Are YOU also Holding out for a Hero…?

November 9, 2010 at 9:17 am (Life in General)

Bloody Bonnie Tyler….!!

She sang that song back in the 80’s, didn’t she? It was hailed in the same “disco” notoriety as “Walk like an Egyptian”, “Tom’s Diner” and “Eternal Flame”.

Not only that but it was also the theme tune for “Onder Die Dek Mantel” which was a series on South African TV about a male model who goes around solving crimes – agreed, not totally believable but when you are 8 years old, living in a country that was boycotted for so many years, you take what you can get….!

I will openly admit here that I LOVE that song. I am secure enough in myself to admit that it takes me back to some very happy memories ( not that I ever deluded myself into thinking that I was going to be a male model who solved crimes… but there we go)

I found myself humming that tune waiting for the train a few days back and thought, “You know what, maybe Bonnie Tyler wasn’t the only one who was holding out for a hero. Perhaps we are ALL holding out for a hero?”

My fertile mind then set about trying to justify the question it had just asked it’s self and then stumbled onto the assessment that as humans, we are “pack animals”. We, by nature, look for strong leaders to follow. I believe this goes for pretty much all of us. We all aspire to something greater. Something bigger than ourselves.

I have had the very good fortune to work with and be in the company of some absolutely GREAT leaders and certainly have amoungst my friends and peers some absolutely brilliant leaders.

Be it at school where a man like Chris Botha would have to receive praise on this. A man who could galvanise a group of rag-tag boys into a somewhat civilised and agreeable unit. Uniting so many different personalities and finding common ground for them all is no easy task.

To the rugby pitch where truly one of the best school boy captains I had the good fortune to play for, Craig Banks, could unite a team of guys to go “Over the Top” with him. A true leader of men.

To the Hostel where Steve Teasdale stood out for being able to control rowdy, strong and restless Std 9 year in the face of conflict with the Matrics (The names Jooste and Kemp come to mind for some reason 😉 )

To working the nightclubs where Gavin Jones has got to receive recognition for being aware enough to know what was going on but had enough emotional intelligence to have faith in his people in positions to “keep things right” !

I recently read a book about the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and how influential Nelson Mandela had been in securing the international stage for South African people to watch their rugby team on.

This man is a true and unique leader.

To be able to come out of imprisonment and give the people who put him in jail a large degree of their identity back, that being the world stage to have their pride and joy, the Springbok rugby team, compete on. He was also then able to walk out onto Ellis Park rugby pitch to the chant’s of “Nelson, Nelson, Nelson” and TRULY unite a nation – THAT IS A LEADER, THIS IS A HERO.

In the corporate business world, I have worked with some great leaders but possibly not as greater leaders as I have outside of it. I put this down to a lot of compliance, checks and balances and the HR department and company ethics for keeping people in line.

The Entrepreneurial world is slightly different. Smaller companies, fuelled by the passion of an entrepreneur is a great environment to be in. Many entrepreneurs have a high degree of social intelligence , are largely gregarious and often charismatic. Many of these people are natural leaders and often pretty alpha. They also love what they do and this them to  be passionate in their work.

I then thought about how I would define a great leader – or in this case, a Hero. This gave me some challenges as I am of the opinion that leaders come in all shapes and sizes and from all different backgrounds. I am also aware that I would not ask a leader from a theatrical background to lead an army platoon into battle and visa versa.

I eventually game to the conclusion that a great leader or “Hero” is someone who can identify the unique strengths of those people around them and inspire and empower them to use those unique strengths to the benefit of the greater team. If someone can do that, and galvanise the unit into a productive entity, they will always have people holding out for them 😉

To your Health, Wealth and Happiness


P.S. In relation to what I said earlier, even the greatest leaders have someone or something that they aspire to. If it is not another human being then it is a faith, a purpose or a higher calling that keeps them moving PHorward 😉


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