly you can clearly see the sun but dont get overwhelmed.

Who am I?

How should I lead my life?

What is the nature of the universe and what is my place in it? What is my reason for being my purpose in life? What are my gifts and how do I bring them to my family, organizations or communities?

The path is known. Throughout history in virtually every culture heroes have left known worlds to venture into the unknown, face trials, discover truths and revelations, experience various deaths and rebirths and return bringing something of value. Corporate and community change requires the same venturing forth into the unknown, the same trials and contests, the death of certain things and the rebirth or birth of others, and the return or arrival at a new state of being. The heroic journey of the myths is mirrored at the individual level in the midst of corporate or community change and is the best framework for self-management that we can provide.

RECLAIMING OUR HEROISM WHO ME? YES, YOU.


Note: Sometimes a heroic journey is about simple survival or getting by. Other times it allows more direct attention to these questions. Every journey, however, will provide more answers and lead to more maturity and wholeness even the journeys that dont bring the some of the outcomes that are desired. We are not strangers to the heroic journey, although it may seem strange to hear that. The life of each individual is The life of each individual is made made up of many small (and sometimes some very large) heroic jourup of many small neys, each testing and developing us (and sometimes in different ways. Throughout our some very large) lives we are called at various times to go forth and do something of sigheroic journeys, nificance that requires major change each testing and of us.

developing us in different ways

At other times we are thrown into journeys of change that we do not

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choose. We may also be lured into journeys that turn out to be much more challenging than we could have anticipated. At still other times we may blunder into a journey of change, making some mistake or failing at something that opens surprising doors. 1 In our organizations we are called, and very often thrown, into major changes that fall into an impressive array of categories. Changes include starting organizations, going through rapid growth, downsizing or ending the life of organizations, merging with other organizations (including by acquiring them or being acquired), and separating from organizations. The heroic journey can mean facing changes in strategy, structure, roles, systems and technologies, work processes, skills and competencies required, standards and expectations, the nature of key relationships, career paths, and even values and beliefs. There are lots of people in a variety of roles for whom the heroic journey has particular importance. They may in leadership roles, follower roles or, most likely, in both roles. For instance: Executives senior managers Middle managers and supervisors likely to be caught in the middle of a change

govern ourselves, how we develop our youth, or how we maintain the health and well-being of the people in our communities. We may also be called to deal with issues of safety, justice, economic health, neighborhood development, combating racism and other isms, or caring for the environment. As the definition of community gets larger, the issues become increasingly complex and difficult, for instance the peaceful coexistence among nations and groups and the development of a sustainable global economy. There are many possible positions in communities that will call an individual to lead a heroic journey. Some of the natural positions are listed below. People in positions of leadership within government People in positions of leadership in community organizations People who see a need and take action to change something or create something People involved in changes in service provision that ends the identity or life of organizations, associations, ways of doing things, etc. People taking an activist role when having no history of doing so People confronting the norm(s) of a group or community

Management teams Project teams Change managers Change teams And individuals in any position that may be significantly affected by a change

2 In our communities we are called to make a difference in an extraordinary range of issues. For instance, we may be called to make a difference in our educational system, the way we

Each of these roles could be expanded and made much more specific, but these will serve the purpose of illustration. They can range from local in scale to global. It will be evident that some of these roles or positions are formal leadership roles and some are not. They all require the traversing of a heroic journey, sometimes in highly visible ways and sometimes in almost anonymous fashion.

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3 Leadership fatigue. As with most aspects of major change, nothing is as simple as it looks. Many people will look at the previous examples and say, Yes, but Im not only in one of those roles, Im in four of those roles. It is safe to expect a good deal of role overlap, which is an increasingly common situation. Leadership fatigue can set in if a person is in too many leadership roles for an extended period of time. This is another reason to focus on creating webs of leaders and followers, so that the responsibility can be shared more broadly.

world, although some or many of the learnings may have been bittersweet. Those challenges may have been solely personal or may have played out in family, work, social, or community settings. In many cases they probably overlapped several of these settings. At other times in our lives we were not heroic. Confronted by opportunities or major change we did not respond by saying yes to the heroic journey. We may have refused the opportunity or the call, choosing to not take the risk or leave our comfort zone. We may have started out strongly and been turned back by fears, despair, or mistakes or were simply worn down before completing the journey. If thrown into a change, we may have taken the role of victim and made the best of it, which may or may not have been very good.

SOMETIMES HEROIC AND SOMETIMES NOT


Almost all of us, at various times in our lives, have taken the risk to be heroic (we said yes to the heroic journey). They were the times when we were confronted by one of these challenges and responded in such a way that we went forth from our We are not talk- known worlds or ing about being comfort zones into unknown territory, a grand hero, were tested, saw cerlike the larger tain aspects of our than life figures lives end and new portrayed in the ones begin, and thus came away significlassic myths cantly changed. We also came away more mature and more whole and with more to contribute, more to offer the

Many of us have led changes where we have called others to follow or thrown them into a journey. In some of those situations we have probably followed our own heroic journey and been able to guide others through the collective journey, whether organizational or community. In other changes we probably did not choose to follow the heroic pattern and, consequently, could not truly guide others along the path. Our experience as followers has probably been similar. At times we have responded to a call or chosen the heroic path even when thrown into

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the journey. We have actively supported (and possibly challenged) those in leadership roles, challenged and supported other followers, and managed our own journey. At other times we have also refused the call to go forth or perhaps chosen to be more victim than author when thrown or blundering into journeys. Few, if any, of us can honestly say that we have always lived heroically in our personal lives or that we have always led collective change heroically. The truth is probably that we have varied, perhaps radically, in our approach to change, whether in managing our own personal change, following others, or leading others.

and better prepared for the next journey. Even when journeys arent completely successful, most of the rewards can still be realized to a large degree. The Tests. The heroic journey is a time of endings and beginnings and of the difficult terrain in between (inbetweenity). We may find that our tests are physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual and that our changes are, consequently, in one or more of those areas. Different journeys pose different challenges and opportunities. Some of the tests will be dealing with mistakes and failures; avoiding the seductive lure of taking the easy way out; dealing with uncertainty, doubt, and perhaps despair; and finding sources of energy and renewal along the way.

THE HEROIC JOURNEY


Remember. We are not talking about being a grand hero, like the larger than life figures portrayed in the classic myths. We are talking about living and leading heroically, following the path of the heroic journey. We are talking about the little It is about h or daily heroism that is required and becoming we have some very increasingly powerful guides that competent, we can follow. The heroic journey is the story of the change or growth process in its healthiest form. It is about becoming increasingly competent, mature, wise, resilient, and able to meet the shifting challenges of the world. Almost all cultures have their own versions of the heroic journey to educate their members about whats required for the health of the community as well as individuals. The Rewards. The rewards are many. In addition to increased competencies, wisdom, resilience and confidence, those following the path of the heroic journey serve as models for their groups and infuse those groups with life energy. Groups and communities become stronger

mature, wise, resilient, and able to meet the shifting challenges of the world.

Heroes Dont Go Alone. Few (if any) people who cross the threshold have to face the trials and tests alone, although the heroic journey is ultimately an individual one. On almost all journeys there are helpers of various sorts who can provide direction, tools, challenge, encouragement, and coaching in coping in the new environment. If alert, we may find companions with whom we can travel for parts of our journey. Other characterstricksters, jokers, allies, enemies, opponents, and suchmay also be encountered.

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Many journeys are failures because we never really leave the known world we leave a foot on either side of the threshold. We never truly let go and, therefore, can never really discover the new truths, the revelations, and the new life that are possible.

THREE PARTS OF THE JOURNEY


The heroic journey plays out in three distinct acts. Each act comes with its own challenges and opportunities. Act I Beginnings. The classic heroic journey begins with the crossing of a threshold, leaving a known world or comfort zone. We may heed a call, be thrown into the journey, be lured in, or blunder in. The first challenge is getting past the guardians of the threshold. The guardians are inner doubts or external forces that try to turn us back right at the beginning. They are the first test.

Act II - On the Path. When we do cross the threshold and move through the land that lies on the other side we are faced with tests and trials that usually require new or altered ways of perceiving, thinking, relating and acting. For our organizations and communities we also see changes in structure, processes, roles, technologies and even strategies for competing for life or position. What worked before needs to be honored, but may no longer be effective and may even be counter-productive or dangerous.

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Act III Completions. For those who successfully meet the challenges of the journey the final phase is some form of return or completion. We return with the gifts that we have discovered, whether new knowledge or truths, new abilities, new ways or technologies, or new opportunities. The heros return may be the most difficult part of all. The heroic individual or group will be changed and that will require changes in others, for it will change the nature of relationships and alignments of various kinds. Those changes can ripple out in many directions and for long distances. The gifts of the hero can easily threaten the status quo. Again, this is as relevant for communities and organizations as it is for individuals. Heroic individuals or groups must approach the completion of a journey with their eyes open.

WARNING! BARRIERS TO ACCEPTING THE HEROIC CHALLENGE


We have lost sight of the fact that the heroic journey is our story as human beings. The relevance of heroism for most people, their ability to see themselves as heroic in any significant way, has been severely limited by how it has been portrayed in myths, stories, and the popular media. There are three common portrayals of the heroic journey that have been particularly limiting:

1 2 3

Larger than Life Portrayals. Seeing the heroic as the grand event or achievement or as restricted to larger than life figures. Aw Shucks. The Aw Shucks phenomenon and the individuals collusion with the group to diminish the heroic Excluding the Feminine. The portrayal of heroism from an almost totally classical masculine perspective (conquering, slaying, defeating, rescuing damsels, acquiring, etc.)

The result is to make it exceptionally difficult for many people to personally relate to heroism and the heroic journey. Our story has been taken from us and we need to take it back and enrich it in order to meet the challenges that life is presenting to us. It is not about being a grand hero, but about living heroically.

The Larger than Life Portrayal of the Heroic

BARRIER

Real heroes are not the gods and demigods of mythology. The adventures of those figures are told in larger than life scale because it makes for a better story.

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It makes for a better story around the campfire and it certainly sells more books and movie tickets. But the story of the heroic journey is really our story. The gods, demigods, and action heroes, are us. The heroic journey is a challenge before all of us, though not all of us will answer the call or respond heroically when thrown into a journey. Their journeys may be grand and public, while most (but not all) of our journeys will be smaller and quieter and less public. The story, however, will have the same form. Part of the necessary challenge of reclaiming the heroic journey as our story is overcoming this larger than life telling of the story, our own discomfort with living heroically, and the skeptical responses of others. Our challenge is to make the heroic much more common in accepting it ourselves and encouraging others to go with us on the journey.

lenge. When challenged, this aw, shucks it couldnt be me approach to heroism appears to be less of an indication of humility than it is a way to avoid taking the journey, of directly taking responsibility for heeding or ignoring the call. There is, however, the legitimate danger of others seeing our stance of trying to live heroically as self-glorification or being better than. Their responses of who do you think you are? or youre no hero can reinforce our own uneasiness with being heroic and can undermine the journey even at the beginning. It is often hard to remember that such responses are reflections of others discomfort with the prospect of the heroic journey and the implicit challenge of our own heroic journeys. Colluding With Others to Avoid the Heroic The barrier of the individual aw shucks response is magnified by the collusion between society and individuals. In that collusion (usually unconscious), which is designed to suppress the heroic approach to life, each party gains in comfort - or so it seems at first glance - but loses in creativity, power, and effectiveness. What society gets out of this collusion is that institutions and systems - the status quo - are not threatened by many people acting creatively and powerfully, taking risks, and bringing about change. Change may be required for the health of the institution or community, but there is always resistance to those trying to bring it about. What individuals get out of this collusion is the avoidance of taking full responsibility for their lives and their choices. This does not mean that individuals dont have the impulse to follow the heroic path to full maturity and wholeness just that human nature comes with this first test to be passed on the heroic journey. One counter to this collusion is a question asked in different traditions in different

The Aw Shucks Phenomenon

BARRIER

This is the deceptively effective barrier. Aw shucks, Im not heroic has been a common reaction of people when asked to apply the concepts of heroism to their own lives. Many people have a great deal of trouble seeing the heroic elements of their lives. There is a scarcity theory in regard to heroism, which says that we can only have a few heroes because heroism isnt for everyone. Heroism, however, is a challenge that is open to everyone even if many people frequently do not accept the challenge. There are far more heroes in every organization and community than we credit. Hiding From the Heroic Challenge Aw shucks is a way to hide from the chal-

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ways, but is essentially, If not me/us, then who and if not now, then when? Remember The heroic myths are grand and our own heroism is mostly, though not always, lived out in our daily lives and seems unremarkable in comparison. The heroic myths tell about occasional journeys and our own journeys are surprisingly frequent and even overlapping at times. Most of the heroic figures in the myths are larger than life whereas we, with some exceptions, are ordinary people doing what we need to do to make a difference.

The exclusion of the feminine in portrayals of the heroic is increasingly dysfunctional in a world that more and more requires qualities that are traditionally seen as feminine. It can be argued that previous environments required characteristics of heroes that were more masculine, for instance direct, aggressive, often violent action that was individually focused. Todays environment, however, clearly requires new characteristics and an integration of traditionally feminine and masculine traits. There is a growing need for this integration of qualities and competencies that are usually considered to be more feminine, for instance the ability to form and maintain relationships and to act in a collective manner, being open and receptive, or the ability to quietly persevere with patience and determination. Another set of qualities and competencies could include a strong focus on life; the ability to create, to nurture and care for, to develop, and to protect life. Emotional competency and the ability to attend to the emotional lives of others is yet a third set of characteristics that needs to be integrated into how we look at heroism. Its About Wholeness Kathleen Noble, in The Sound of a Silver Horn, also addresses questions of differences and similarities. In a chapter titled Toward a New Mythology of Heroism she confronts the need for wholeness or completion from the standpoint of the female hero. Not surprisingly, this attention to integration or fusion is just as applicable for men. ...she must fuse the best attributes of femininity and masculinity and so create a new archetype of heroism that speaks to both women and men. This fusion would make her: independent without being alienated; courageous without being contemptuous of the weak; powerful

The Exclusion of Women and the Feminine

BARRIER

The traditional telling of the heroic journey is from an overwhelmingly masculine perspective. In the traditional telling heroes go forth aggressively to conquer, to kill, to rescue, to fight, to defeat, to dominate. In short they go forth to have power over others. This makes for exciting stories, but it obscures not only the feminine aspects of life, but also the real purpose and message of the heroic journey. Men are Affected Also. This phenomenon not only tends to exclude women, but also tells men that qualities that are seen as primarily feminine are not for them and are not to be included in their heroic quest. This simply makes no sense for a journey that is about the search for wholeness and integration and completeness. The Increasing Need for Feminine Qualities

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without dominating or exploiting others; rational without suppressing or abandoning feeling and intuition; autonomous within interconnected, interdependent, and equal relationships; nurturing without denying or sacrificing her own needs; and androgynous without compromising the best attributes of femaleness but affirming the wholeness inherent in all. (p. 194) It is clearly not an either/or question, but one of completing the person of the hero to incorporate both masculine and feminine characteristics. This is not an indictment of old myths nor a statement that the older forms are no longer relevant. In many cases, for men and for women, the more traditional and more masculine heroic pattern is the one that is required. In many, and an increasing number of cases, however, the traditionally masculine model alone is just not what is required. It is simply not adequate.

The Heroic Challenge for Followers For followers the challenge is to take full personal responsibility for their actions and choices, understanding and accepting the impact of those choices and actions on others, including those leading. This is a natural consequence of being part of the required web of leaders and followers. The responsibility naturally follows the significance of the role. The challenge for followers includes such tests as accepting and facilitating empowerment, becoming partners with others in the web of leaders and followers, taking considered risks, making the leap of faith to trust and the effort and commitment to be trustworthy, and to exert the extra effort required. The tests also include being honest and forthcoming in communicating outward and in providing feedback, providing support and guidance and care to others as well as taking care of oneself. Part of the authorship and partnership is in sharing in the shaping and championing of the purpose and design of the organization and being willing to wisely sacrifice for the greater good. For both leaders and followers a profoundly important aspect of the heroic challenge is the ability to act from three sources of power: a sense of significance, a sense of integrity and the willingness to look beyond ourselves and sacrifice when necessary for the others.

THE HEROIC CHALLENGE


For both leaders and followers the heroic challenge is a dual one: conducting their own internal journeys as well as playing their part in the journey of the group. Both leaders and followers are inherently challenged to manage themselves in order to play effective roles in the leadership web. The Heroic Challenge for Leaders For those of us leading a major change the challenge is to be worthy of followers; their belief, hope, trust, personal investment and effort, their sacrifice, and the risks they take regarding job, career, family, and place in the world.

