Which of these versions has more dramatic appeal?
In all successful stories the ‘Call to Adventure’ is followed by a period of resistance. Dramatically this tells the audience that the adventure is full of danger. Usually the incident that propels the Hero across the threshold into the world of adventure involves something personal. In the film Schindler’s List there are a number of ‘calls’ but Oscar Schindler is too wrapped up in keeping his business afloat. It’s not till he sees the girl in the red coat in the ghetto that it becomes personal. In that moment he finally answers the call.
Sometimes a degree of reluctance is a healthy thing. But before we look at leadership reluctance let’s consider the different types of call.
Types of call
- Invitation Thelma & Louise
- Cry for help Star Wars “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi ”
- Righting a wrong Shawshank Redemption, Erin Brokovitch
- Anointed by others Troy
- Stirring Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Call to self-expression Dead Poets Society, Billy Elliot
- Puzzle to solve The Imitation Game
- Repeated calls Star Wars, Schindler’s List
Resisting the call
As I said earlier a degree of apprehension is a healthy thing. But sometime we get stopped and we’re not sure why. At times like this it’s worth exploring your leadership persona; more about this in the lesson #4 Dell Boy to Die Hard.
It’s useful to explore your own source of reluctance. It’s also a great gift to help others get to the root of their reluctance. Many of the leaders I interviewed spoke of a mentor figure who saw their potential and spurred them on. Some emerging leaders experience a perverse fear of success, or a fear that if they try really hard and still fail, they may have to give up hope. “I could’a been a contender.”
What’s driving me?
Equally revealing is the inquiry into what drives you to take on the mantle of leadership and to ask if these drivers are sustainable. Here are some examples of unsustainable drivers.
If you are already a leader, have you truly embraced your decision or are you a reluctant leader? Have you ‘crossed the threshold’?
Am I in good shape?
You won’t hear the call if you are immersed in ‘coping and hoping’. To hear the call you need to be in good shape.
- Financially, physically, emotionally?
- Do I look like a leader?
- Do I sound like a leader?
- Do I hang out in places where leadership opportunities show up?
- Am I a player, a spectator or a critic?
Is there a call waiting?
- Is there an opportunity knocking at my door?
- What adversities am I facing?
- Could I turn these into opportunities?
- Where am I not contributing or using my talents fully?
- Is there a debt I would like to repay?
- Does someone need my help?
- Is there a stirring in my heart that I’m ignoring?
- Is there a call that has been around several times before?
What’s stopping me?
- What are my self-limiting thoughts or feelings?
- Where am I playing small in order to feel safe?
- What is the cost of playing small?
- What might I discover about myself by accepting this challenge?
- Am I open to the possibility of such discovery?
What will be my legacy?
Hollywood Lessons in Leadership™ – Lesson #2 of 6
© 2016 Anne Oberon, http://www.oberonconsultants.com