Heroes on the Half-Shell

Posted: October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

You never know when a real hero will pop up.  Sometimes it is when the circumstances create a hero others when people do things that are heroic and they just don’t realise it.


My 21 year old nephew Shaun is a model young man.  Trendy, friendly, and caring.  He’s doing well for himself carving out a decent career in logistics.  He also made his girlfriend Dominika go to watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. He recalled fondly the previous incarnations of the Turtles so he had a reason to see the redux version.  I’ll leave that there APART FROM the role of a hero.


In the nicest possible way I spent 2+ hours over a couple of pints with a hero.  Andy Swann.  Not only an intelligent and nice individual but a hero.  He wouldn’t necessarily count himself as a hero and those who know him online or offline will know why.  He’s just doing his thing.

His heroism isn’t necessarily in his “I Am The Work Project” proposition that he’s living through.  It’s heroic in spirit and attitude.  Now he’s not the only one.

I am fortunate that I get to associate with, call friends and work with people who are heroic like Andy.  People who don’t just turn up; tune out and sod off from their jobs.  People who earn a crust AND try and create betterness for random others or their profession or their team.

Now many might point to what they do as doing better for others but I suspect some are doing it simply as a part of the job role.  Not REALLY thinking beyond their duty.  Nothing wrong with that.  It’s good. Not heroic though.

Real heroism in this context comes in the way you shamelessly give to others.  In the way you put your interests so far down the line they can’t be seen in favour of people you don’t even know.  In the way you stick your neck out.  Call things crass, crap and clumsy.  Rebel against the constraints of mediocrity.  Rage against the machine. 

Support and believe in people is easy to say but not easy to fake.  We can tell whether you’re REALLY an agent for change with selfless determination to make things better OR whether you are a bit starstruck by your position in the angry shouty type hall of fame.  No one cares if you can challenge Dirk Ulbacher’s model of HR transformative process of designed micro behaviouralism.

What we care about is do you care about people enough to put yourself in a position of giving and by virtue be the true inspiration many need to do the same.

When we give it sticks. 

When you gloat admiringly at your oh-so-intellectual prose we’ve already dialled down any reaction you wanted from us. 

Because you’re not giving us anything.  Instead you’re taking away.  Subtracting by calling out gaps, flaws and inadequacies.

Heros give.  Share.  Create.  Build. Boost.  Support.  Endorse. Energise.

Heroes selflessly do; so that others may appreciate.

We need more heroes.  And that doesn’t mean you have to be in some tense strife-ridden situation.

Small heroic gestures:
Like a message of support when someone looks a bit lacking. 
Like understanding why a meeting should be cancelled because you’re a bit frazzled.
Being calm and understanding as to why there’s a reason you haven’t done the annual review yet because you’re both so exhausted.

Real heroes create other heroes.

My 2 hours with Andy Swann proved how much of a hero he is.  We talked about many other heroes we know and are on the way to knowing.  Many of the heroes were unsung.  Not self-publicised and quite the contrary a bit too modest – others would surely have been inspired by some of the heroic tales we shared about folks.

OK it’s not heroics in the nature of war conflict; or hostage negotiation or field medicine.

That’s superheroism

I called it when up in Manchester – (The Jam song) Just Who Is The 5 O’Clock Hero? 

We, in HR, are helping look after that 5 O’Clock Hero and we are also 5 O’Clock Heroes ourselves.

I’ll call it therefore again here.  Please; let’s have more workplace heroes.

Please find Andy Swann’s project work all over the social web. 

It’s fascinating and he’s doing it for all of us.  Not just him.  What a hero.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s