Leadership: Where Have All the Heroes Gone? - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Leadership: Where Have All the Heroes Gone?
We need to celebrate selfless bravery, but will our culture let us? A debate.


Pharmaceutical Executive


In a culture of celebrity we have to protect our heroes' privacy and reward them in ways that don't involve wedging them between a piece on Britney Spears and the latest makeover show. I agree with Dad that it's a shame that we don't have more heroes to look up to, but a popular culture bent on entertaining us to death rather has ruined it for us. If we want heroes, we're going to find them the old-fashioned way—by turning off the TV and looking around the community, our family, the job, and school.

The culture may have lost its ability to distinguish the genuine from the fake, but heroes are still out there. My advice is to think twice of a publicly recognized "hero," and look for the unsung one—they are the ones you want near you when the chips are down. And these folks are everywhere. And when it comes to picking our leaders this leaves us with a simple maxim: Don't pick your leaders based on what is said about them, picked them based on what you see them do.

Sander and Jonathon Flaum's book, The 100 Mile Walk: A Father and Son on a Quest to Find the Essence of Leadership, will be published in January by AMACOM.

Sander A. Flaum is managing partner of Flaum Partners. He can be reached at

Jonathon Flaum is president of WriteMind Communications. He can be reached at


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