Joseph Campbell writes, “The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly. What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There’s always the possibility of a fiasco. But there’s also the possibility of bliss.”
What does this have to do with leadership? The hero is willing to go to the edge and push further – over and over again. The best leaders share this willingness and embody this hero nature. They are driven, “called to new horizons.” Leadership is the will to push past the limit combined with the skill to get people to willingly, enthusiastically, and repeatedly join the journey to the next horizon. Leaders understand that there is always the possibility of fiasco or failure. And, maintaining the status quo is not an option.
Every day, in every meeting, in every interaction we are called to leadership. In every moment the question before us remains, “Do I dare?”