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The same principles and concepts can be applied to groups, organizations, and communities as they discover who they are and strive to match their behaviors and cultures with that understanding. The basic reality of the heroic journey and its function for people, both individually and collectively, matches the dictionary definitions of integrity very closely: The state or quality of being complete, whole, entire, unbroken, sound. To integrate means to make whole or complete by adding or bringing together parts, to unify. Stephen L Carter, in his book Integrity, agrees, but also sees integrity referring to a sense of right and wrong and a matching of behaviors to those beliefs. He sees integrity requiring three steps: (1) Discerning what is right and what is wrong; (2) acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost; and (3) saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right and wrong. (p. 7) Looking Beyond Self There is a moral aspect to the heroic journey and that centers on the willingness and ability of the leader to think beyond themselves, to be willing to sacrifice for others or for principles. This is the difference between heroes and pirates, adventurers or terrorists. They may all have courage, be willing to take risks, be talented, learn from experience, have vision, and be successful, but they are not the same. Heroism will inevitable involve sacrifice. Sacrifice can be defined as giving up something for something of greater value. In a way sacrifice is like net profit. It requires a cost, but results in more benefits. It differs from loss in that loss may simply be the giving up of something. The heros sacrifices and acts have traditionally reinvigorated the community, re-infusing the divine or life energy.

Honoring Our Significance It is much easier to meet the heroic challenge for leaders or for followers, easier to find our best, if we have a sense of significance. This does not mean self-glorification or hubris, but rather an honest sense of our gifts and the difference we make. When we understand the value that we add, it gives meaning to our actions. It also highlights the consequences of our actions or our lack of action. We are then challenged to honor our significance through our behavior. It is our gift and it naturally makes demands on us. Acting with Integrity People have often asked, Isnt the heroic journey really about integrity? The answer is yes. The heroic journey is about deepening self knowledge, discovering our purpose and the different aspects of ourselves and integrating those parts, becoming whole. That happens as we discover who we are and match our behavior to that understanding. It happens over the course of multiple journeys, the spiral of journeys that we experience in a life. The benefits of previous journeys are brought to the next journey as we create our life.

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THE FOUR FORMS OF COURAGE REQUIRED OF HEROIC LEADERS


Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.
Winston Churchill In leading heroic journeys there are four forms of courage upon which leaders can draw. These forms of courage are both challenging and sources of great power. They are natural challenges in leading journeys of change and cannot really be avoided without significant damage to leadership credibility. At the same time, when leaders accept the challenge and draw on these sources of power, journeys are usually successful. Courage is the quality or characteristic that is most often called upon in major journeys of change. Courage comes from Latin and French roots, meaning heart. In its simplest form it has to do with an attitude or response of facing or engaging with something that is perceived as dangerous, painful, or difficult. Courage is not the absence of fear or anxiety, but the willingness to move ahead in spite of it. Courage can come in many forms, but there are four forms that are at the heart of the ability to meet the heroic challenges posed for leaders and followers. Each may be obvious, but the depth of courage required is surprising. They are also linked and support each other. They also rely on each other, for none will have much of an effect without the others.

act, anger at a situation or group, feeling powerless or effective or alone in the face of issues, being afraid of how others might respond, etc. Speaking the truth makes a person or group visible to others, challenges others, and is a form of commitment by stepping out of the shadows. Many people do not want to see or hear the truth and truth-tellers are often not welcome. Seeing and speaking the truth also has some extraordinary benefits, but they are not realized unless sufficient courage is present. Those benefits can include feeling authentic rather than living a lie, increased vitality due to acting and living consciously and not needing to be depressed to avoid seeing the truth, etc. There are risks, there are dangers and there are costs to pay. But there are extraordinary rewards to be gained and there are, in many cases, far higher risks for not finding the courage to see and speak the truth.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage.


Anais Nin

THE COURAGE TO SEE AND SPEAK THE TRUTH

Seeing the truth can result in some very uncomfortable feelings, including feeling the need to

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THE COURAGE TO CREATE AND HOLD FORTH A VISION OF THE DESIRED STATE

the commitment to it, which can be painful when progress is not being made or the transition effort fails.

This sounds easy, but it is not. Creating a vision of the desired state requires stating what is desired and, therefore, what is not desired. It involves making choices and commitments and saying yes to some things and no to many things. Many of those choices will be confusing, involve many points of views, lack sufficient data to point to a clear answer, and touch on values, preferences, and beliefs that may be extremely important to people. Creating a vision of a desired state also implies change from current reality and, therefore,the inevitable endings/losses, fears, uncertainties, and doubts of the change process. It also shows the gap between current reality and the desired state and that gap is often very difficult to live with.

Heroism is not just about finding a new truth, but also having the courage to act on that vision
Carol Pearson, Awakening the Heroes Within

THE COURAGE TO PERSEVERE AND HOLD THE COURSE

Getting from current reality to the desired reality at the end of a journey is usually a relatively long process and one that never goes smoothly. It is messy at times, is full of uncertainty and doubt, involves all kinds of unforeseen factors and events, takes a great deal of energy, involves mistakes and failures, gets very confusing and disorienting at times, and costs more resources (from human to financial) than anticipated.

The question then becomes, Do we hold on to the vision and let go of current reality or hold on to current reality and let go of the vision? The tension that is naturally created by the gap will resolve one way or the other. Holding forth the vision of the desired state means providing something to be held accountable for, states what an individual, group, organization, or community stands for, and deepens

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It is often impossible to know exactly what is going on, exactly what to do about it, and what the consequences are going to be. The unknown is a frequent companion. Often the only thing that leaders of change can hang onto is the courage to persevere, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to refuse quit, and to keep finding ways to reorient and renew the effort (and themselves).

right understandings and the right skills. But the key is the courage to invest in and rely on others to really make a difference. This is not a new or trendy truth. Heroes have never gone alone and been successful in the myths, nor do leaders go alone in corporate or community change and achieve sustainable outcomes. We are truly interdependent on the journey, whether we like it or not. So we either find the courage and skill to depend upon, and support, others or we simply wont have the reach and the power and the resilience to sustain the effort.

Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes over night. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
Eleanor Roosevelt

THE COURAGE TO COLLABORATE WITH, AND RELY ON, OTHERS

Collaborating with others is always a leap of faith. Depending on others over whom we rarely have control, for success when it matters is never easy. Will they have what we need? When we need it? Will we measure up when they need us? Who will play which roles, exercise what influence and add what value? Who will benefit from the collaboration and how? Will collaboration take too much time? Will we get the innovation we need or will we get lowest common denominator outcomes? Those are tough questions when important matters are on the line. Because of the potential consequences, positive and negative, the courage to make the leap of faith to trust and collaborate with others must be joined with the skill to collaborate effectively or courage easily becomes foolishness. A lot of us have had disappointing experiences with collaborative efforts and know that we need to have the right partners with the

LOSING HEART
Heroes, however, do not leave known worlds, travel the trail of tests, and reach completion without at times losing their courage. It just isnt human. This is one of the reasons why heroes do not go alone. Sometimes courage is recovered without help, but often it is the intervention, support or belief of others that enables

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us to rediscover our courage. At other times it is a matter of acting courageously even when the feelings of courage just arent present.

Some days it is a heroic act just to refuse the paralysis of fear and straighten up and step into another day
Edward Albert

ANSWERING THE CALL


SAYING YES
The heroic is being asked of us by our organizations and our communities. Not on a grand scale, but on a daily and a personal scale. It may play out at work or in communities from neighborhoods to our global community. It is also the great story of creating a worthwhile and rewarding life. We can say yes or we can say no or we can pretend we didnt hear the call.

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KNOWLEDGE
THE FOUNDATION FOR LEADING WITH CONFIDENCE
HEALTHY ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES
Answer the Call Knowledge of the Heroic Journey

the

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Leadership Roles and Strategies

Leadership Web

Gordon Barnhart 515 Terrace Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 USA 513.221.0833 2008. Gordon Barnhart. All rights reserved. Illustrations by Jim Borgman

THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE


KNOWLEDGE IS POWER OVERVIEW OF THE HEROIC JOURNEY
The Rewards Act I: Beginnings Act II: On the Path The Tests Heroes Dont Go Alone Act III: Completions

3 3

Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance Guidelines for Leadership Endings and Creation Overlap

ACT II: THE CHALLENGE OF MASTERY


Life Giving Creation and Mastery Creation New Discoveries Learning and Mastery Barriers Models of Mastery The Mastery Force-Field Learning to Love the Plateau The Inevitable Performance Dips and Senior Management Psychosis

16

BASIC PRINCIPLES OF HEROIC JOURNEYS


Always Two Journeys for Individuals An Internal and an External We Spiral Through Journeys Personal Levels of Challenge (PIES) Ripple Effects The Scale of Tests Positive and Negative Tests

THE HEROIC JOURNEY A STORY IN THREE ACTS


The Five Challenges at the Heart of the Journey

ACT II: THE CHALLENGE OF BEING IN-BETWEEN

8 8

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ACT I: BEGINNINGS GOING FORTH


How Journeys Begin. It Matters a Lot Heeding a Call Being Thrown Into a Journey Being Lured Into a Journey Blundering Into a Journey The Nature of Thresholds Guardians of the Threshold and the Refusal of the Journey Dancing Around the Threshold

Encountered Dynamic Tensions The Known and Unknown Order and Disorder Place and Displacement Connection and Disconnection Hope and Belief and Doubt and Despair Excitement, Anticipation, Fear, and Anxiety Meaning and Loss, or Lack or Meaning Orientation and Disorientation Integration and Disintegration

ACT III: COMPLETING JOURNEYS: INTEGRATING AND EMBEDDING


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ACT II: THE CHALLENGE OF ENDINGS


The Essential Endings Anticipatory Loss Sacrifice Vs. Simple Loss Managing the Stages of Dealing with Endings

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The Central Test at the Completion of Journeys The Impact on Others and Their Often Surprising Responses The Four Classic Responses of Others Easing the Return Preparing the Way Fitting Everything Together Alignment and Attunement Knowledge of the Journey Dont Leave Home Without It

THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE

the

KNOWLEDGE
Part One: Setting The Stage
Knowledge is Power
There are two reasons to pay attention to the realities of the heroic journey. 1. As leaders, this is the path we will travel and the tests we will encounter personally and in our leadership roles. The heroic journey tells us what we can expect as well what leadership roles to play and the strategies that make them work. It also provides guidance in managing our selves so that we can effectively lead others. ership efforts and result in an unsuccessful journey. In the case of knowledge as power, a lack of knowledge about what to expect and what to do can leave people fearful, hesitant, uncertain, reactive, often passive, mistrustful and resistant in general. On the other hand, with sufficient people prepared well the likely scenario is one of more excitement than anxiety, more trust than mistrust, a posture of self-management vs. dependence, an investment of self vs. withholding, and an increasing sense of confidence and esprit de corps as challenges are met and overcome.

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2. This is the path that we will be asking our followers to travel. We need to be ready to orient and prepare them for these experiences so that they can self-manage as well as possible. By bringing this base of knowledge to our followers it also helps them understand how we are leading and makes it easier for them to align with us and each other.

Overview of the Heroic Journey

The heroic journey is

Knowledge is truly power and power is required from the beginning to the end in journeys of change. That power needs to be exercised by a surprisingly large number of people who are aligned in their efforts. This is power with vs. power over as part of the Leadership Web. The old phrase, Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, is a wise warning, but its opposite is much more in play in the heroic journey. On journeys of change a lack of power will corrupt lead-

the story of The heroic journey provides a trustworthy map change and for leaders. It is the story of change and growth in growth in its its healthiest form. It is about becoming increasingly healthiest competent, mature, resilient, and able to meet the shifting form. challenges of the world. Almost all cultures have their own versions of the heroic journey to educate their members about whats required for the health of the community as well as creating meaningful lives. The journey plays out in three acts.

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The Rewards
In addition to achieving increased competencies, wisdom, resilience and confidence, when we follow the path of the heroic journey we serve as models for our groups and infuse those groups with life energy. Groups and communities become stronger and better prepared for the next journey. Even when journeys arent completely successful, most of the rewards can still be realized to a surprisingly large degree. Most of us can look back on experiences that werent particularly successful, but from which we grew in important ways.

Act II: On the Path


When we do cross the threshold and move through the land that lies on the other side we are faced with tests and trials that usually require new or altered ways of organizing ourselves in groups, thinking, relating and acting. What worked before needs to be honored, but may no longer be effective. Old patterns and approaches may even be counter-productive or dangerous.

The

The Tests
The heroic journey is a time of endings and beginnings and of the difficult terrain in between. We may find that our tests are physical, intellectual, emotional, or even spiritual and that our changes are, consequently, in one or more of those areas. Different journeys pose different challenges and opportunities and result in different areas of growth. The journey will often require letting go of many, though certainly not all, old ways in order to give birth to the new. For instance, even a change in one key process in an organization can require complementary changes in roles, skills, relationships, technologies, physical space or equipment. It can also affect a persons sense of identity, place or the meaning and satisfaction found in their work. A second set of challenges and tests, often the most deceptively difficult, takes the form of discovering new ways and persevering in mastering the skills they require. The challenge of mastery may be the single biggest, and least appreciated, of the tests on a journey. A third set of tests will involve dealing with the uncertainty, occasional disorientation, and ambiguity of the land between endings and beginnings (inbetweenity). Helping people stay oriented and balanced and connected is central to success in dealing with this in-between state.

One of the reasons that the long term benefits are so important is that the heroic journey is a lenge of cyclical or spiral experience. As individuals and orgamastery may nizations we go through multiple journeys over be the single big- the course of a lifetime. Each journey, therefore, gest, and least builds on past journeys and sets the stage for appreciated, of future journeys.

chal-

the tests on a journey

Act I: Beginnings

The classic heroic journey begins with the crossing of a threshold, leaving a known world or comfort zone. We may (a) heed a call to go forth, (b) be thrown into the journey, (c) be lured in, or (d) blunder in. The first challenge is getting past what are called the guardians of the threshold. These guardians take the form of such things as inner doubts or external forces that try to turn us back right at the beginning. They are the first test and challenge our readiness and worthiness to go forth. Many journeys have the seeds of failure sown right at the beginning because we never really leave the known world we leave a foot on either side of the threshold. We can, therefore, never really discover the new truths, the revelations, and the new life that are possible. Beginnings matter a lot.

Heroes Dont Go Alone


Few (if any) of us who cross the threshold have to face the trials and tests alone. On almost all journeys there are helpers of various sorts who can provide direction, tools, challenge, encouragement, and coaching to better cope with the new environment.

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These supporters come in many forms from family members and colleagues to various advisors and veterans of the heroic journey who share their wisdom and encouragement. Actively developing a support network of these helpers is a critical task in managing ourselves to lead others.

Act III: Completions


When we successfully meet the challenges of the journey the final phase is some form of return or completion. We return with the gifts that we have discovered, whether new knowledge, new abilities, new ways of working and relating or new technologies. That triggers the final set of challenges. The heros return may be the most difficult part of all. Whether individually or as a group, we will be changed. That will require changes in others, for it will change the nature of relationships and alignments of various kinds. Those changes can ripple out in many directions and for long distances. The gifts of the hero can easily threaten the status quo. Once again, this is as relevant for communities and organizations as it is for individuals. We must approach the completion of a journey with our eyes open. In fact, we should have been preparing to deal with this ripple effect from the middle of the journey as soon as we could project the likely ripples of our emerging changes.

The tests on a heroic journey for any individual will be both internal and external and those two types may be profoundly different. This is why there are really two journeys to manage. The external journey will relate to the changes underway in the organization or community. We may be leading or following, but we will be engaged in all the elements of the classic heroic journey. We will also see changes in ourselves as we traverse that external path. Some external journeys precipitate big internal journeys of change and some only precipitate little changes, but there will always be something going on for us personally. And there will always be opportunities for us to grow and become more mature and whole if we pay attention. Even when the external journey is disappointing or full of loss, the internal journey may be richly rewarding, particularly in the long run. We define ourselves by how we respond to the external challenges and can, therefore, build new skill sets and define our character and best qualities - even in an unsuccessful external quest.

Basic Principles of Heroic Journeys


Although every heroic journey will be unique, there are some principles that are common to all journeys and add some interesting dimensions to the basic story just described. Six principles are presented here and each will be a factor in every journey. Each will offer leadership a potential edge in understanding their own experience as well as that of those who follow and, thus, guidance in how to respond. The external challenges are usually more obvious and get most of the attention, although they are often not the most difficult nor the most important tests. On the other hand, we usually have more influence over the management of our internal journeys.

1. Always Two Journeys for an Individual an Internal and an External Journey

2. We Spiral Through Journeys


The life of each individual, organization or community is made up of many small (and sometimes some very large) heroic journeys, each testing and developing

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us in different ways. The image of the spiral nature of the heroic journey is important for several reasons: The spiral denotes the life-long nature of the series of heroic journeys in which we are likely to engage. It does not represent an event or one journey standing alone. Each journey can be seen as one more cycle of the spiral, each building on those that have come before and leading to the next. Life doesnt happen in a straight line. A straight path through life would be too steep and too dangerous. Life is just too interesting and twisting as well as difficult. A direct linear path would be like driving straight up (or down) a mountain. The spiral path allows a more gradual ascent with twists and turns. The spiral also allows a shifting focus among the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual planes precipitated by the longing for wholeness and integration. It allows any particular journey to bring progress in one or more areas even while there may be regression in other areas. It acknowledges that people change on different levels at different times. The danger comes when growth in any particular area is blocked for too long. A crisis, however, will probably occur to break the logjam, although the crisis may not look like a good thing at the time.

