Why be a Hero when you can be a Leader?

superhero-534120_1280Katy flops down in the chair. Her shoulders are sagging, she looks drawn and weary. When asked how she was feeling, her response was, “I am worn out, pooped, dog tired’.

‘What’s causing this?’ I enquired. ‘I seem to spend all my time fixing other people’s problems, and then having to catch up on my own work,’ says Katy’. When asked whose problems she was fixing, she replied, ‘Joe in finance, Mandy in accounts, Trevor the sales rep…”

Are you a ‘Katy’? Is there a Katy in your team, department, organisation? The leader who acts the hero, who saves the day?  The leader who is the fixer, who solves other people’s problems?


  • Because Katy believes that it her role as a leader to fix things, to make things right
  • Because complex, uncertain matters need to controlled and managed by those in seniority
  • Because Katy is in charge, the buck stops here and she feels that she is ultimately responsible
  • Because people need to be told what to do and may mess up and get it wrong

Why not?

Can our complex problems be solved by one person when everything today is interconnected, interrelated and interwoven into other departments, supply chains, organisations, sectors….?

By Katy continually solving his staff’s problems, she is creating dependency. Wonder what happens when Katy is not there?

The time Katy has spent solving other people’s problems could be better invested in more strategic matters and doing her job

Our working environment is constantly shifting as technology, big data, digitalisation of production , changing economic perspectives and shifts in economic power, globalisation, demographics…. influence organisational structures and cultures

For organisations to survive and thrive in this environment, its people need to be agile thinkers so that they can be responsive, flexible, adaptable and not have to wait for a Katy to come to their rescue

Time to let go, unshackle your staff and unleash their potential. Perhaps you can:

Listen well, ask questions to further their thinking and help them solve their own problems. It will take time but once they have developed the ability to do this, imagine what other problems they could solve

Rely less on your position as a leader and more on your ability to influence and engage with your staff. Have less monologue and telling people what to do and more coaching conversations and relationship building to engender trust, loyalty and commitment

Create the time and opportunities which  allow people to come together (virtual or physical) to contribute, share ideas, be a part of something

Allow them to risk take and experiment. Give them the tools, resources and authority to act whilst holding them accountable for their performance

Be the leader who enables others to shine

 The leader who uses her superpowers to nurture future leaders and not followers

 Wishing you better leadership and conversations with your team

Image Pixabay



About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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