One of the blogs I follow regularly is Chris Brogan. Today, he posted an interview with Nancy Duarte in which she highlights the difference between viewing ourselves as the Mentor verses the Hero when offering presentations. Typically, and in the case of movie watching, we like to fancy ourselves as the hero – it’s the character we envision ourselves being. (Who among us after watching Star Wars didn’t grab the closest wiffle bat and start wielding it overhead like a humming light-saber) Of course, we all know that Luke Skywalker was responsible for defeating the Empire and leading the Rebellion to victory, but imagine Luke without Yoda. Quirky mannerisms in tow, Yoda’s wisdom and influence drove Luke to be the hero. Without Yoda, there really was no Luke.
My mind immediately runs this through the filter of leadership development. Often, we as leaders consider ourselves the hero, the day-saver, the rain-maker. And many times there’s a significant element of truth to that – we are where we are because we’ve crafted ourselves accordingly. However, while reveling in the role of hero we often forget to embrace the role of mentor. In the interview, Nancy Duarte observed that storybook/movie mentors always provide at least one of the following to the hero: a magical gift, a special tool, or help to get the hero unstuck.
Either in or outside the church, raising up young leaders is essential to the continued growth of our ideals. What undeveloped gift might we uncover in a young leader? What experience-based advice could we offer? What about helping provide focus, clarity, and objectivity? Speaking for myself, I never undervalue a persons ability to help me get unstuck.
Looking to be a little less Luke, and a little more Yoda.