Physical challenges, for example, can range from injury or illness to demands for more sustained effort or extended travel, or exposure to danger and the required heightened alertness. Physical states can vary from energized and revitalized to exhausted and burned out. Physical capabilities can be enhanced or damaged. Over the course of a journey both enhancement and damage can be expected to varying degrees Intellectual challenges often involve new ways of thinking or conceptualizing ranging from how communities are organized or interact to how a person sees her or himself (self image), to new ideas about the nature of relationships, to how work is organized. Emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, despair, disconnection, disorientation, and alienation can be mixed with feelings of joy, exhilaration, excitement, calm, wonder, connection, hope, and inspiration. Emotions can be fully experienced or repressed and they can shift rapidly depending on circumstances and a persons physical, intellectual, and spiritual states. We will be challenged to trust, risk, depend on others, maintain a sense of hope and confidence, and draw on our sources of courage. The deepening of emotional competence can be one of the great challenges and great benefits of the journey. Taken to its deepest level, the heroic journey is ultimately a spiritual journey. That can be defined in many ways, but in general terms has to do with connection and relationship beyond self, to a connection to a higher being, to the common ground of life, to the divine, to the universe. Questions of purpose, meaning, and creativity or generativity also frequently come into play.

3. Personal Levels of Challenge (PIES)


There are always four potential levels of challenge in any heroic journey (PIES). Our Physical life Our Emotional life Our Intellectual life Our Spiritual life

Some challenges along the journey will be primarily physical in nature, some intellectual, some emotional, and some spiritual. Some will be more important than others and some will be answered more effectively than others. Different journeys will challenge us on different ways. It is important, however, to remember that the heroic journey can touch all of those levels and in many ways.

4. Ripple Effects
Effects in one area will ripple out through the other areas. For example An external intellectual challenge such as a change in required management or leadership style may provide major internal emotional challenges such as fear of ineffectiveness or a loss

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of power, a shift in identity or esteem, loss of a sense of form or order, or simply anxiety about the unknown. Similarly, an emotional shock, such as losing a position or job may result in physical challenges of increased stress and decreased support, intellectual challenges to rethink careers or family life styles, and may even result in rethinking ones place in the universe or larger scheme of things. Challenging community norms may bring challenges on all four levels. Physical safety may be challenged and emotional well being can easily be shaken by being threatened or shunned or simply doubted by others. Intellectual capacity can be strained trying to figure out whats going on, what the desired state might look like, and what might be required to get there. Spiritually, relationship beyond self may undergo major challenges and rethinking or may be powerfully reaffirmed. Often, where there is a threat on one level, there are opportunities on another, although those opportunities may be less obvious. The change in a persons leadership style that was noted above may be experienced with a great deal of fear or anxiety, but it may also result in increased self-knowledge, maturity, flexibility and confidence. The loss of a job may cause a needed re-evaluation of career, lifestyle or family relationships or even a deeper sense of spirituality.

Communities are confronting challenges of governance, diversity, economic health, educational systems and systems of healthcare. Part of the test in organization-wide or community change is figuring out how everything fits re-alignment after the changes have been made in key areas. A complementary challenge is determining which groups and individuals are significantly affected by the changes and how to help them deal with that impact. Even in organization and community change where a great deal of systemic change might be involved, much of the leadership focus must be on individual and group change. As organizational life becomes more fluid, groups must form and reform (often across many boundaries) and morph to meet the ever changing requirements. Community and organizational change does not happen without change in a surprising number of people and the groups in which they work. Thats One of the Differences Between the Classic Heroic Stories and Our Current Reality. We now have whole communities and organizations needing to go forth on heroic journeys with large numbers of people taking on the heroic role. The heroic stories still work, particularly for all those people that are thrown into journeys, but our stories are the individual journeys on a larger scale.

6. Positive and Negative Tests


Some tests will appear to be negative, for instance job loss, illness, loss of a relationship or a decrease in influence. Some tests, however, will appear in more positive forms, for instance promotions, marriage, new work relationships, or increased influence or responsibility. It should not be assumed that tests that take a more negative form will be more difficult or result in less desirable outcomes. In fact, it is often the case that the tests that have been the most shocking or traumatizing or caused the biggest initial sense of loss were the tests that resulted in the most valuable outcomes. These principles are very effective guides in pre-

5. The Scale of Tests


The scale of tests from individual to communityTests can occur on a community, organizational, group or individual basis (COGI). One of the surprising things about the classic heroic journey is that it is as valid for group, organizational, or community change as it is for individual change. It becomes much more complex, but the pattern holds its value even with large scale communities. The kinds of tests that challenge across an organization include such things as changes in strategy, processes, technology, ownership, roles and relationships, structure, competency requirements, etc.

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paring for a heroic journey, whether in a leader or follower role. They are also extremely useful as the journey progresses to make sense out of the experience to normalize it as well as point to where the opportunities lie, even in the toughest settings.

land of inbetweenity that lies between endings and beginnings. 5. Integrate, deepen, and protect what has developed - starts early on the journey and continues for quite a while after the journey appears to be over. These are our challenges and they will play out on the following journey. These challenges will play out differently on each journey. Some journeys will require a major focus on dealing with endings and loss. Others will come with a major focus on discovery and mastery. Still others may see a prolonged period of inbetweenity. And any mix is possible, which is why leadership is such an art form and requires that we continuously evolve personally and professionally.

Part Two: The Heroic Journey A Story in Three Acts


The heroic journey can be seen as a three act play. Act I requires fast action to achieve the right type of beginning for the journey. Act II requires perseverance and resilience to hold the course over a longer period of time. And Act III requires the discipline to not let up before the journey is really complete and the gains fully realized and not vulnerable to backsliding.

The Five Challenges at the Heart of the Journey


The nature of the tests we know we will encounter and their likely impact on our sense of well being and our ability to perform at high levels lead naturally to five core challenges that we must meet. The advantage of knowing these challenges is that we can focus our attention and energy on them with the confidence that these are the areas that will make the difference. 1. Be the author of the experience to the greatest extent possible - begins at the beginning with more challenges throughout the journey. 2. Let go of old ways and relationships that no longer work and deal with those endings and losses. 3. Discover and master new ways, developing new knowledge, new skills, and new qualities and capabilities or deepening old ones. 4. Manage the uncertainty, unknown, conflicting emotions, and shifting reality of the

Act I: Beginnings Going Forth


OK Im in a leadership posture and ready to be the author vs. a victim. Im at the threshold. What can I expect?

How Journeys Begin It Matters a Lot


How journeys begin is one of the most deceptively important issues in the heroic journey and it has major implications for leadership. There are four ways that heroic journeys can begin and most of us have each experienced each type in the course of our lives. These four beginnings are dramatically different. Heed a call to go forth (internal or external voice) Be thrown into a journey by others Be lured into a journey Blunder into a journey

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Heeding a Call
We can heed a call to go forth and do something that needs to be done. The call may be our own voice or it may be an external voice. We might respond to the first call or the third or the twentieth. The key characteristic of beginning a journey by heeding a call is that we begin already in the position of author. It is our choice to go forth, so we have already adopted a posture of responsibility. The journey will also have begun on our timeframe, for the most part.

journey and the challenge for leadership is to help people deal with the Crossimpact and, as quickly as possible, get into a posture of ing threshself-management as well as appropriately authorolds brings ing the journey experience. That could with it risk and mean joining the web of leaders with clear danger, but it also roles and commitment or simply followbrings the poing as effectively as possible. tential to fulfill Responding to the experience of being thrown into a journey is one of the highest leverage points that leadership will have.

important needs.

Being Thrown Into a Journey


This is currently the most common beginning because of the amount of organizational change that is taking place. Senior leaders might be heeding a call that says the organization must go forth, but most of its people will experience the beginning as being thrown. The exception is where leadership is skillful enough to communicate the need for going forth, how it will play out and leaderships commitment in such a way that people hear the call and accept it. To be fair to senior leaders, there are many settings that simply dont allow that approach and people are simply going to feel thrown. The key characteristic in being thrown is the lack of authorship and responsibility as well as the frequent shock and potential immediate losses that occur. This is a profoundly different way of beginning a

Being Lured Into a Journey


This experience is a blend of heeding a call and being thrown into the journey. A frequent statement is, Wait a minute, I thought we were just There are lots of ways this can happen. A frequent one is implementing a technology that seems to have a limited scope of impact and finding that the ripple affect involves many more people, roles, relationships, processes and skills than anticipated. What looked like a

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journey of one scale suddenly becomes a journey on a much larger scale. While less challenging for leadership than where people are simply thrown into a journey, the responses may be quite similar. This is because people can feel deceived or surprised by the shift in degree of challenge pull their commitment back until they feel like they have figured out this shift in reality.

Common examples for individuals Peoare failing at a job and losing it, being injured or simply colple who lapsing from chronic stress, losing a key relationship, do not finally flunking out of school or being arrested. Its usucross the threshally a sense of being victimized and the key is to old end up as avoid taking on a victim posture and instead go victims and must forth to face the demons and tests directly with be rescued by help. Blundering may get us out of an unhealthy others. reality, but its up to us to go forward or back. For organizations blunders also come in many forms, but most of them result from not doing what obviously needed doing and seeing performance drop to the point where outside forces precipitate the journey. That can be an acquisition, a Board decision to replace senior management, bankruptcy, government intervention or the loss of a major market segment that was assumed to be secure. Some organizations respond heroically and others become victims.

Blundering Into a Journey


Blunders seem to be the default way to begin a journey. They happen when we really need to go on a journey of change, but have not heeded a call for a journey, have not been thrown into such a journey and havent even been lured in. The theory is that, when we dont consciously go forth to do what needs to be done, our unconscious causes us to blunder in some way that launches us. These are usually painful beginnings, but they are beginnings if we respond by continuing the journey.

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For leadership it is critical to be visible, confident, engaged and exercise the courage to do what is required, which will probably involve a good deal of sacrifice. Leadership must also approach the journey playing all of the heroic leadership roles and using all of the core strategies. Leaders may have some slack when journeys begin with people heeding a call. They have no slack when journeys begin as a blunder.

Guardians of the Threshold and the Refusal of the Journey


The guardians of the threshold are an essential part of the journey and pose the first test for the hero. They are designed to guard the threshold and turn back anyone who is not ready for the journey. The demons and beasts that guard the entrance to some temples are an example of guardians of the threshold. They are there to turn back anyone unworthy of entering the temple or anyone who is not ready for such a spiritual experience. Guardians are the first tests, present the first choices, the first opportunity to be the author, the first demand for risk, sacrifice, and the courage to keep going. The guardians may be internal, such as doubts, fears, internalized nay-sayers, bad memories, etc. They may also be external guardians, such as a lack of obvious resources, people whose permission or cooperation is required, or those who fear the heros going forth and the possible consequences. Just as more than one threshold may need to be crossed before a journey is ended, the guardians of the threshold may show up more than once and in shifting forms.

The Nature of Thresholds


The threshold is the line between the known world and the unknown. Synonyms include brink, verge, edge, beginning, commencement, outset, start, and dawn. Thresholds are heavy with possibility. They also mark the edge of a comfort zone. Crossing thresholds brings with it risk and danger, but it also brings the potential to fulfill important needs. Sometimes the landing on the other side of a threshold is soft and sometimes it is hard. Sometimes it feels like a crash landing, particularly if you have been thrown into a journey by someone else or have blundered into a journey.

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Dancing Around the Threshold


The dance around the threshold is an important concept. The best way to think about it is to take an aerial view of a snowy landscape and imagine looking at a set of footprints approaching a line in the snow. What you will not see is a set of footprints that take a straight path up to and across the threshold. It doesnt work that way with the guardians of the threshold. What the footprints will show is a pattern of approach and withdrawal, sometimes getting very close to the threshold before backing off or stopping. Sometimes the footprints will even cross the threshold a bit before retreating. This testing allows time to get used to the idea of going forth and time to prepare. Testing the threshold also provides information about what might be faced and what preparations might be necessary. This is a natural pattern and is problematic only when it continues without a final crossing of the threshold and going forth. Getting thrown into a journey, however, can short-cut this process, although we may end up with the problem of people keeping one foot on the other side of the threshold, even when thrown across - or scurrying back or freezing where they land. Although a pattern of approach and withdrawal (or retreat) is a normal occurrence, it is critical to finally take the risk to go forth and cross the threshold. People who do not finally cross the threshold end up as victims and must be rescued by others. Note: Different people have different styles of beginning a heroic journey. Some are change junkies who are ready to go at the drop of a hat. Others will resist until the last moment. The rest fall somewhere in between. It is important for leaders to recognize who is who and help each group commit in as healthy a fashion as possible. The Visionary and the Builder are the two leadership roles in the beginning and they are joined by the Catalyst in the trasition to Act II.

Act II: The Challenge of Endings


The heroic journey is about leaving known worlds to confront the mysteries. It entails endings and beginnings, deaths and births, destruction and creation, unlearning and learning, letting go and taking on/becoming. It is that basic, that exciting, and that difficult. This section looks at the endings likely to be encountered. It explores basic aspects of these minideaths and the process people go through to deal with such endings. This is fundamental knowledge for leaders as it makes sense of the experience as well as providing a great deal of guidance about how to deal effectively with a tough subject and one usually avoided. All of the leadership roles play a part in dealing with endings, but it is the Guide that plays the most direct role.

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The Essential Endings


Endings may be experienced by people in a wide range of emotions, from mild discomfort to a profound sense of loss. The key for leadership is having the courage to find out what that experience is like for people and then deal with it. For example, if endings are the closing of a plant where several generations of families have worked or the ending of jobs that provide identity and self worth, then the experience is likely to be acute and the tests for leadership very challenging. If, on the other hand, the changes are in learning a new process and the commensurate skills the experience of losing the known world of the old process and skill sets may not be particularly daunting. The challenge for leadership in such a case would be focused on helping people master the new process and skills rather than dealing with loss. Change requires endings, which may be large or small, many or few, but they will occur. They may be endings that relate to relationships of people to work, to place, to other people, to organizations, to communities, to technologies, to beliefs and ideas and values, etc. They may relate to the loss of certain aspects of identity, self-esteem, the relevance of capabilities and skills, loss of position or ability to influence, etc. As with almost all aspects of the heroic journey losses and endings can and will occur on the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual levels. It is these losses that affect peoples willingness to invest themselves in the group, organization or community. These endings are required for journeys to be successful, so it is a matter of attending to them directly, not avoiding them or pretending that we can just rush past them. We can rush past them, but well just be dragging them along, not leaving them behind.

ings are as real as those attached to actual losses, so they need to be respected and dealt with.

Sacrifice vs. Simple Loss


This is a critical distinction. Sacrifice can be defined as giving up something for something of greater value. The inevitable losses of the journey are often easier to accept if they are seen as being in service of something of more value, for instance a vision or reason for the journey.

Managing the Stages of Dealing with Endings


There are several theories of how we experience endings that are useful in understanding this part of the journey. One that is particularly useful is that of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Her model proposes that people go through five stages in dealing with the anticipated or actual death ones own death or the death of a loved one. Although she is addressing the

Anticipatory Loss
Endings dont have to be real to create a sense of loss and grief. Particularly where people dont feel in the know about whats planned or going on, they are likely to go to worst case scenarios and begin grieving losses that havent happened. Those feel-

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death of a human being, the five stages fit the reaction to any major ending surprisingly well. Dont ignore it and dont fight it go with it and take advantage of it. The stages are natural and each has its purpose. The leadership challenge is to understand the stages, respect their functions and find ways to help people gain the value of each stage so that they naturally move ahead. We cant control these stages, but we can certainly dramatically influence them. Denial, anger, and bargaining offer the greatest opportunities for helping people deal with endings and loss.

leading change. One thing to keep in mind is that when people are angry, they are engaged and their energy is outwardly directed. It may not feel good to leadership, but the energy is out to be worked with. Anger can provide the following benefits. It is one way to exercise power and not be a passive-aggressive victim people are beginning to try to influence what happens. It can be a push for involvement getting more information, moving toward productive roles It is a good test for leadership in that it encourages leadership to engage and really understand the impact of decisions it is feedback and that is critical. It tests the assumptions and decisions of leadership and those can be re-affirmed or altered leadership may be wrong about some things or have missed something important.

1. Denial
As annoying as denial can be, it is usually not an indicator of pathological employees or citizens. The denial stage has a number of functions that help people move toward accepting the change. Provides time to recover from any shock, particularly if thrown into the journey. Provides time to prepare to step up and engage in self-management and/or taking on a role in the leadership web. Tests leaderships commitment and competence leadership either backs off or holds the course and either deals with the denial wisely or tries to muscle past it. People may have other higher priorities and denial provides the room for focusing on them The guidance for leadership is pretty clear. Help people recover from any initial shocks, help them get prepared for the journey, hold the course and attend wisely to denial and help people deal with other priorities to free them to engage fully in the journey. In denial peoples energy is inwardly directed and not as available for the journey. Leadership can fight the denial, using up more energy, or work with it to free energy.

3. Bargaining
Energy is also outwardly focused in this stage and people are still engaged with leadership. Bargaining can be extremely valuable. It can also be extremely annoying. Often it is both. Bargaining often provides leadership with wonderful opportunities to

2. Anger
Relatively few leaders are good at dealing with peoples anger, but it is really a core competency for

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further develop patience. Its a stage full of conversations with sentence stems such as, What if? and How about? Bargaining helps people figure out the scope of the change, more about its rationale and more details about the envisioned desired state and the journey itself. Bargaining provides opportunities to influence the journey in a variety of ways, from refining decisions and plans to changing them, to simply deepening everyones understanding of whats intended and how it will be accomplished. Its an opportunity to become an appropriate author . As with anger, bargaining requires engagement with leadership and can lead to defining very productive roles and actions. Bargaining is a time when the classic win-win approach pays dividends. In the course of bargaining leaderships and others interests can be clarified, creative options for meeting those interests can be created and a lot of future conflicts and sticking points can be prevented. Bargaining helps people feel like they are part of the group and part of the process and not just outside. Being in the group or out of the group is the first question for people and bargaining gives them a way to be included.

