The influence of heroic leadership on career identity: A transdisciplinary perspective

Olivia Efthimiou, Dawn Bennett, Scott Allison

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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In terms of scholarly inquiry, the exploration of heroism within the context of career development is relatively new. We will respond to the gap in literature with an exploration of the potential influence of heroic leadership on contemporary career identity development. We will discuss the alignment of the epistemic, energizing and ecological functions of heroic leadership across ten key areas of heroic leadership activity. As such, we consider career as quest and adventure; inspiration; paradox; the transrational; purpose and meaning; metaphor; intelligence; the heroic imagination and entrepreneurial creativity; story; and lifelong learning. We argue that building a heroic leadership profile serves as an important tool for developing the skillset necessary for optimizing student retention and engagement, graduate wellbeing, resilience and satisfaction, and the ability to cope with lifelong career challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventThe Rise and Future of Heroism Science: A Cross-Disciplinary Conference - Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
Duration: 11 Jul 201612 Jul 2016


ConferenceThe Rise and Future of Heroism Science: A Cross-Disciplinary Conference
OtherIn 2006 psychologists Zeno Franco and Philip Zimbardo published their seminal paper “The Banality of Heroism” in Greater Good, catapulting heroism into the realm of scientific inquiry and the everyday for the first time in academic history. The advent of the multiple disciplinary field of ‘heroism science’, coined by Scott Allison, George Goethals and Rod Kramer (Editors of the forthcoming inaugural Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership), signals the opening up of heroism which has traditionally been the monopoly of myth, fiction and popular culture to other disciplines, offering a multi-perspective lens for the active and rigorous observation of this enduring phenomenon.

This conference will mark the first forum of its kind for researchers in Australia and around the world to come together and discuss key issues in the emerging field. It offers an open challenge to all disciplines to consider the following question: How can your field(s) of inquiry contribute a unique perspective to the re-conceptualisation and development of innovative frameworks of heroism, heroic leadership and the hero’s journey, and their relevance in 21st century societies? It is a challenge to a broad range of experts to discover the relevance of heroism and heroic leadership to their work, whether explicit or implicit, and critically examine these connections.
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