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Heroic stories

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Storytelling in organizations > Heroic stories

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Stories in organizations can be very heroic in structure, using principles found in classic takes of heroes and their actions. These may include:

  • A bad situation where people are panicking and nobody is there to save them.
  • The identification of the villain who is causing the problems.
  • The emergence of a person who will do whatever it takes.
  • The forming of a party around the hero.
  • A journey of the hero and the party through difficult times.
  • Trials whereby the hero's heroic nature and ability is tested and proven.
  • Action by the hero that nobody else in the party can or will undertake.
  • The winning of tokens and symbols of heroism.
  • Final overcoming of the ultimate challenge, with the defeat of villains.
  • The triumphant return of the hero.

Hero stories may also include other archetypal characters, rounding out the story and showing the value of supporting roles.

Example

Did you hear about Mark Williams? He was sent to the Venezuelan office where he turned the business around, despite the terrible economy there. He even faced down local criminals who raided the office and threatened the staff with guns. He's now working on the new acquisition project. Hush-hush stuff, I hear.

Discussion

Hero stories are often used as teaching tales, showing others what behavior is praiseworthy and valued.

These tales may well become exaggerated in some ways over time as the hero is portrayed in whiter-than-white perfection and the story is elaborated to make it more exciting and attractive for the listener.

See also

Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' Monomyth, Heroic characters, Teaching tales

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