There are two ways to help with depression. Depression is usually a sign that people are accepting the fact that they are experiencing significant losses and are preparing to let go. Unless the depression is too acute or is becoming chronic, leaderships role is to acknowledge it and respect its purpose and give people the room to feel some depression. The other way to help is to simply continue to play the six leadership roles and execute their strategies, which will move the whole organization and make it easier for people to come out of their depression.

4. Depression
This stage is really only a problem in two instances. One is where it is too strong or acute and affects a large number of people in that way. The other is when it goes on for too long, when it is chronic. One of the reasons for leadership to attend to the anger and bargaining stages is that, if those are dealt with well, depression is likely to be more mild and shorter lived. If not dealt with well, the energy from those stages can turn inward and end up showing up as depression. In depression peoples energy is obviously inward, as with denial, and thus not available for moving ahead.

5. Acceptance
When people reach the acceptance stage their energy is freed and available for engaging in productive roles in the journey. They may have been productive in other stages, but nowhere near the extent that they are once they reach acceptance. They are ready to engage the tests, particularly discovery and mastery and they are available to become an effective part of the leadership web. The key is to watch for the energy of acceptance and get people fully engaged in productive roles as soon as possible, without rushing the process and precipitating setbacks if people arent really ready.

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Guidelines for Leadership


There are a few things to keep in mind when facilitating peoples progress through these stages. This is not a one-size-fits-all model. The basic model can be trusted to be in operation, but how it shows up will vary widely. Different people experience the stages in different ways The key to the value of these stages is in understanding why they occur their purpose or function for an individual. This is not a race. The idea is not to get through all the stages as fast as possible. The idea is to get the value from each stage for people so that they are truly free to move ahead and contribute. People may skip a phase and the phases may repeat. Thats not a bad thing. For instance, people may come out of depression by revisiting anger or bargaining.

to how much letting go usually happens before some new beginnings begin to be emerge. There is also a limit to how much creation can take place unless the process of letting go continues and that is where many pitfalls lie. The danger is that, the excitement of the new masks the need for continued attention to the endings and losses or provides a distraction. The difficulty of dealing with endings easily leaves people vulnerable to such distractions. Put another way, people in general will take any out from the process of grieving endings and dealing with the unknown. Thus, there is a leadership challenge of balancing attention to letting go with attention to creation, so that they actually facilitate each other.

Act II: The Challenges of Creation and Mastery


This is the most deceptive challenge. It is the challenge that claims more victims than any other. There are two reasons for this and it is imperative that leaders understand them and aggressively ensure that they do not undermine the journey. One factor is that discovery and mastery are far more complex and difficult than they seem and take far more time and effort than expected. Most corporate cultures dont truly value mastery and few leaders really challenge these norms. When it comes to allocating resources, mastery is usually given far too little and that oversight comes with a cost. This challenge seems much more benign than dealing with endings and grief or with the anxiety of the in-between state. The kind face of mastery, however, is far more dangerous than the glare of endings or the concerned face of inbetweenity. This is where the leadership role of the Builder takes center stage.

Endings and Creation Overlap


Endings and creation are almost always intertwined, although the degree of overlap can vary quite a bit. The ability to grieve losses frees energy for getting on with it, for creating or taking on the new - or simply moving on down the path. On the other hand, not dealing with the process of grieving or letting go not only precludes freeing energy for creation, but can dramatically diminish the energy available. The excitement of creation is less likely to occur if its counterpoint, the energy of grieving, is suppressed or denied. Some theories propose that the grieving must be completed before the creation can really take place. To a large degree they are true, but they are not true absolutely. Another way of looking at the experience is as a back and forth process where initially a good deal of letting go must take place before much creative energy is free for use. There is a limit, however,

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Life-Giving Creation and Mastery Creation


Creation - the balance to death or endings. Dying to be reborn is often the dominant theme in the heros journey. Creation is the only force of equal primacy with death in the myths or endings in organizational and community change. The creation may take place in the same areas as the endings or in other areas, but it will not take place in any significant ways without some endings, some losses. Capitalism, for example, has been called a process of creative destruction. Creation can deceptively difficult. It can also be surprisingly easy and natural. At times it as though the journey has been to something that has simply been waiting for us. It doesnt need to be created because it was already present, just not yet discovered. At other times creation can be as difficult and painful and scary as a problematic pregnancy and birth.

Mastery can be viewed as the upper range of learning. Like discoveries, they The can come in many forms, such as picking up new skills, ways exciteof perceiving/ordering the world, styles of behaving, ment of creor managing relationships. As with discovation is less eries, learning and mastery are often a likely to occur if mixed bag. Learning and mastery can be exciting and the energy of they can be difficult and frustrating. They grieving, is supcan lead to the joy of higher levels of underpressed or standing and capability, but they can also entail periods denied. of confusion, awkwardness, and diminished capacity. A great deal of learning begins. Much that begins is sidetracked, deserted, or rejected along the way. Mastery is, unfortunately, far too rare an achievement. That rarity has both individual and organizational causes.

its counterpoint,

New Discoveries
Discoveries can come in many forms, for instance breakthrough ahas, discoveries that integrate or shift basic paradigms, and affirming or reinforcing discoveries. Discoveries can be joyful and they can be anxiety provoking. They can bring things together and they can blow Dythem apart. They can organize and they can disorganize. Discovering to ies can connect and they can disconnect. Most journeys be reborn will include a mix of discoveries and they will bring the lifeis often the giving energy we require.

dominant

theme in the heros journey.

Learning and Mastery

Barriers
The challenges of learning and mastery are, unfortunately, underplayed in the literature on change. One

Learning and mastery are talked about a great deal, but usually from a distance and theoretically.

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barrier is simply how much attention, effort and discipline it takes to master new ways. Part of the difficulty is that mastery is competing with ongoing operations for that attention and effort. Much of the challenge is having the emotional competency to deal with the unknown and the energy requirements, setbacks and dips in performance that are natural to the mastery process - over an extended period of time. Mastery requires commitment and perseverance on the part of the individual and requires an environment that supports the mastery process for more than a few to achieve it.

It is interesting to note that most of the forces undermining mastery will occur naturally and without any initiation. They are also immediately in play and decrease only over time. For example the need for increased effort and the awkwardness experienced when learning something new dont need any help to appear. And they, along with the need for increased attention and a lack of sureness dont delay their arrival. These forces are there from the beginning and dont wait for an invitation. On the other hand the forces supporting mastery either result from leadership initiation or come into play late in the process. For instance, training, coaching, supportive peers and the necessary equipment only show up on the supportive side if leadership acts. Pride in achievement and increased performance only develop after a great deal of effort. It doesnt seem fair, but thats the way it is. This is why so much depends on aggressive leadership action that remains in play for a long time. The focus of that leadership will need to be on increasing the support factors. That is because, other than encouragement, there isnt much leverage for leadership on the undermining side. Leadership is the equalizer and will determine whether significant mastery occurs or whether a lesser effort is made with the naturally disappointing results that will follow by definition.

Models of Mastery
Looking at a couple of models that relate to mastery will illustrate why mastery is such a central and deceptively difficult challenge on the heroic journey. And why it requires so much disciplined attention from leadership.

The Mastery Force-Field


A simple force-field diagram presents a clear picture of the forces that undermine mastery vs. those that support it. All we have to do is reflect on what it was like learning a new language or sport to remember how powerful these forces can be.

Forces Supporting Mastery


Joy of learning Increased capability Increased performance for attention Pride in achievement Training Coaching Levels Supportive peers Equipment, technology, etc.

Forces Undermining Mastery


Increased conscious attention Increased effort Competition of current activities for attention Awkwardness Uncertainty about performance levels Lack of sureness Habits dont work Unhealthy competition HeroicLeaders.com

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Learning to Love the Plateau


This is a wonderful concept from Mastery by George Leonard, who has studied the process of mastery, particularly in the martial arts. It is an important ethic to adopt for those on a heroic journey because it normalizes a very challenging aspect of mastery. That challenge is the periods when, no matter how hard we try or practice, we just dont seem to be making progress. These are the times when it is very easy to lose heart and leave the journey. In its simplest form learning to love the plateau has these elements: As we begin the process of mastery we often experience a spurt of increased ability that feels good and encourages more effort. At points following such a spurt we hit a plateau where our ability doesnt seem to improve despite continued or even increased effort. As that competence plateau extends it becomes increasingly easy to become discouraged and lose heart. Losing heart leaves us vulnerable to the forces undermining the mastery process and we may get stuck or drop out. If we persevere and focus on right practice vs. outcomes, we eventually experience another spurt of competence. It is usually impossible to see that spurt coming, which is why perseverance and right practice are so important. The pattern repeats. Hopefully people have learned from the early plateaus and are able to respond better as the journey progresses. The job of leadership is to teach people about this process and what to expect as well as provide the modeling and encouragement to hold the course and not give up. One of the traps leaders must avoid is the trap of management psychosis brought on by the inevitable performance dips that happen with improvememt efforts of any significance.

The Inevitable Performance Dips and Senior Management Psychosis


On all journeys there are dips in performance at certain points. These natural performance dips may be individual, group or organization-wide. Journeys are designed to reach sustainable improvements in performance, but that improvement doesnt happen immediately. Journeys of change come with the dual challenge to continue ongoing operations while changing those operations. It sometimes feels like rebuilding the plane in flight. As organizations and communities change they are inevitably thrown out of alignment to some degree for some period of time at the same time that increased effort is required. That combination usually results in a decrease in performance.

Such performance dips need to be managed, but they need to be managed wisely and this is where journeys can get into trouble. Managers, particularly senior managers, are vulnerable to a form of insanity, which leads them to expect immediate improvements from the changes that have begun. The realities of the journey the challenges of letting go of old ways, mastering new ways and dealing with the in-between state seem to get lost and unrealistic and damaging expectations sneak in. This is partly a response to managements own fears and anxieties about performance and the success of the journey. It is also a way to try to avoid the hard work of leading a journey and being worthy of followers. A mark of good leadership is an acceptance of the inevitable performance dips along with a focus on how to minimize the depth of the dip and shorten its duration.

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Mastery - One of lifes great pleasures and a gift


Achieving a sense of mastery is one of lifes great pleasures and it is a gift to any organization or community. But, it takes an investment of time and energy by us as well as discipline and perseverance to overcome the natural barriers. Those characteristics must be evident in the individuals on the journey and must be mirrored by leadership.

Encountered: Dynamic Tensions


This inbetweenity is characterized by questions of balance, rhythm, dynamic tension, and paradox. For instance, there will always be a tension between order and disorder. Disorder is part of the natural process of going from one state of order to a new order. It is difficult to be in a state of disorder too much, but it is dangerous to never be in disorder if you live in a world that demands change. Similarly, there is a natural and dynamic tension between being connected and being disconnected, just as there is between being oriented and being disoriented or having a sense of place and losing a sense of place. They are all natural partners in the change process and will coexist and be found consistently along the path. These dynamic tensions are not to be avoided, but rather understood and managed as well as possible. That is an art form and each person must find their own rhythm (which may change over the course of the journey). Some people are more at ease with these dynamic tensions and can allow them to play out for longer periods of time. Others have a great deal of trouble with the lack of certainty and resolution and are vulnerable to actions that shorten the experience of these tests at the expense of success on the journey. Tension can be creative or destructive, but we know it will exist in a number of forms on the journey. The challenge is to manage these dynamic tensions in our own experience and help others to do so also.

Act II: The Challenge of Being In-Between


This is the land where a good deal of letting go or endings have taken place, but new creation, new beginnings, births or rebirths have not yet been completed. The unknown is really the not yet known. It may be a blank or uncertain or ambiguous or evershifting, but it is not certain or constant. Although that is the natural state, it is uncomfortable and anxiety producing. Living with the unknown is one of the most difficult aspects of the journey, but retreating from it is a retreat to false security in a false world. That is a very constricted world and often much more dangerous that the unknown. The in-between state is an essential, but often uncomfortable, place to be. It is essential because it provides a creative void, in which significant change can happen. Significant leaps of innovation and creativity are much more likely to happen in this in-between state than in instances where it is avoided or short circuited by leaping to the first replacement that appears. Not only does this in-between land provide an environment for greater creativity, it also provides more time and space for people to truly let go of the old and be ready to embrace the new. As with ending, peoples ability to manage in this in-between state will be supported by all the leadership roles, but the Guide will be most directly involved.

Top Dynamic Tensions


1. Known 2. Order 3. Place 4. Connection 5. Hope/Belief 6. Excitement/Anticipation 7. Meaning 8. Orientation 9. Integration Unknown Disorder Displacement Disconnection Doubt/Despair Fear/Anxiety Lack of Meaning Disorientation Disintegration

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Obviously we cant stay on the left side of the chart and create the desired changes. On the other hand, we dont want to be on the right side of the chart for too many of these dynamic tensions at the same time or for too long. The trick is living in between in a, hopefully, creative tension that gives birth to the new reality we seek. This is where the emotional competence of leaders can be sorely tested.

2. Order and Disorder


Major change implies the ending of one form of order and a transition to a new order. In between is the inevitable disorder, sometimes defined by such terms as confusion, irregularity, disturbance, interruption of the normal functions, even disease. As a verb disorder is even more unsettling; to break the order of, to derange, to throw into confusion, to jumble. It is no wonder that order is so important to a sense of comfort or well-being. Order, in some dictionaries, has over twenty definitions as a noun. That is an indication of its importance to individuals, groups, organizations and communities. One definition of order is a sense of peace and serenity. Other definitions include a fixed or definite plan; a state or condition in which everything is in its right place and functioning properly, an established method or system.

3. Place and Displacement


Place is another term with over twenty definitions as a noun, another term with immense importance to people. I/we have a place is a profoundly important statement or belief. Not having a place - a place to be, a place in which we belong, leaves us without reference, without a sense of connection. And yet, that is exactly what must happen in cases of major change. In heroic journeys people, groups, even whole communities can feel displaced and must find new points of reference, new ways of belonging, and new connections. The intensity and duration of such displacement can vary dramatically, but some sense of displacement will occur. Like disorder, displacement can be distressing and anxiety provoking.

1. The Known and Unknown


Crossing the threshold means leaving a known world for a world of varying degrees of unknown. Not everything will change, but a great deal may. Part of the challenge is finding out what isnt changing, where continuity still exists. The greater challenge, however, is in accepting the unknown and exploring it for its possibilities. Defending against its threats is also wise, but rarely should it be the dominant posture assumed. Dealing with the unknown is required for change and adaptation - for survival in some cases. As with most of the issues in this section, this is not an either-or issue. It is a question of respecting and confronting the unknown without being overwhelmed by it, a question of maintaining an adequate sense of the known while dealing with the unknown.

4. Connection and Disconnection


Connection is about relationships. Disconnection is about the loss of relationships. Reconnection is about the mending of old relationships or the beginning of new ones. The connection may be to other people or groups of various sizes, to a geographic place, to ideas and values, to ways of doing things, to memories, to technologies, or to

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hopes and possibilities. The danger is not so much in losing forms of relationship, but in losing too many relationships for too long. There will be a loss of relationship in the journey just as there will be a loss of order, a loss of place, a loss of meaning, or a loss of orientation. That is not necessarily destructive, but it will be uncomfortable. People and groups are most vulnerable when their connections are too few or too important. Too few connections means that fewer losses can be sustained and attaching too much importance to any one connection means that the loss of that one connection can be extremely threatening. This is another setting where the concept of a web is useful. We have webs of relationships, from people to place, and we can stand to lose some relationships if others stay in place and we develop replacements over time for those that we have lost.

6. Excitement, Anticipation, Fear, and Anxiety


Excitement, anticipation, fear, and anxiety are all forms of energy, although the experience of them is certainly different. Excitement and anticipation often feel like forces that draw or push forward, while fear and anxiety often feel like forces that argue for avoiding, stopping, going back, or changing direction. Excitement and anticipation also tend to encourage contact and engagement while fear and anxiety reinforce the desire to withdraw or disengage. They will all be at play to varying degrees during the journey and managing their energies is one of the key competencies that need to be developed. Although often used interchangeably, it is helpful to differentiate between fear and anxiety to help in managing them. Fear can be seen as having a more defined source or object (Im afraid of...). The source(s) of anxiety is less specific and often hard to describe. It is more generalized and, therefore very often more difficult to manage. Where fear may generate acute feelings, anxiety tends to show up as apprehension, uneasiness or In agitation.

5. Hope and Belief and Doubt and Despair


Much of the time in Act II of a journey hope and belief exist together with doubt and even despair. Their relative strength may vary greatly over time and may be influenced by many potential factors. It may be difficult to find a rational basis for hope just as it can be impossible to disprove doubts. Objectivity often has little influence in the dynamics of this relationship. The definitions of doubt are familiar to any who have experienced significant transitions or lived heroically; a condition of uncertainty, lack of conviction, to waver or fluctuate in opinion or belief, to be inclined to lack of belief, to withhold assent from. Despair is even more troubling as it is simply a lack of hope. In contrast, hope is defined as to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment, to have confidence, trust, to look forward to with confidence or expectation. The times will be rare when both hope and doubt are not present together, although each will come to the fore at different times.

