What Qualifies As a “Hero” in the Workplace?

Beth Koberman Beth Kobermann, Engagement and Satisfaction

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, I’d like to take a moment to talk about Heroes. MLK Jr. did not set out to be famous, celebrated, or even admired to the magnitude he is today. His mission: Equality. Simply put, he was a man trying to make a difference .  Like most heroes, MLK Jr. was a forward thinker, an optimist, and had an unfaltering faith in his mission. With that in mind, I pose the question… Are there heroes in the work place?

A natural response to my question might be “Well, how do you define Hero”. I don’t have the answer to that; and admittedly I am writing this in an effort to sort through my thoughts on the subject, as well as to hear others’ opinions.

With the term “Hero” undefined, some might answer: Yes, there are lots of heroes… folks that “do good”, managers that recognize and reward their teams fairly, etc. By no means do I support diminishing the “Everyday Hero” – the person who works hard to make an honest living, provide for themselves & their families – I value those people.  But are there people in the work place that are really DRIVEN to make a difference… to stand up for what is right, even at the risk of serious consequences? (a la Norma Rae)

Perhaps it’s the “Everyday Heroes” that become DRIVEN heroes. Maybe they start out as honest people just trying to do the right thing, and as others recognize these Everyday Heroes’ good intentions, things start to snowball. Next thing you know… there’s a civil rights movement.

So whether your ambitions are big, like MLK Jr.’s, or you’re just trying to do what’s right like Norma Rae… Do It, because the world needs people like you. I challenge each of you reading this to take a moment and think about how you can be a hero…(and queue Bonnie Tyler’s I Need A Hero)…now get to it!

Editor’s Note – Beth Kobermann is Gen Y, and a Sr. HR Generalist at Honeywell.  As you might expect, we love it when the youngsters on the team can do a shout out to a deep 80’s icon like Bonnie Tyler, although I’m disappointed she didn’t work in Total Eclipse of the Heart instead of I Need a Hero.  If this video doesn’t inspire you to take more chances at work, I don’t even know who you are anymore.

P.S. – If Bonnie knows we need a hero, why isn’t she running back in the burning house? 

Beth Kobermann is Gen Y, and a Sr. HR Generalist at Honeywell. As you might expect, we love it when the youngsters on the team can do a shout out to a deep 80’s icon like Bonnie Tyler, although I’m disappointed she didn’t work in Total Eclipse of the Heart instead of I Need a Hero. If this video doesn’t inspire you to take more chances at work, I don’t even know who you are anymore.