From Obstacle to Hero to Guide

Last week, I wrote about speaking and marketing to your consumer base with the idea of being the guide who is helping them to become the hero of your product or service story. This week, I’d like to offer a more personal perspective on the exact same idea.

As a leadership and communication coach, I’m hoping to be the guide who leads my clients and teams to become the hero in their business and life. As a mother and wife, I’m hoping to do the same for my family. But to be the guide, you must first be the hero. And to be a hero, you must conquer something. To conquer something, you must face an obstacle or challenge over which you ultimately prevail.

What if our current challenges were the fuel for eventually becoming the guide who helps others navigate similar circumstances with greater ease and success in the future? We cannot be one with the other. It’s simply how it works.

To guide other trainers and speakers to be better on stage or to develop and present their material to others in an interesting, engaging, and highly effective way, I had to struggle with how to do that myself until I had mastered the obstacles and achieved some good results with my audiences and trainees.

To guide leaders and managers to develop mature, accountable team cultures, it helps greatly that I have struggled with that challenge myself and found ways to create it with my team in a sustainable way.

For my son to live a sustainable, drug-free life, he needs a guide who has battled the same demons and found ways to conquer it long-term to show him the way and give him real hope.

To be a guide, you must have been a hero who conquered something. We root for heroes, especially those with big challenges, public scrutiny, and with a true comeback story. We root for them because deep down we know that there is a hero deep down inside of us who can overcome our own pain or our past to courageously create an amazing future.

This week, remember that the things that you are finding challenging, maybe even insurmountable, are the necessary landscape in which you are struggling to emerge the hero. Ultimately, you will be able to use these lessons and revelations to help others who need a guide just like you. So, bless them if you can and be patient with what you’re learning. It’s what’s needed to step into the role of the guide for our children, friends, colleagues, and team members in the future.


“This idea that we are our own saviors, our own heroes.
That’s hard, but also incredibly uplifting.”
~~Reese Witherspoon