7. Meaning and Loss or Lack of Meaning

psycho-

logical terms integration

means the orgaIt is necessary to find meaning, whether nization of various it relates to people, places, things, traits or tendencies memories, values and beliefs, or ways into one harmoof doing things from work processes to nious personalceremonies and rituals. Without sufficient meaning ity. or significance, life is difficult at best. Meaning provides a basis for sacrifice (giving up something for something or greater value). It provides a basis for purpose, for investing, for setting and maintaining direction and orientation, and for renewal of energy and commitment. Meaning may or

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may not be lost on a journey, but when it is, that loss can significantly depress the energy of an individual or group, which can show up as lethargy, disinterest or apathy.

8. Orientation and Disorientation


If we think of orientation in terms of relationship to, there is a wide range of relationships that can come into play and be subject to this process of orientation, disorientation, and new orientation. For instance people relate to other people, groups, missions, goals, roles and jobs, professions, places, organizations and communities, technologies, values and beliefs, and on, and on, and on. Even a change in one relationship can create a sense of disorientation if it is a significant relationship. Major changes usually create a great deal of uncertainty about a number of these relationships. The trick is not only to reestablish a new orientation where the old relationship no longer holds, but to also remain aware of those relationships that are not changing significantly and that can maintain some degree of orientation.

for leaders is to respect these dynamic tensions, manage our own reactions to them and help others manage their experience. The soup of emotions that can be created can cause a good deal of doubt and confusion for leaders when best efforts dont seem to have the desired calming effect. It is at these points that understanding whats normal coupled with the will to persevere and hold the course makes all the difference.

Act III: Completing Journeys: Integrating and Embedding


Strange as it sounds, successfully completing a heroic journey can be the most difficult part of the journey. This is partly due to the reactions of others to the changes of the hero and partly due to the need to re-order the heros world to fit the changes. The hard-won individual, organizational or community changes can be surprisingly vulnerable for a period of time.

9. Integration and Disintegration


Integration, integrity, and integral are of the same family. They are defined by phrases such as; to make whole or complete, to unify, possessing everything essential, to join with something else. In psychological terms integration means the organization of various traits or tendencies into one harmonious personality. Disintegration carries a very different experience resulting from its various definitions; to separate into parts or fragments, to lose or cause to lose wholeness, to become reduced to components, fragments, or particles. As with orientation, integration must be lost to some degree in change, giving way to disintegration of varying degrees, and eventually leading to a new more adaptive or mature integration. Understanding the necessity of the process may be of great comfort to people experiencing a loss of integration. With all these factors naturally at play the challenge

The Central Test at the Completion of Journeys


The final test is to fully integrate, deepen, and protect the changes that have been achieved. Successful change creates a ripple effect, which means that other people and groups may be affected in significant ways. Their responses may or may not be positive because our changes will require complimentary changes on their part. Part of this final heroic test is

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to manage this ripple effect and assure that important relationships are protected. Successful change will also result in a lack of alignment of the things of an organization or community. It will also require attention to the attunement of the people of the organization or community. Some pieces just wont fit and it will take time to regain that fit. Its a normal part of the journey, but it needs attention to achieve sustainable performance at the new levels. This is the realm of those leaders playing the Integrator role.

strongly and sometimes violently. One of the critical issues for anyone approaching a desired state or partially achieving it is to understand the impact or likely implications for those with whom they are in relationship (even remote or indirect).

The Impact on Others and Their Often Surprising Responses


Achieving or partially achieving the desired state can often present a major challenge and a major surprise. On the surface it would seem that achieving the desired state would simply be a good thing. That achievement, however, presents those in relationship with the individual, group, organization or community with the demand to change to align with their new reality. The danger is that the individual or group completing the heroic journey will not give enough thought to the ripple effect their journey might have on others. That effect is often to launch others on their own journey of change, which they may or may not want and may or may not be ready for. Thinking about how to help others deal with the challenges they will face is essential and not just at the end of the journey. Throughout the journey this issue must be addressed as changes unfold. For example, when a spouse makes a significant change there is often a significant strain placed on the relationship. Changes in a corporation might have major ripple effects on suppliers. A change in how one department in an organization works, for instance information systems, can ripple throughout the rest of the organization. Another example is that of someone who goes on a journey to discover a truth that, when presented, demands a change in a society - Gandhi for instance. Ironically, a hero may, if they are successful, throw someone else into a journey that they didnt ask for and may not want. That will, in almost all cases, be resisted, sometimes

The Four Classic Responses of Others


There are four responses that can be expected of those impacted by our changes. Unfortunately for the heroic individual, group, organization or community, three of these responses can be highly problematic. 1. Force-fit. Others can try to force the hero back into his or her old position, role, or way. That would be a forced fit and uncomfortable for the hero and for others. It would be life diminishing for the hero and not likely to last. 2. Shun. Others can shun the hero, which is a psychological experience of exceptional pain. It is being thrown or driven out, exiled, denied relationship and connection or belonging. 3. Kill off. Others can kill the hero figuratively or literally or drive them out.

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4. Answer the call. Others can accept the inherent challenge to change and become bigger, more complex, more mature, more adaptive. That challenge is to change in significant ways to match the changes of those that have completed a journey. It is the challenge to also go forth, leaving a known world, and face the challenges of the path. One successful heroic journey can naturally precipitate many more.

Fitting Everything Together Alignment and Attunement


Change means ending one form to find another that is more functional. Creating that new form means assuring that everything fits, that things are aligned and people are attuned. The things of the organization must be aligned so that the strategies, structure, systems, processes, technologies, physical plant, and policies and procedures reinforce each other rather than conflict. In a similar fashion the people of the organization must be attuned with each The other and the organization. This includes such elements as trap is the nature of relationships, beliefs, attitudes, habits, that it rarely confidence and esprit de corps, and general feels like there health. A major pitfall in Act III is failing to realis time to learn ize that things can be aligned relatively quickly, when there is a but people become attuned over an extended demand to period of time. The challenges are very different.

Easing the Return Preparing the Way


There are several critical factors that can affect how others respond to the implicit demands for change of a heros return and part of a leaders role is to ensure that the right questions are asked about those impacted by the ripple effect of the journey. Questions to ask include the following: 1. What is the likely impact on the surrounding world of achieving the goals of our journey and what might the change demands be on it? The impact might be material or psychological/emotional. It might be on a physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual level. It might affect individuals, relationships, groups, organizations, or communities. Just as we looked at our own experience through these lenses in order to manage our experience, we need to use the same lenses to attend to those we affect. 2. What is the degree of change readiness and capability of those most affected and what might they gain or lose? 3. What can we do to encourage others to go forth and what can we do to support them and help them be successful? Our sustained success will depend to some degree on their success. There is, of course, a limit to how much we can influence our world. Preparing the way does not guarantee that our world will be friendly to the changes in us and the implications of those changes for those around us. It does, however, provide a discipline and guidance to assure that we dont overlook what we can do, that we continue to take responsibility for staying awake and for being the author.

do.

There is one other challenge and opportunity in completion and it requires a good deal of leadership discipline. That is learning from the experience and turning that learning into increased organizational capability, particularly leadership capability. If the heroic journey has been well led and has employed a web of leaders and effective followers, there should be a significant, if not dramatic, increase in the leadership available to the organization or community. However, failing to learn from the experience or failing to turn that learning into increased leadership capability is a common trap and it will snap shut naturally without leadership attention. The trap is that it rarely feels like there is time to learn when there is a demand to do. Doing may be king, but it is a poor king when learning does not accompany it.

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Knowledge of the Journey Dont Leave Home Without It


Knowledge of the heroic journey provides a deep and solid foundation for leadership action knowing what to expect, what to do, and why were doing it. The depth and solidity of that foundation support the flexibility and responsiveness of leadership actions as the roles are played and the strategies executed. Knowledge of what is normal on a journey also allows leaders to act with confidence and hold the course - from the very beginning, through the big challenges of letting go, master and inbetweenity , all the way through fully integrating the changes. If knowledge of the heroic journey is dispersed throughout the organization, it also provides the foundation for people to self-manage throughout the course of the journey. That includes the ability of leaders to manage self to lead others. An understanding of the journey also helps people trust leadership as they see leaderships actions match the realities of the journey. Knowledge enhances peoples willingness to answer the call and fully invest in the journey. It also supports the web of leaders and followers and it highlights why drawing on the four forms of courage is so important. And knowledge, commitment, a web of leaders and followers and a foundation of courage make all the difference in the effectiveness of the leadership roles and strategies.

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ROLES &STRATEGIES
Answer the Call Knowledge of the Heroic Journey Leadership Roles and Strategies

HEALTHY ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES

Leadership Web

Gordon Barnhart 515 Terrace Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 USA 513.221.0833 2008. Gordon Barnhart. All rights reserved. Illustrations by Jim Borgman

HEROIC LEADERSHIP ROLES & STRATEGIES

HEROIC LEADERSHIP ROLES & STRATEGIES


THE HEROIC IMPERATIVE

The Leadership Challenges Presented by Our World Keep Changing The Heroic Journey Dictates the Leadership Roles There Are Always Two Goals

SUMMARY OF THE ROLES & STRATEGIES


4 6 7

Act I: Leadership Roles in the Beginning Act II: Leadership Roles on the Path Act III: The Leadership Role in Completion

The Catalyst The Questions to Answer Strategy #7: Expanding the Leadership Web Strategy #8: Operational Detail for the Vision Strategy #9: Preparing the People & the Organization The Guide Strategy #10: Communication Strategy #11: Letting Go & Dealing with inbetweenity Strategy #12: Accountability The Builder Strategy #13: Leadership Maintenance Strategy #14: Muscle Building Strategy #15: Mastery Characteristics of Strong Leadership in Act III: What Would We See?

LEADING WITH STRATEGIC INTENT


Leadership Power and Leverage Two Questions Help Determine How the Roles are Played

ACT III: THE LEADERSHIP ROLE IN COMPLETION


25

ACT I: LEADERSHIP ROLES IN THE BEGINNING


Why These Roles? The Questions to Answer The Visionary Strategy #1: The Business Case Strategy #2: Vision Strategy #3: Leadership Commitment The Architect Strategy #4: Organization Design Strategy #5: Action Plan for the Journey Strategy #6: Leadership Web Characteristics of Strong Leadership in Act I: Leaders Worthy of Followers

Why This Role? The Integrator Strategy #16: Managing the Ripple Effect Strategy #17: Aligning the Organization Strategy #18: Attuning the People Characteristics of Strong Leadership in Completion: The Discipline We Would See to Finish Strong

DIFFERENCES IN LEADING ORGANIZATIONAL AND COMMUNITY JOURNIES


Why Community Change can be More Difficult Potential Advantages in Leading Community Change

29 31

CALL TO ACTION
Reflect If/When in a Leadership Role If/When in a Follower Role Go Forth and Act

ACT II: LEADERSHIP ROLES ON THE PATH


Why These Roles?

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THE HEROIC IMPERATIVE


THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES PRESENTED BY OUR WORLD KEEP CHANGING
The challenges are becoming more complex and more interdependent. They come one on top of another and require more people to take on leadership roles. Whether novices or seasoned veterans, we are being asked for high levels of performance in rapidly changing environments. These are environments characterized by shifting requirements that can make formerly successful ways of leading ineffective. And we are finding ourselves involved in a daunting number of changes at the same time. On a global scale we face environmental, sociopolitical and health challenges as well as challenges of dangerous economic imbalances. Nationally and in local communities we deal with issues of safety, economic health, faith in government, education, race relations and general quality of life. Our organizations face constant challenges to change, from changes in structure, roles and relationships to changes in processes, technologies and management style. Many of us face changes in more than one of these domains and feel a need to be involved in even more. How do we manage complex interdependent challenges with approaches that match them and not retreat to simplistic approaches that dont ask as much of us, give the appearance of leadership, but never really have a chance of sustained success?

in taking on the challenges encountered, and completing the journey successfully. The roles are designed to help people be the authors of the experience and to be the authors together. The roles are designed to challenge people to find their best as individuals and as groups and to provide the support The and guidance comparable to those challenges.

roles are Taken as a set, they also designed to clearly outline the comchallenge mitment of leadership and provide a clear people to find message that the eftheir best as fort will match the challenge. Trust in that individucommitment grows as the actions begin to give als and definition to the roles and groups as leadership clearly and frequently holds itself accountable for executing the roles successfully. Trust also grows as the web of leaders and followers expands.

We can play these roles in many ways. We can play them automatically, as tasks to be gotten off a to do list, or out of a fear of failure. We can also play them with great awareness and strategic intent, as ways to create and influence, and out of a sense of excitement and possibility. We can commit ourselves just enough to get them done or we can follow the Samurai code and engage fully and with excitement.

THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO GOALS

1 2

THE HEROIC JOURNEY DICTATES THE LEADERSHIP ROLES


The roles for leaders of major change are designed to challenge and support people in saying yes and fully committing to the journey,

Achieve the envisioned goals of the current change or performance initiative. We must be effective in the short term to be around for the long term. Lead that journey of change in a way that builds the resilience and change adeptness of the organization for sustained success and health. Just getting through a journey

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isnt enough. We must build organizations that can repeatedly respond effectively to change and stay healthy in the process. This includes the development of exemplary leadership. A note on scale. Leaders all face these challenges, whether they are leading systems, organizations, divisions, department, or teams. The scale may be different, but the questions are the same. The leadership roles are simply played on larger or smaller scales.

The Strategies. Each leadership role has a set of three basic strategies that gives definition to the role, but the implementation of those strategies is an art form, which provides the interest as well as the depth of the leadership challenge. The roles and strategies provide a great deal of guidance, but they are not a recipe or formula that looks the same in every application. The art form comes in how these strategies are crafted and implemented.

SUMMARY OF THE ROLES AND STRATEGIES


There are six leadership roles to be played. The roles are organized in the three phases that match the three acts of the heroic journey, although the boundaries are not ironclad and roles will often be played in stages other than their dominant stage. The roles in each stage will also set up the roles in the following stages.

ACT I: LEADERSHIP ROLES IN THE BEGINNING THE VISIONARY


Create a shared perception of the need for change and a sense of positive urgency Create a strategic vision of the desired state and assess its likely impact on the organization and its people Create a vision of how the change journey will be conducted and the leadership commitment being made

THE ARCHITECT
Create the organization design required to realize the vision of the desired state and conduct a more detailed impact assessment Develop a plan for leading the journey to close the gap between current reality and the envisioned desired state and manage resistance Design the web of leaders and followers required for the journey and build the core elements of that web

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ACT II: LEADERSHIP ROLES ON THE PATH THE CATALYST


Bring people into the web of leaders with clear roles, expectations and support Add the operational detail to the vision and organization design Conduct a change readiness and capability study and prepare the organization and its people for the journey

THE GUIDE
Develop and maintain systems for communicating out and back in (feedback), as well as for promoting dialogue among people Guide people in letting go of what must be left behind and dealing with the challenges of inbetweenity Create processes and an environment that promote dynamic accountability in order to maintain direction and energy

THE BUILDER
Expand and maintain the web of leaders and build the capabilities required Build the individual, group and organizational capabilities required in the desired state Guide people in the process of discovery and the extended challenges of mastery

ACT III: THE LEADERSHIP ROLE IN COMPLETION

THE INTEGRATOR
Assess the ripple effects of the changes, including the likely reactions of others, and determine a range of responses Align the things of the organization to institutionalize the changes Ensure that the people of the organization have internalized the changes

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LEADING WITH STRATEGIC INTENT


LEADERSHIP POWER AND LEVERAGE
We cannot control change. We can, however, exert a great deal of influence and each role provides a different opportunity for such influence and for the creation of an environment that will support the efforts and risks and sacrifices that are necessary. Taken together, the roles create an environment that will support the efforts, risks and sacrifices that are necessary for a successful journey if change. Each leadership role will offer different amounts of leverage at different times, but they all We have their place and none can be ignored without diminishcant ing leaderships influence.

fully achieves the specific desired outcomes as well as the increased competency and resilience to support the next journies requires a web of leaders that execute the strategies for each of the six roles. The key is to play all of the roles at the appropriate points in the journey and to ensure that sufficient people are playing those roles. They can be played in relatively simple or very complex ways to match the nature of the particular journey.

in the web of leaders are playing those roles. The roles are expected to reinforce each other. They overlap and are interdependent. They are not designed to stand alone and none are capable of doing all that is required by themselves. They are a set and should be designed so that they fit together and support each other.

control Each leadership role will change, but offer different amounts we can exert of leverage at differa great deal of ent times, but they all have their place and influence and none can be ignored each role prowithout diminishing leaderships influence. vides a different source of The key is to play all of the roles at the approprileadership ate points in the journey and power to ensure that sufficient people

How will our group or team play these roles?

Although the heroic journey will always be the fundamental framework for the change process, it will look different in each case. So, the question for each team or leadership group is, How will we ensure that all the roles are played and the core strategies executed? Which of us will play which roles? How will the others support us? How will we hold ourselves accountable?

On what scale will I and/or my team play these roles?

