Could you be an Anti-Hero Leader?

How an anti-hero leadering style can set us up for success and high performance.

Could you be an Anti-Hero Leader?

How an anti-hero leadering style can set us up for success and high performance.

I loved Batman and Wonder Woman as a child, but the super-heroes we grow up with give us expectations about the role of leaders. Is that really what good leadering looks like? Maybe it’s time to take off your cape…

Let’s explore shall we?


I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a leader, and I wonder if just a bit too often we think that we need to save the day a bit like Batman, one of the superheroes I grew up with as a child, saving Gotham City. The challenge with that is that Gotham City never learns to save itself, and so as Leaders if we’re always putting on our cape and saving our people, saving the day, how do they ever learn and grow and build their capacity to save themselves? To understand how they can contribute to saving the day?

Maybe you recognize this hero pattern of leadership in the way you lead yourself and the way you lead your people and the way that you lead performance in your team?

I’ve been thinking about what the alternative might be and I love that in the Marvel series of films there’s this idea of the anti-hero. I’m a real Marvel fan and I really find that anti-hero appealing –  that type of character where they’re flawed, they don’t have all the answers, they’re not always trying to save the day but are being the best they can be in any given moment.

And I wonder if that’s what good leadering looks like in this complex challenging and changing environment in which we’re all living and working in now?

How is it that as an anti-hero leader we can be curious of ourselves with others and of what’s unfolding in front of us?

Rather than jumping to conclusions and judgments and assuming that people can’t or won’t we hold a space for seeing what’s emerging see what’s unfolding and have the right conversations to ask people into accountability and personal responsibility around what’s theirs to own.

Now I reckon an anti-hero leadering style is what’s going to set us up for success and high performance in this decade of disruption.

I reckon the anti-hero leader is how we lead, exceptionally.

What might that look like for you today?

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