The Self-Sacrificing Leader: How Harry Potter helps us love humble pie!

Today, let’s look at a small sample of the leadership blogosphere, and what it says about “the boy who lived” to inspired another boy, Nathan, to survive. (Thanks again to Call Me Ishmael, the website that published Nathan’s touching and revealing voicemail about his favorite book!) The consensus seems to be that Harry is self-sacrificing, community-centered and courageous in facing the fear that held everyone back.

SELF SACRIFICING,  from Haley Gray Scott, Ph.D.:

“We often connect leadership with ideas about greatness, about influence and power.  We don’t often connect it with self-sacrifice, and the spiritual poverty in which true leadership is often born.  Harry Potter shows us that leadership is often connected with sacrifice—sacrifices that cut deep and may sometimes even rob us of our core-most desires.  Leadership is less about power and influence, but more about responsibility.  It is true that inevitably power and influence is part of leadership, but it is more about responsibility for the greater good of those you lead more than anything else.  And that kind of leadership requires self-sacrifice”

COMMUNITY-CENTERED, from Ed Bregnegar:
“With teams, you don’t always know who will step forward to make the difference that matters. For this reason, openness and appreciation for the talent that each person brings is essential. Dobby, the house elf that had been freed from servitude by Harry Potter in Chamber of Secrets, returns to save the day, and to give his life. Is not this true of all leadership? We are players who for a time may have center-stage but it is not ours alone”.

from Greg Burleson:
“Harry and Rowling are leaders in the sense that each exposed the harm in ignoring “He Who Must Not Be Named.” Neither Harry nor Rowling could hope to undo the evils unleashed by “He Who Must Not Be Named.” However, it became apparent that being unwilling to have open dialogue about “He Who Must Not Be Named” was counterproductive. Harry’s willingness to confront the Death Eaters was not done in lieu of sensitivity but was instead to prevent their kind from surfacing again. Seemingly, Harry is arguing that it was “He Who Must Not Be Named’s” vilified and taboo status which made it all the more important to discuss him and the reasons he was able to accomplish what he did.”
A club playing quiddich -- muggles inspired to dreams of flight!

A club playing quiddich — muggles inspired to dreams of flight!

(Note: I found a Harry Potter Club at a library in Mattawan, Michigan, promoting community service, with volunteers arranged in the four houses of Hogwarts and assigned to different project to help soldiers, homeless families and collecting donations for various community needs. Leadership actions speak louder than leadership theory!)
There’s a lot of buzz out there about the boy with the lightning scar, celebrating his moral, courageous and inclusive leadership styles!

One comment

  1. […] Do?” But the problem with this collaborative model is that Potter’s greatest gift is his willingness to sacrifice himself, and his friends follow that model, almost to their deaths. That’s not sustainable for an […]


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