TWO QUESTIONS HELP DETERMINE HOW THE ROLES ARE PLAYED


The Players. Leading a journey that success-

For instance a department head may be part of a team that looks corporate-wide at building the required performance capabilities (the builder role). That same department head may also play the visionary role on a smaller scale within his or her department by making the business case for the change and creating a vision within the department. He or she may also play the catalyst role by engaging more people in the department in leadership roles or by preparing

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ACT I: LEADERSHIP ROLES IN THE BEGINNING


WHY THESE ROLES?
The roles in the beginning of a major journey of change are characterized by an intensive effort to awaken people to the need for the journey, set direction, provide structure and plans and develop a core web of leaders to launch the journey with confidence and credibility. How journeys begin is of critical importance to the rest of the journey. Led poorly in the beginning, journeys are usually difficult uphill struggles characterized by consistent efforts to compensate for a poor beginning. The real bottom line is that we are trying to mobilize and guide peoples energy: their vitality, creativity, willingness to put forth extra effort, to sacrifice, to experiment and take risks, to trust each other and the organization, and to learn the way. The

We are asking people to trust us and commit themselves fully. We must be worthy of that trust and we must demonstrate that worthiness through the way we execute these roles and strategies.

THE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER


Lots of normal, natural and self-protective questions arise. These questions must be honored and answered as well and as quickly as possible. The short list includes: Why do we need to go forth?

What kind of leadership can we expect? Where are we going?

How are we to conduct the journey? What roles will we be expected to play? Will we be prepared or just thrown in? What will be in place to support us? What might the impact be on me and what can I expect along the way?

roles In efforts to reach new dimensions of performance are deor simply survival we signed to will be calling people to challenge go forth and leave their known world or comfort people to zone. We will be asking find their best them to let go of many old ways ranging from as individurelationships and ways of als and working to possible career opportunities and things that groups

provide a sense of identity and worth. Even if all the things that people fear losing arent really going to be lost there is no way for them to know that early in the journey. Leaving a known world means encountering one with a great deal of unknown and uncertainty.

now on to THE VISIONARY

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THE VISIONARY
The visionary puts the organization in play and provides the basis for all of the roles that follow. A visionary generates and directs the two primary sources of energy that drive change: threat driven energy and vision led energy. Both sources of energy are required for sustained change Establishing the need for change and the likely consequences of various responses relates to threat driven energy. Picturing a clear and compelling vision of the desired state to be pursued and establishing a powerful leadership commitment to the journey required generates the vision led energy necessary to join with and balance the threat driven energy. Rather than simply wielding power, visionaries honor those they intend to lead by addressing the legitimate questions that people have about beginning a journey of change Why are we going forth? To achieve what? How will the journey be led? What is the likely impact on me? The visionary is obviously key early in the journey, but also plays a recurring role throughout reminding people about why they have gone forth, what is to be achieved, the commitment of leadership and whats possible for individuals.

Leaders at many levels will play this role as the vision is communicated and championed throughout the organization. They will play a key role in the discipline of assessing the impact of the changes on various stakeholders and elements of the organization the basis for managing resistance legitimately and effectively managing a journey. They will also play the recurring role to keep those around them aligned and energized.

Strategy #1: The Business Case


Create a shared perception of the need for change and a sense of positive urgency.

The visionary challenges, inspires, and awakens people to the need for change and for the journey it requires. The visionary has the courage to see and speak the truth, the courage to be unpopular if necessary, to ask or tell people that they must leave their known world. A visionary wakes people up to the forces that are precipitating the need for change and builds a sense of positive urgency about engaging in the journey required. Visionaries teach people about the likely or possible consequences of leaving the current known world and going forth as well as the consequences of refusing to do so. They also highlight the opportunities, including the opportunities for individuals for growth in the process of helping the organization achieve the desired outcomes.

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Strategy #2: Vision


Create a strategic vision of the desired state and assess the likely impact on the organization and its people. A visionary has the courage to make the commitments to a strategic or big picture One vision of the desired state that must be achieved for success. They can speak to peoples emotions and spirit (heart) as well as their intellect (head) and are chalwilling to tell people the truth about what will be encountered and expected lenge for of people. The vision must be both compelling and specific enough to be real to people. the visionary

The deceptive challenge for the visionary in executing this strategy is is assessing the assessing the likely impact of the journey on the various stakeholders likely impact of (internal and external) of the organization. This is another example of the journey on the courage to see and speak the truth and then be ready to do something about it. The impact of the journey may well be very positive for the various most people, but the impacts that are not are the core sources of the lestakeholdgitimate resistance encountered by leaders. Identifying the likely positive and negative impacts, talking to those affected and mitigating as much of the ers negative impact as possible both honors those following as well as preventing a good deal of resistance.

Strategy #3: Leadership Commitment


Create a vision of how the journey will be conducted and the leadership commitment being made.

Visionaries not only create pictures of the desired state at the end of the journey, but also pictures of how the journey will be conducted. Of critical importance for the visionary is the ability (and willingness) to clearly communicate the commitment of leadership to the conduct of that journey. An inadequate or inauthentic commitment from leadership is a message that nobody misses and it can sabotage the journey right at the beginning. Leadership must also be willing to walk the talk and hold themselves accountable for their performance in a high visibility manner as the journey progresses.

now on to THE ARCHITECT

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THE ARCHITECT
The architect is the organizer, the one who marshals resources and creates the plans and structures necessary for the journey. Architects deal with increasing levels of detail, create form and synergy and add structure and details to the work of visionaries. As with the visionary role, the role of architect will be played by people at different levels of the organization. A leader might be charged with aligning their division or department with the overall plan for the journey or expand the web of leaders with clear roles out into their areas of responsibility. Architects tend to play their roles early in the journey and then rely on the other leadership roles for implementation. They work hard and fast and then they are mostly done. The Architects begin to provide specific answers to the normal questions that people have at the beginning of a journey: What must our organization look like to effectively pursue the vision? What must our organization look like at the end of the journey to be successful and stronger than when we started? Whats the plan for conducting the journey goals, strategies, responsibilities, resources, timing? What does the leadership structure look like who is leading this journey? Is the core leadership group an A team are they up to it can we trust their competence and character?

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Strategy #4: Organization Design


Create the organization design required to realize the vision of the desired state.

One of the danger points in major change is when the original strategic vision must The be expanded into an organization design that can actually bring the vision into scale being. The architects design choices can encompass mission, strategy, roles and structure, as well as key systems, work processes, competencies and techof the nologies. The choices can range from the types of people required for succhange cess and the desired relationships among individuals, groups, and units to initiative can the desired management or leadership style. (Those playing the catalyst range from a role will add the further ) operational detail to this design. The scale of the change initiative can range from a department to a whole department organization or even a system of organizations. Its the complexity that to a whole changes. The basic design questions from which to choose are the same, organizaalthough not all questions are relevant for all changes. Architects do have to be careful, however, to ensure that even if they are just changing a process, tion they are asking whether there need to be complementary changes in other elements, such as roles, relationships or specific skills.

Strategy #5: Action Plan for the Journey


Develop a plan for leading the journey to close the gap between current reality and the vision of the desired state.

The Although every organization will have its own approach to planning, and the level of detail may vary widely, there are a few characteristics that are usuplans ally a part of any plan for the journey. Initially, both current reality and the must endesired state must be understood and the gap between them assessed. sure that they The organization design provides the structure and map for this assessment. attand to both The steps to be taken to close the gap must be clear; roles, responthe business timing, interim goals, resources allocated and methods of and the human sibilities, accountability are central to most plans. The plans must ensure that they attend to both the business and the human challenges inherent in challenges inthe particular changes. As with the organization design, the plans for herent in the the journey of change constitute a mental model of how to think about particular the organization and a set of commitments. These commitments guide the actions of leaders and provide a basis for accountability. They also changes strengthen the foundation of trust for those being asked to follow.

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Strategy #6: Leadership Web


Create a vision of how the journey will be conducted and the leadership commitment being made.

Architects design and create the core elements of the extensive web of leaders and followers that is required to support a successful journey. At the center of the web the architect builds the core leadership team. This is a team that must be, and be perceived to be, capable of meeting the challenges of the envisioned change. As with the initial leadership comIf mitment, the composition of this core team is a message that nobody will miss.

the core team is perceived to be up to the challenge, people Linked to that core team and to one another are other groups and key individuals, often numerous and wide-ranging. The groups in this leadership are likely to web may be part of the normal structure of the organization, or they may join in
If the core team is perceived to be up to the challenge, people are likely to join in. If it is perceived to be inadequate, getting peoples commitment becomes extraordinarily difficult (and rightly so). In addition to its membership, critical elements demonstrating the core teams commitment to the leadership of the journey are its charter, the resources available to it, and its initial actions.

be developed specifically to support the journey. As this web of leadership is built out from the core team into the organization, the power and reach of leadership extends to link people to the change process and to link the overall vision to daily reality. Wherever the leadership web stops, leaderships power and reach stop or begin to rapidly decline. It is the catalyst that must drive the expansion of the leadership web and the builder that must maintain it.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF STRONG LEADERSHIP IN ACT I LEADERS WORTHY OF FOLLOWERS


Beginnings matter a great deal. Strong leadership in the beginning is characterized by leaders who:

1 2 3 4

Awaken people to the need for the change and creating a sense of positive urgency about going forth. Create a strategic vision of the desired state at the end of the journey as well as a vision of how the journey will be conducted and what the experience might be like. Have the courage to see and speak the truth about the likely impact of the change both on the organization and on its people. (This is a far tougher challenge than it appears to be.) Make a clear and credible commitment about how the journey will be led what people can expect of leadership and how they can expect to be involved.

5 6 7

Create the leadership web necessary to support the journey. This includes the creation of a core leadership team that is clearly an A team and up to the challenge a team that communicates leaderships commitment. Add the details to the strategic vision to create a clear picture of the organizational design required for success. (The scale can range from a single department to a whole organization.) Develop a plan for managing the journey that gives people a roadmap to follow.

now on to ACT II

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ACT II: LEADERSHIP ROLES ON THE PATH


WHY THESE ROLES?
The roles to be played on the path are designed for the long haul and require persistence, stamina, and discipline because there can be no wavering. The leaders who fill these roles are charged with persevering and holding the course. Most journeys really take an extended period of time to complete and these roles must support people throughout all of the challenges that occur, many of them surprises. There are tremendous needs for communications, the building of capabilities, and the maintenance and expansion of the web of aligned leaders and followers. There is an equal need for guidance in dealing with endings, beginnings, and inbetweenity, the renewal of energy and confidence, and the ability to learn the way, to navigate and stay on or return to the path. We will be asking people to learn new ways of working and relating, perhaps new technologies or informal ways of getting things done. People will need to find new ways to influence and contribute and may need to establish or reestablish a sense of worth and identity. All the while they will be learning and mastering these new ways they will be expected to continue producing. People will also have to deal with inbetweenity, that land that lies between letting go of the old and discovering and taking on the new. The uncertainty, disorientation, anxiety, and lack of form of this land can often be the toughest tests of all. People may not feel totally lost or experience complete chaos, but those experiences are often lurking. As one Shell Oil executive said about the major changes at Shell, We are moving forward briskly into the fog. Inbetweenity is an essential part of significant change, but

it can be an unnerving part. While people are dealing with the challenges found the journey they will also be expected to continue producing and running the ongoing operations. We have to manage the business of the organization at the same time that we are changing While the organization. Thats often people like rebuilding the plane in flight. At the same time are dealing we will be challenged to with the chaltake care of ourselves as well as others and lenges found we will be challenged on the journey to find those that we can depend upon and they will also lean upon when we be expected to are tired or wounded.

continue proPerhaps the most diffiducing and cult part of the journey running the is the challenge to hold ourselves accountable ongoing opand learn the way - to erations maintain an open and acute

awareness and to learn quickly from the experience and translate that learning into new directed action. We are constantly challenged to maintain direction and energy. We must always balance the demands of the journey with the demands of ongoing operations (often compared to rebuilding the plane in flight). We will face many surprises, the rules of the game may change, new players may emerge, and we will often face our own doubts and uncertainties. The test is to move quickly in the face of uncertainty, to move with sureness across shifting terrain, to accept that the path is not linear and not without detours and dead ends, and to do so with a base of trust and confidence.

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THE CATALYST
The catalyst role is critical, but often overlooked. The common danger is that once the vision, organization design, change plan and core leadership team are in Withplace, leaders assume that out the the changes will just begin to occur naturally. That catalyst, might be a convenient leadership assumption in the short run, but it has no relapower, reach to organizational alignment, flex- tion reality. The problem is one of limited leadibility and reership power and siliency simply reach. Without the wont match catalyst, leadership power, reach, alignthe requirement, flexibility and ments of the resiliency simply wont match the requirements of journey the journey. The journey may ultimately be successful without the catalyst, but at much greater cost than necessary. Catalysts engage and connect people and prepare them for the journey. They assess the organizations change readiness and capability and guide the organizations efforts to be in the best shape possible for the conduct of the journey.

THE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER


Catalysts also help people add the details to the Architects organizational design to really make the design operational. They help people answer the question:

Am I included in the conduct of this journey or just a target (or victim) of it? What roles can I play that will influence the conduct of the journey and the outcomes? How might I conduct myself personally so that I have the best experience possible and contribute as much as possible? Are we really ready to go on this journey? How will the envisioned organization really look as it operates day to day? I understand the strategic vision and the need for the journey I understand the design required for the organization to be successful at the end of the journey now help me understand what that will look like for me and my unit on a daily basis.

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Strategy #7: Expanding the Leadership Web


Bring people into the web of leaders with clear roles, expectations, and support.

Catalysts are about reach, power and sustainability. The catalyst engages larger numbers of people, integrates them into the web of leaders and followers, and prepares them to play a powerful, productive part in the journey. Catalysts connect people, often across boundaries, and help them clarify the roles they can Catalysts play as leaders and/or followers. The initial question for people regarding groups and teams is, Am I a member? Am I in or out? That is also a key are about question in a change process, and the catalyst brings as many people in reach, power as possible. A major goal of the catalyst is to help the groups and individuals in the leadership web to become as self-managing as possible. Particularly in large changes involving many people, this becomes a critical capability. Without sufficient self-management capability the maintenance demands on leadership become too onerous and exert an increasing drag on the effort. It also robs the organization of needed new leadership.

and sustainability

Catalysts may work with individuals, they may work with existing groups and teams or they might develop new groups and teams.

Strategy #8: Operational Detail for the Vision


Add the operational detail to the vision and organization design.

Catalysts guide people in adding operational detail to the architects organization design, making it relevant to their parts of the organization. Through this process people can truly start to become the authors of the experience on an appropriate scope and scale and take on more ownership and responsibility. Catalysts help people create daily operational reality for groups, departments and whole organizations. They can take this one step further and guide people in personalizing the vision creating a vision of how an individual will self-manage and play a leadership role. This can be an essential step in helping people get out of a victim role and into a leadership (or effective follower) role.

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Strategy #9: Preparing the People & the Organization


Conduct a change readiness and capability study and prepare the organization and its people for the journey.

Catalysts are also truth tellers in determining how ready the organization and its people are for the journey and whether they have the capabilities required for success. Readiness may relate to the organizations history of success or failCatalysts ure in leading change, the amount of focused attention and energy available, the number of changes still underway as the new ones begin, the level of often have trust in current leadership, and the general degree of esprit de corps.

to have the Understanding the level of change readiness and capability can provide discipline and leadership with a great deal of guidance in preventing or dealing with major sources of resistance in change. A lack of readiness or capability courage to may require a significant investment, but that investment will almost cerhold leadertainly be much smaller than the cost of dealing with resistance throughships feet to out the change. Catalysts often have to have the discipline and courage to hold leaderships feet to the fire and not let them go off on a journey for the fire which the organization or its people arent ready. In a crisis the organization
might have to go without being ready, but then the catalyst must really hustle to engage and prepare people on the fly.

now on to THE GUIDE

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THE GUIDE
The guide is the role without which we would be lost or, at best, radically slowed in the journey. Guides ensure that accurate information flows outward to people in a timely manner and that the leadership web receives feedback in order to understand the reality of the journey. Guides understand resistance and manage it as an asset. They know Guides what people will experience and can help them deal with endunderings and the sense of inbestand tweenity that characterizes resistance much of the journey.

Guides also ensure that individuals and groups hold themselves accountable, which includes celebrating interim accomplishments, learning from the experience, delivering positive and negative consequences, and taking affirming or corrective actions. Guides essentially challenge and support people to be as self-managing as possible, whether as individuals or groups.

A critical part of the guides role is keeping the value and the potential benefits of the journey before people, particularly when that perspective begins to dim under the pressure of the tests encountered.

and man- Guides connect or reconnect people to one another, to the age it as organization, to the purpose an asand value of the journey, and to their significance and contribution. set

Strategy #10: Communication


Develop and maintain systems for communicating out and back in (feedback), as well as for promoting dialogue among people.

The guide puts structures and processes in place to assure that the right kind of communication happens throughout the journey and monitors their success. One of the challenges for the guide is to know when to shift the balance of communications. In the beginning communications will probably be 70% out to people from the core leadership group and 30% in from people in the form of feedback.

