In our last post, we discussed the role a leader takes in what is called the hero’s journey. This journey is described in the Book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, written by Joseph Campbell. As a leadership coach it is crucial to understand how the hero’s journey impacts leaders as they continue to develop their skills and forge new paths. But equally important is knowing how to support the leader as they go through the phases their hero’s journey. Some of the phases might include:
- Ordinary world
- Call to adventure
- Refusing the call
- Finding helpers
- Crossing the threshold
- Facing tests, finding allies, dealing with enemies
- Developing a plan
- The struggle
- Coming back home
Supporting the leader through these phases takes great care. Here are some ideas to support them along the way.
- Call to adventure – provide feedback to help the leader understand their need for a new way of being or doing in their leadership. Don’t attempt to remove the discomfort or uncertainty, be there to witness the feelings and provide support and help the leader explore them. Ask questions about how they want to move forward, draw from past strategies they may have used. This will assist them in understanding if this is the right time for them to answer the call.
- Crossing the threshold – Once the leader has made the decision to cross the threshold and answer the call to the new adventure, they will need your empathy and support as a coach. Asking questions about what they see as their needs as they transition into the next steps is an important part in both helping you to support them as a coach and to support them to create a SMART plan for their journey.
- Facing trials and tribulations and dealing with inner and outer barriers – The trials in the hero’s journey will come. It is your job to be their guide, but not their hero. This means that the leader must face the trials and tribulations and negotiate their way through, and you as a coach, are there to support them in working their way through the inner and outer challenges, some of which may stem form old programming or beliefs that no longer serve them. You are not there to be their rescuer in the midst of an uncomfortable situation, but rather you are to help them face the test and understand their role in overcoming it.
- Overcoming the trial – Once the leader has developed a plan to move through the trials on their journey, they might require additional support as they move forward. As a coach, you are there to support them and keep them on track in their journey. You are the person who is in the passenger seat on their journey and will remind them of the landmarks and specific goals they have set for this journey’s, however you are not the person behind the wheel.
- Returning home – As the leader returns home and completes their journey, your role is to help them define the lessons they have learned on their journey and define the processes they went through as they traveled so that they will be able to make the next journey with less support.
The hero’s journey is an amazing process. It is one that we, as leadership coaches are privileged to witness. We get to watch the leader undergo a metamorphosis of sorts as they travel through their journey and find their way back home as a new and better leader.
Are you looking for support in your personal hero’s journey? The team at ALCN would be honored to help you throughout your process of travel and discovery. Contact our team to learn more about our leadership development and corporate coaching programs and find out how we can support you in whatever phase of the journey you are in.