The hero in employee branding

Businesses tend to use the word hero in employee branding. They are keen on hiring heroes or they describe their internal extraordinary workforce as such. A hero is someone who is brave and performs astonishing deeds. Does this actually happen between the four walls of an office? Commitment differs from heroism. True heroism comes from altruism, an instinct to do what is not being asked, anticipating on a situation which is potentially dangerous, uncomfortable, unforeseen and sometimes life threating. It means sticking out your neck for others facing huge risks.

All shapes and sizes

Heroes come in all forms and shapes but being or becoming an office-hero to me is a tiny bit weird. It connotates with topping client expectations, problem shooting and operational excellence. All very knightly and admirable but is it correct to refer to it as heroism? When it comes to being a hero, the b-to-b office environment might not be the best example to use the word. And yet, maybe times have changed, and we’ve grown to a different meaning, so we actually can use it in the workplace. Was Steve Jobs a hero? Some heroes perform great acts, some are never in the spotlight and remain unsung.

Calvin Coolidge said: “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.” For now, I will stick with: “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion and the context.” Maybe everyone can be a hero depending on the scale of their deeds, even in the office…

Thanks for making me wonder…about heroes




About marilijn

Marilijn Boumeester is a strategist assisting companies with a strong brand ambition to develop and implement a clearly framed strategy and adjacent storyline. Focus on client engagements in the remit of brand positioning/repositioning, innovation strategy, brand architecture and portfolio strategy.

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