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As the journey progresses, however, the communication balance needs to shift and may actually reverse itself at times. It becomes increasingly important for the leadership web to get feedback in order to truly understand the reality they are trying to manage. Without adequate feedback assumptions, rumors and misinformation become too powerful. Establishing a dialogue among people is one of the guides most important responsibilities. Dialogue, particularly across boundaries, is essential to peoples ability to self-manage and to stay aligned. Without effective dialogue, peopleboth individually and in groupsbecome isolated, which inhibits learning and makes sustained aligned action nearly impossible. When people feel disconnected their willingness to stretch and take risks is also dramatically decreased, making it much harder to sustain and renew energy.

Strategy #11: Letting Go and Dealing with Inbetweenity


Guide people in letting go of what must be left behind and dealing with the challenges of the in-between state Many changes fail, even with exceptional planning and preparation, because the critical mass of people do not really cross the threshold and leave the known world. They fake it or Althey keep one foot rooted in the old ways and explore a bit with the other. They do not really let go of the old, so there is little hope of discovering, let alone though mastering, the new ways required.

sistently present people with choices. Those choices can range from author vs. victim and engaged vs. withdrawn to actively contributing vs. passively or actively resisting. The choices often have to be made many times, not just once. Part of the role of the guide is to help people resolve these dynamic tensions in ways that are healthy for them and healthy for the journey.

letting Although letting go usually claims most of the attention, guides also help go usually people identify what to hold onto. It is the balance of letting go and holdclaims most of ing on that creates the full picture for people. Ironically, the identification of areas of continuity (what to hold on to) often helps people let go the attention, in the areas requiring letting go. guides also Inbetweenity is characterized by uncertainty and confusion alternathelp people ing with clarity. Periods of disorientation or disconnection are interidentify what spersed with times when new discoveries suddenly fall into place and to hold there is excitement with the new picture. onto Inbetweenity is also characterized by a set of dynamic tensions that con-

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Strategy #12: Accountability


Create processes and an environment that promote Dynamic Accountability in order to maintain direction and energy. The challenge for the guide is to redefine accountability so that it is a productive and creative tool, not one that inspires fear or anxiety. The guide often executes this strategy with the builder. Dynamic Accountability, an approach designed to overcome accountabilities bad reputation, has four main components:

1 2 3 4

Celebrate interim accomplishments and worthy efforts (even if not completely successful). This element keeps the focus on successes and supports the willingness to take risks. It helps build a sense of confidence and esprit de corps. Learn from the experience. We really do learn the way once a major journey begins, and learning is usually overlooked (despite lip service). This can easily lead to an increase in ignorance and assumptions and a decrease in willingness to look for the truth. A focus on learning keeps the effort vital and flexible and builds the knowledge, wisdom, and excitement required. Turn the learning into new capabilities and dedicated action. We must constantly recalibrate our plans and actions based on what we learn. This builds confidence and a sense of influence and power. Deliver positive and negative consequences. Consequences can be positive or negative. Either way they are strong reinforcers of actions when they are clear and follow closely on the elements of performance being evaluated. Some tough actions may need to be taken. Positive reinforcement, however, usually turns out to be more powerful than negative consequences.

The focus of this form of accountability may be on the specific goals and objectives of the plan for the journey, particularly interim goals. It may be on how closely the conduct of the journey matches the original picture of the journey (including leaderships commitment). It may also be on how well each leadership role is being played or how the web is developing. NOTE: One critical, and often overlooked, aspect of the guides role in accountability is to seek out and remove barriers, such as systems that dont fit the new ways, decisions that arent being made and are holding people up, or a lack of focus or resources dedicated to the journey. These barriers can undermine the best intentions and actions of people, making them easily disillusioned and discouraged.

now on to THE BUILDER

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THE BUILDER
The builder is an underappreciated role and, consequently, one that requires bold and persistent leadership. The builder helps the organization develop the capabilities required for success. Discovery and mastery are deceptively difficult challenges, and it is very easy, under day-to-day pressure, to fail to attend to the progress of the leadership web in meeting these challenges. In fact, the failure to build capability is often the single most damaging leadership misstep in major change. Builders must, consequently, overcome peoples natural fears about leaving a known world, in which they are competent, to venture forth on a challenging journey to another world, in which their current capabilities may not be as valued or effective. Such fears are some of the greatest sources of resistance and the most frequently overlooked or underestimated. Because of this phenomenon, builders must play their role in a highly visible way. The web of leaders and followers will inevitably fray as the journey progresses. Because of the challenges of building new capabilities and the length of most journeys, peoples energy can run down, their focus can waver or be

diverted and their confidence can The be undermined. Unexpected barriers and pitfalls can surfailure prise and deter people. to build These are natural occurrences and must be capability is expected. The builder, often the sinlike a spider, continually expands and mends gle most damthe web of leaders and aging leaderfollowers through the ship misstep building of capabilities that are required for the in major journey and for success in change the desired state.

Strategy #13: Leadership Maintenance


Expand and maintain the web of leaders and build the capabilities required for the journey.

A critical focus of the builder must be on the extension and maintenance of the web of leaders and followers created to see the journey through. Not only does the web need to be extended throughout the organization as the journey progresses, it also needs to be maintained, or it will inevitably (and often rapidly) decline. There is a natural tendency to build the leadership web and then conveniently assume it will grow and perform without maintenance. This is one of the strategies that requires strong leadership discipline to accomplish.

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Strategy #14: Muscle Building


Identify and build the individual, group, and organizational capabilities required in the desired state. The builder must also keep the organizations focus on building the capabilities

Why required for success at the end of the journey, even in the face of unrelenting demands to run the business. should people comA simple, but sobering, question for those leading the journey is: Why should people commit to the journey if they will be lacking in what mit to the they need for success when they get to the envisioned desired state? journey if they Builders acknowledge the organizations commitment and ensure that will be lacking people are confident that they will have the required competencies. Those competencies may be on individual, group, or organizational in what they levels. need for success when they get to The key for the builder is to make sure that the development of these capabilities is seen as a disciplined approach to how work will actuthe envisioned ally be done, not simply as a training effort. Organizations often give lip service to building capability. The role of the builder is to make sure desired the organization follows through. This strategy is focused on the organistate? zation and its commitment to building capability. The next strategy is the
complementary one that focuses on challenging and supporting individuals.

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Strategy #15: Mastery


Guide people in the process of discovery and the extended challenges of mastery.

Warning! The challenges of mastery are almost completely ignored in most of the literature on change leadership. This can lead to fatal oversight; many well-designed change initiatives never see sustainable results because the required mastery is not developed. Mastering new ways is tough. Builders have to confront that natural phenomenon if the leadership web is going to succeed in achieving results that are really sustainable. Mastering new ways requires increased awareness and attention as well as increased effort, often over an extended period of time. Not only do early Often the efforts at mastery often feel awkward, there is also often a great deal of builder must uncertainty about whether were doing it right, simply because we have little or no experience on which to rely. Builders help people stay comchallenge mitted during these periods.

unrealistic exThey also help people persevere when progress seems to have reached pectations of a plateau, even despite consistent effort. These plateaus are very dangersenior manous for the journey because it is easy for people to become tired, disilluagement sioned, or discouraged. Builders support people in holding the course and
reaching the next spurt of improvement in performance and understanding. They help people understand that such plateaus are natural and usually unavoidable and that persistence is the only way to get past them.

Builders also help people understand the natural performance dips that happen during the mastery process and work to minimize their severity and duration. Often the builder must challenge unrealistic expectations of senior management. Senior management usually expects performance and outcomes to increase soon after the change process begins (even if they dont admit it). The builder is not an apologist for dips in performance, which are natural, but helps management deal with them.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF STRONG LEADERSHIP IN ACT II WHAT WOULD WE SEE?


Effective execution of the leadership roles on the path shows visible results, which indicate that the journey is progressing toward the desired state and outcomes. Strong leadership on the path is characterized by leaders who:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Dramatically increase the number of people who are actively engaged in the web of leaders and followers and - and maintain that web consistently. Implement a process of adding the operational details to the organization design illustrating the daily reality to be achieved. Assess the readiness of the organization for the journey and prepare people to be successful in leaving their known world and succeeding on the path. Implement communication systems where relevant information moves out to people, in from people (feedback), and among people (dialogue about the experience and the transfer of learning). Ensure that individual, group and organizational capabilities are rapidly built for success in the envisioned desired state at the end of the journey. Challenge and support people in dealing directly with the impact of the change, particularly endings, letting go, and loss. Challenge and support people in holding the course in the efforts required to master new ways as well tolerating the initial awkwardness, doubts, and dips in performance that precede higher levels of performance.

8 9

Conduct formal and informal efforts to renew energy, confidence, and a sense of positive urgency as well as help people recover from the inevitable mistakes, disappointments, detours, and injuries. Provide support and rewards for risk taking, experimentation, and living with questions (sometimes for an extended period of time). Conduct formal and informal efforts to establish or reestablish relationships of people to other people, their groups, the organization, ways of working, value and belief bases, etc. keep people connected. Conduct frequent and informal accountability checks. These are characterized by (a) the celebration of interim achievements and worthy efforts, (b) learning from the experience to date, and (c) taking affirming and/or corrective actions. Identify and remove systemic barriers, including the realignment of the organization, making key decisions on which others rely, and prioritizing the allocation of resources.

10 11 12

now on to ACT III

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ACT III: THE LEADERSHIP ROLE IN COMPLETION


WHY THIS ROLE?
Because, as Yogi Berra allegedly said, It aint over till its over. There is a tremendous pull on leaders at the end of a journey to disengage too soon or lose focus and discipline. People are tired, other demands for change have come on the scene and are competing for attention and there is a natural tendency for people to just want it to be over. Not only can a lot of opportunity be missed, but a great deal can be lost at this point in the There journey. The integrator has is a peto stand strong in the face riod of of these forces.

nization, including the nature of relationships, beliefs, attitudes, habits, confidence and esprit de corps, and general health. The reactions of others to the organizations changes must also be gauged and managed. Significant change brings significant ripple effects and others may not respond positively to what the organizations changes implicitly require of them. Failing to learn from the experience or failing to turn that learning into increased leadership capability is another common trap. There is rarely time to learn when there is a demand to do. One of the key leadership disciplines is to take the time to learn even when there is a cost of not doing something else. Doing may be king, but it is a poor king when learning does not accompany it.

and they must be preserved so that they do not slide back or dissipate. There is a period of time when the changes look like they are solid, but are in reality very vulnerable. The things of the organization must be aligned so that the strategies, structure, systems and processes, technologies and physical plant, and policies and procedures reinforce each other rather than conflict. The people of the organization must be attuned with each other and the things of the organow on to THE INTEGRATOR

time when This is the role that must the changes integrate all of the pieces look like they that have been discovered, invented, found, are solid, but reworked, recovered, or are in reality maintained on the journey. They must somehow very vulner- be brought together so that they fit and work together able

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THE INTEGRATOR
Integrators provide the perseverance, discipline, and drive needed to complete the journey. They ensure that the leadership web isnt too distracted by the other changes that have probably already started as well as those on the horizon. They bring the discipline to finish well.

They help the organization weather the window of vulnerability, the period when changes that often seem solid can slip away. Integrators are responsible for deepening, aligning, and preserving the changes, dealing with the ripple effects of the changes, and making sure that key learnings are turned into increased capabilities for the organization. The role of the integrator obviously starts early in the journey, but it becomes increasingly important as the journey nears completion.

Strategy #16: Managing the Ripple Effect


Assess the ripple effects of the changes, including the likely reactions of others, and determine a range of responses.

Significant change in a unit or organization creates significant ripple effects, with consequences for others. These others may be individuals, units, or organizations even communities. Because a change in one group usually requires some degree of complementary change in others, the integrator must assume that this ripple effect could be a major source of resistance as the journey progresses. It will almost certainly threaten the sustainability of the desired change. Integrators act as protectors of change by tracking how these ripple effects might be affecting others and determining how to manage peoples potential reactions. This can range from problem solving with those affected to moderating the changes in order to diminish a negative impact. Partnering with those affected to manage the ripple effects can dramatically diminish resistance. The integrators must be bold and disciplined because this is another strategy that is very often overlooked.

Strategy #17: Aligning the Organization


Align the things of the organization to institutionalize the changes.

Because organizations are so interdependent, it is inevitable that they will be thrown out of alignment to some degree as change begins to happen. The organizations strategies, structure, systems, processes, technologies, physical plant, and policies and procedures must reinforce one another rather than conflict. That doesnt happen without dedicated attention. The things of the organization are similar to wheels on a truck; if they arent aligned they work against one

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another and wear out quickly. As with the attention to the ripple effects, the challenge for the integrator is to ensure that leadership does not let up and lose focus too soon. At the end of the journey people are usually tired and ready to either rest or pursue the next exciting initiative.

Strategy #18: Attuning the People


Ensure that the people of the organization have internalized the changes and the organization takes advantage of increased capabilities.

The integrator must also make sure that the people of the organization are attuned with the changes. The elements to be attuned can include the nature of relationships, beliefs, attitudes, habits, confidence, esprit de corps, and general health. A major pitfall in this stage is failing to realize that while things can be aligned relatively The quickly, people become attuned over an extended period of time. These challenges are similar in the sense of aligning and attuning, but they are integrator very different in the extended timeframe that is required.

must bring Finally, the integrator must bring leadership discipline to the processleadership es of learning from the experience and translating that learning into discipline to increased capability for individuals, groups and the organization as a whole. Too many organizations are so busy getting through the experi- the processes of ence and on to the next thing that they fail to learn from the experience. learning from Learning and the translating of that learning into capability is important the experithroughout the journey from beginning to end. ence Integrators remember that a journey of change always has two goals. One is

to reach the envisioned desired state and the other is to build the organizations change capability and resilience (its ability to sustain performance). If the journey has been led well, the organization should see a dramatic increase in management and leadership capabilities as well as peoples willingness and ability to self-manage.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF STRONG LEADERSHIP IN COMPLETION THE DISCIPLINE WE WOULD SEE TO FINISH STRONG

1 2 3 4

Leadership focus is disciplined, not distracted, and focused on executing the final strategies There is a clear map of the impact of the journey on others that was projected earlier in the journey and an assessment of others reactions A set of responses is in place and being executed to respond to others reactions The things of the organization, from structure to processes to technologies, are being aligned and the tough decisions to do so are being addressed directly

5 6 7

The longer-term process of attuning the people of the organization is under way addressing issues of behavioral norms, leadership and management styles, effective followership, required habits, key relationships and commitments to mission and values. Key individuals and groups have learned from the experience of the journey and are translating those learnings into new capabilities. New leaders that have emerged have been recognized and deployed to help carry the organization forward

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DIFFERENCES IN LEADING ORGANIZATIONAL AND COMMUNITY JOURNIES


Although the heroic journey applies as well to community change as it does to organizational change, there are some very significant natural differences in how the leadership roles are likely to play out. Because every change, whether community or organizational, is going to vary in its nature, there is no way to simply say, Organizational change looks like this and community change looks like this, so this is how we play the leadership roles in each setting. If only it were that simple. It is possible, however, to reflect on the differences and determine in general the implications for the crafting of the leadership roles and strategies. This is particularly important for leaders of organizations who are also in leadership roles in communities. The roles and strategies may be the same, but they will probably look very different. Trying to lead a journey of change in a community with the same assumptions that hold in organizations is usually an unhappy experience. Many factors are the same, but the ones that are different make all the difference if ignored.

1 2 3 4 5

need for a more extensive web of leaders and followers. More diversity. There is usually much more diversity among the people that are involved, ranging from socio-economic situation and religion to degree of interest and involvement in the community and experience. Ripple effects. Because communities are so complex and their systems, institutions, and neighborhoods are so interdependent, the ripple effects of change and the need for coordinated/integrated efforts is extraordinary. Beliefs and interests. Groups interests and beliefs will naturally be in conflict in many areas, thus increasing tension, challenging trust levels, inhibiting cooperation, lengthening the change process, and making it more difficult to achieve a critical mass of support. Multiple commitments and priorities. Most people are involved in one or more organizations or corporations, which demand time and attention and usually offer change opportunities that are more contained and of shorter duration (they are not as overwhelming). Community change is also easier to avoid and often takes a back seat to corporate changes, which can easily draw peoples attention and effort. Courage and complexity. Effectively committing to significant community change requires acknowledging the need for change and confronting the anxiety, fear, or despair that will inevitably accompany the awareness of the magnitude and complexity of community needs. Perceived capabilities vs. challenge. Directly confronting the need for community change also brings up questions about individual, group, and community capabilities to achieve needed change, the question of

WHY COMMUNITY CHANGE CAN BE MORE DIFFICULT


There are many reasons why community change is so much more difficult than organizational change and some are listed below:

6 7

More people. In most cases many more people are involved. As the number of people increases, the demands on most of the leadership strategies increase as does the

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power vs powerlessness. The perceived characteristics and capabilities often do not appear to match the power of the challenges.

Leadership turnover. There is often so much movement in and out of communities or in and out of key positions and roles, that continuity of development and the ability to hold the course is crippled, often through the loss of painstakingly developed relationships.

3 4

an extraordinary sense of possibility, capability, confidence, and excitement. A note on leadership and followership. Particularly in community change the line between leadership and followership is blurred and many people will find themselves in both of those roles. Fortunately there is increasing attention being paid to followership and its relationship to leadership. For our purposes here it is important to note that one cannot be considered without the other; neither can be considered outside of the particular situation or context in which they are being exercised; and there is little difference in the characteristics required of leaders and followers on a heroic journey.

