It provoked howls of laughter in the café this morning.
Yet Yanis Varoufakis is a newly minted hero in the midst of a murky, dangerous, and possibly unsolvable situation who is so termed even as he resigns his position.
While a motorbike, or a clear and wittily expressed philosophy, may not be enough to make a hero – a binary situation almost certainly will.
Is this helpful?
I raise it because of a parallel with a real life ‘leadership’ situation with which I am working this week. The situation in Greece stays one step ahead of dramatists, economists, politicians, journalists and participants, defying adequate description or understanding. But what can be grasped is an endless stream of – binary – options and divisions.
Old against young, rich against poor in the referendum.
For and against debt relief, in or out of the Euro.
In the ‘leadership’ situation, an organisation with an unclear sense of itself wrestles with a difficult transformation programme. (It is difficult, and that should be acknowledged)
And a key player is a hero figure, a hero of those who wish to transform.
(Perhaps he’ll become #directorofawesome)
At first I thought that this would make the path easier. Yet it hasn’t.
It’s as if the added burden of star status has made the resistors even more resolute. I think there’s a really interesting and important factor to remember here. Stars, and heroes, are so seductive. But in these high octane ‘ either / or’ situations, they can only represent one part (half) of the story.
Gestalt thinking encourages us to become aware of the here and now, of contradictions and resistances, and to face them. Not fix them, just be aware of them.
I think one of the many reasons why the hero thing is not as innocent as it might seem is that it blocks off awareness of other important data. Having a hero feels rather good. Yet it means we stop looking and flowing and enquiring.
Perhaps #ministerofawesomeawareness would be a new sort of heroic quality that could help us all.