POTENTIAL ADVANTAGES IN LEADING COMMUNITY CHANGE


Advantages for leaders of community change. Along with these complicating factors there are some elements on the other side of the balance that can add to the power in service of community change. Some of these elements, it will be clear, have a down side reflected in the list above, for instance strength of values and diversity of values. These elements are not missing in organizational change, but they are usually not present in the same degree.

1 2

Perceived value. For many people the value of community transcends the value of specific organizations or companies. When engaged their commitment is often deeper, more resilient, and more enduring. Forgiving endurance and resilience. Communities can usually endure a lack of effective change longer than organizations, although a high price is paid. That provides more time for people to step forward and more opportunities for new efforts following unsuccessful or partially successful efforts. Most successful community change is, in fact, built on a history of unsuccessful or partially successful initiatives. Aligned diversity. The variety of community changes provides more opportunities for people of diverse capabilities, styles, and interests to become involved. The effective involvement of such diversity can provide

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CALL TO ACTION
Make this one of the times you said yes to the heroic journey and went forth to do what needed to be done in your organization or community.

REFLECT
Reflect on the leadership roles and strategies and their purpose Reflect on how you and your team(s) will play these roles and implement the strategies at whatever scale is appropriate (department to organization or community of any size) Use the worksheets for the strategies and make up your own to fit your situation

IF/WHEN IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE


Be worthy of your followers Establish healthy contracts among leaders and followers for leading and following on the journey

IF/WHEN IN A FOLLOWER ROLE


Be a worthy follower (see the profiles of effective followers) Challenge and support those in leadership roles

GO FORTH AND ACT


Confidently With a sense of your significance and impact on others Strategically Artfully Within a web of leaders and followers Drawing on the four forms of courage

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WEBofLEADERS &FOLLOWERS
HEALTHY ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES
Answer the Call Knowledge of the Heroic Journey

the

Leadership Roles and Strategies

Leadership Web

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Gordon Barnhart 515 Terrace Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 USA 513.221.0833 2008. Gordon Barnhart. All rights reserved. Illustrations by Jim Borgman

THE WEB OF LEADERS & FOLLOWERS


THE WEB OF LEADERS & FOLLOWERS IS NOW ESSENTIAL
Leadership that is up to the Challenge Being of Service - Three Ways

3 4 7

CONSTRUCTING A LEADERSHIP WEB


Like a Spiders Web How to Develop Webs What Webs Provide Why Leadership Webs are Rare What Happens Without Webs?

LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS


The Scarcity Theory of Leadership & the Undervaluing of Followers Both Leader and Follower Common Ground for Leaders & Followers - the Same Journey

PROFILES OF EFFECTIVE FOLLOWERS


Robert Kelly Ira Chaleff Barbara Kellerman

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CONTRACTING AMONG LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS


The Leaders Part of the Bargain The Followers Part of the Bargain

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THE WEB OF LEADERS & FOLLOWERS

he Web of Leaders & Followers is now Essential


The leadership challenges presented by our world keep changing. The challenges are becoming more complex and more interdependent. They come one on top of another and they require more people to take on leadership roles. They also require effective followers to join with the critical mass of leaders to create a leadership web. This environment is characterized by shifting requirements that can make formerly successful ways of leading ineffective. On a global scale we face environmental, socio-political and health challenges as well as challenges of dangerous economic imbalances. Nationally and in local communities we deal with issues of safety, economic health, faith in government, education, race relations and general quality of life. Our organizations face constant challenges to change, from changes in structure, roles and relationships to changes in processes, technologies and management style. Many of us face changes in more than one of these domains and feel a need to be involved in still more.

LEADERSHIP THAT IS UP TO THE CHALLENGE


The question is, How do we lead the required journeys of change and successfully avoid leadership fatigue at the same time? That question can be answered by attending to three key aspects of leadership and followership:

Webs. Construct leadership webs that hold everything together similar in many ways to spider webs.

B C

Roles and Relationships. Carefully define the relationship of the leader and follower roles and getting clear on the profiles of effective followers. Contracts. Create effective contracts among leaders and followers that guide each in bringing their best to bear and knowing what to expect of each other.

How do we lead the required journeys of change and successfully avoid leadership fatigue at the same time?

This provides us with a strong flexible leadership web populated by leaders and followers ready to serve, who are supported by agreed upon contracts of behavior.

BEING OF SERVICE THREE WAYS


At the heart of this web is the concept of service, specifically three types that provide the leadership synergy: Followers in service of leaders Leaders in service of followers Both leaders and followers in service of the mission

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The key concepts are service rather than subservience and a partnership in shaping the journey rather than compliance. It is about interdependence and power with vs. dependence and power over. Please note: Enhancing the follower role does not in any way diminish the leadership role. On the contrary, both are enhanced.

and who quickly learn as they go how to lead and follow in concert. Such a web is made up of both individuals and groups and, like a spiders web, is designed to cover a wide area while conserving resources, but providing tremendous strength and flexibility. What makes it work is having the right substance with which to work and making the proper connections. Too few strands or too few connections leave the web vulnerable and its potential cant be realized. The strands can be seen as relationships among the individuals or groups at each node. It is the strength of those relationships coupled with the strength of the leaders and followers themselves that determine the strength and flexibility of the web.

onstructing a Leadership Web

Heroes dont go alone. Heroes never have in mythology. An absolutely essential part of leading change is the creation of this strong, resilient, and flexible web of leaders and followers that can provide the reach and sustainable power that will be needed. The leadership roles that must be played cannot be played with sustained effectiveness by only a few The leadersregardless of their talent. The development of such a web usually starts with a strong core group and then extends outward so that it touches all key areas of the organization or community. One of the key leadership challenges is weaving the web, which includes not only extending it from its core, but also maintaining it as it goes through the wear and tear along the journey.

HOW TO DEVELOP WEBS

LIKE A SPIDERS WEB

The development of the leadership web begins as early as possible in the journey with the identification of the core leadership group. That group must be, and be perceived to developbe, an A team a team clearly cament of such pable of meeting the challenges of the journey. It must be a team that others a web usually are willing to rally around and join in starts with a a variety of leadership roles. It is the strong core heart of the web and it will either be group and then a strong foundation for the web or a extends outward liability that others must compensate for as the web expands. The core so that it touches team must be a very strong team. In all key areas of terms of the six leadership roles, this the organization task falls to the Architect in Act I of or community the journey. As the journey progresses to Act II, the role of Catalyst comes into play in expanding the leadership web. This is a process of identifying the key leaders throughout the organization, bringing them into the web with clear roles and the resources required, preparing them for the challenges they will face and ensuring that they are connected to the other leaders in the web.

As part of a web, leaders and followers are able to share the load and reinforce each other. This is a web of a critical mass of leaders as well as followers that have a common understanding of the reason for the journey, where they are going, the relationships required, the roles that need to be played and the strategies employed,

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The characteristics and behaviors required by those roles The nature of relationships required among leaders and followers The skills and competencies required The core processes used in the web (planning, communicating, decision making, accountability, technical, etc.) Areas and sources of responsibility and accountability

The Builder is the leadership role that partners with the Catalyst to ensure that the web develops the required competencies and that attention is given to maintaining the web as the journey progresses. Leadership webs naturally undergo stresses and wear and tear as they engage the challenges of the journey. Without committed maintenance they inevitably Spiders rely on decline in effectivetheir webs for ness. Spiders contheir lives. So do tinually attend to their webs and so must any organizations and communities organization or community engaged in a heroic journey. Spiders rely on their webs for their lives. So do organizations and communities. The key is to pay attention to the central components of the web: The purpose of the web, its reason for being and goals Whats expected of leaders in the web their contributions Whats expected of followers their contributions Who will play which roles and at what scale

WHAT WEBS PROVIDE


The very nature of webs provides an impressive array of benefits, not likely to appear without an adequate web, particularly when under pressure. The strands that connect people, groups, organizations or communities provide channels for a number of critical elements, for instance: Shared focus and purpose Info out, info in(feedback) Emotional support Flexibility and adaptability Speed, strength, durability and endurance Connections Alignment and attunement Decision-making Learning and its dissemination throughout the organization

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Renewal of energy and support for those getting worn out or overwhelmed Conservation of resources Clarity of roles, expectations, and relationships The ability to balance the demands of change and of ongoing operations Confidence Accountability

turn without an adequate investment and too few organizations or communities make the investment.

WHAT HAPPENS WITHOUT WEBS?


The dangers are many and start with the fact that the people of the organization know that it takes a web of leaders and immediately lose a degree of faith when they fail to see one developing. As journeys progress leaders can wear out and/or get distracted. Without a focus on developing a web potential leaders can be left without productive roles and supporting relationships. Without an extended web, leadership has inadequate reach into the organization, people are not consistently connected and are often unclear about their roles and boundaries are often barriers. Under pressure, leadership can become inflexible and increasingly rigid or lose form and focus. Its not a pretty picture, but such a picture does not need to exist.

WHY LEADERSHIP WEBS ARE RARE


Unfortunately, such leadership webs are not common. They are uncommon because they require a good deal of disciplined effort to create and maintain. Creating a web requires the willingness to bring people into leadership roles and prepare them to play those roles, give them the room to play them and then support and hold them accountable Creating a web over time. It also requires that people and groups who may not be used to leading take the risk to commit to the challenge and be full partners in the process learning what is required, adopting new roles and behaviors, taking risks, being accountable, and living with the resistance that leaders of change must live with. It is thus a challenge both to the senior leaders and to those who would join them. It is also a return on investment issue. There is no re-

requires the willingness to bring people into leadership roles and prepare them to play those roles

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eaders and Followers

follower for someone else and they will be relying on us. Even in the same journey the shift between roles can come in various forms. Some of us will lead early and take more of a follower role later. Others will begin in a followers role and take on leadership roles as the journey and its requirements evolve. The key is to have people ready to play both roles and to be clear on the requirements and opportunities to play them.

There is an extraordinarily large and diverse body of work that addresses leadership. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about followership. There is a very small body of work about effective followers and their relationship to leaders. That will need to change if we are going to be able to make the construction of leadership webs a common occurrence.

THE SCARCITY THEORY OF LEADERSHIP & THE UNDERVALUING OF FOLLOWERS

COMMON GROUND FOR LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS THE SAME JOURNEY

The heroic journey highlights how much common ground there really is for leaders and folLeaders are still usually portrayed as few in lowers in terms of the likely experience. Not number, significantly different than followers in only will leaders and followers face many of the terms of characteristics and competencies, and same challenges, but they will also separated from followers by some The reality for need to draw upon or develop many gap, across which communications most of us is that of the same characteristics and caflows mostly from leaders to followers. Lip service is given to the sigwe are sometimes pabilities. Because of the exceptional requirements of the six leadnificance of followers, but they are in leadership roles ership roles, it is unlikely that any still almost always portrayed as secand sometimes in one person will encompass all that ondary players and only in relationis required. They will need to rely ship to the really important person, follower roles. on others for what they do not bring, the leader. This phenomenon disenjust as others will rely on them. Such franchises followers and asks too little of them is the nature of the journey. at the same time that it sets up leaders to fail.

BOTH LEADER AND FOLLOWER


The other limiting factor is that leaders and followers are usually talked about as though the person is always in one role. He or she is a leader or a follower. The reality for most of us is that we are sometimes in leadership roles and sometimes in follower roles. In some settings we will be leading and relying on effective followers. In other settings (often at the same time) we will be playing the role of

rofiles of Effective Followers

The actions of followers have a tremendous impact on leaders, particularly as the journey progresses and leaders begin to doubt, wonder, lose some faith and start to question the value

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of the effort or the ability to successfully complete it. When followers genuinely answer the call and bring their energy and talent to bear on the challenges of the journey, the leadership web can reach the required levels of power, reach and resilience. The slowly (very slowly) emerging wisdom proposes that the basic characteristics and capabilities of effective The basic char- leaders and effective followers are very acteristics and similar and what capabilities of ef- differentiates them fective leaders and is the role they are followers are very playing in a particusimilar and what lar situation at a particular time. Robert differentiates them Kelly, Ira Chaleff and is the role they are Barbara Kellerman playing in a par- all value effective ticular situation at followers and each bring a different, a particular time. though compatible, profile of what an effective follower looks like. Their work is also compatible with heroic leadership. Their work is worth studying and, hopefully, others will begin to add to the literature and we will try to model their characteristics when we are playing followers roles and call on our followers to do the same when we are in leadership roles.

They are committed to the organization and to a purpose, principle, or person beyond themselves. They build their competence and focus their efforts for maximum impact. They are courageous, honorable, and credible.

IRA CHALEFF
Ira Chaleff in The Courageous Follower proposes that there are five dimensions of courageous followership, which fit well with Kellys characteristics: The courage to assume responsibility for themselves and their organizations. They look for ways to add value and realize their potential in the process. The courage to serve serving leaders and, with those leaders, serving the purpose of the organization. They understand leaders needs and support them. The courage to challenge standing up to (for) leaders when things dont seem right. They are willing to risk rejection and others strong emotions in service of the organizations well being. The courage to participate in transfor mation - starting with the willingness to join in the call for change followed by the ability to commit and stay involved through the tough patches. They are also willing to look at themselves and change as appropriate. The courage to leave the refusal to collaborate with destructive leadership. They are willing to not only challenge poor leadership, but also risk being terminated or coming to the decision that they must leave.

ROBERT KELLY
Robert Kelly in a Harvard Business Review article titled In Praise of Followers (followed by a book) identified four qualities shared by effective or exemplary followers. They could just as easily apply to effective or exemplary leaders. They manage themselves well.

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BARBARA KELLERMAN
Barbara Kellerman, in a Harvard Business Review article entitled What Every Leader Needs to Know About Followers, provides a useful way to think about followers using only one metric, which is the level of engagement shown by followers. Kellerman categorizes followers as: Isolates know little and do less. They are detached and care little about their leaders or organizations. They get by doing just enough to escape attention Bystanders are free-riders, who observe, but dont participate. Unlike isolates, bystanders are aware of their surroundings and consciously opt to stand aside. Participants are engaged, whether in support of leaders or in opposition. They invest themselves to some degree and act on that investment. Activists as with participants, activists care, invest themselves and act on their investment. They bring more commitment and energy and are thus, strong supporters or strong in opposition. While relatively few in number, they can have a major impact on a group. Diehards are rare, but are prepared to go down with their cause, which can be a leaders, an idea, an organization or a combination. They are seen as coming to the fore in situations that are dire and, as with participants and activists, they can be supporters or opponents of leaders.

pants. The attitudes and opinions of participants, activists and diehards, however, matter a great deal. It is their attitudes and opinions that Courage is at provide leaders with the foundation leverage and should, of effective foltherefore, attract most leadership attention. lowership just as Good followers will do leadership. something - they will actively support good leaders - they will actively challenge poor leaders. And they will demonstrate the characteristics proposed by Kelly and Chaleff. As Chaleff has framed the challenge, courage is at the foundation of effective followership just as it is for effective leadership.

it is for effective

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ontracting among Leaders and Followers

THE LEADERS PART OF THE BARGAIN


Leaders can prove their worthiness to followers and uphold their part of the bargain through the following actions: Answering the call to lead - bringing their best, fully committing themselves and acting with an awareness of their significance. Bringing an understanding of the heroic journey and an appreciation of what they are asking of themselves and their followers and teaching that reality to others.

The attitudes and opinions of isolates and bystanders do not matter a great deal unless they can be changed to help them evolve to partici-

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Coming together around the playing of the six leadership roles and their core strategies Building an extensive web of leaders and followers, with a strong core and a commitment to expanding and maintaining the health of the web throughout the journey. Drawing on four forms of courage the courage to see and speak the truth; to create and champion a vision of the desired state; to persevere and hold the course; and the courage to work with and rely on others. AND Consciously modeling the way as a leader and as an effective follower when in the follower role.

support, however, they wont be effective even if on the right path, and they probably wont be as open to the challenges.

SUPPORTING LEADERSHIP
1 2 Commit let leadership know you are ready to support them and demonstrate it Attend pay attention to what leaders may need at any point in time (from information to emotional support) Reinforce actively reinforce leaderships messages Model model the desired behaviors Lead play the leadership roles at the appropriate scale and in the appropriate setting Challenge each other to be effective followers

3 4 5

CHALLENGING LEADERSHIP
7 Expect high performance let leadership know you are aware of the leadership roles that must be played and that you expect them to play them well Help leadership help you help them provide leadership with guidance about how you can support the leadership roles and strategies and what you need from them to do so effectively Provide feedback when things arent going as planned or surprises are lurking (we always learn the way, so this is not an indictment of leadership)

THE FOLLOWERS PART OF THE BARGAIN


Being in service of leadership really has two parts. One is actively supporting leaders and the other is actively challenging leaders. The key for followers is to earn credibility through supporting leaders, so that their challenges come from a supportive context. Without the challenges, leaders can easily go astray over the course of a journey. Without the 9

10 Monitor the courage and integrity of lead-ership and provide both positive and negative feedback appreciative

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feedback and feedback that helps leadership recalibrate actions (not intended to punish or diminish)

Creating a contract with these characteristics spelled out in action is a very powerful process to conduct. Having a leadership web where such a contract is honored and acted out is a wonderful thing of which to be a part and can change an organizational culture dramatically over the course of one or two journeys.

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