Be the Hero

Three Powerful Ways to Overcome Challenges in Work and Life

Noah Blumenthal (Author)

Publication date: 08/01/2009

Bestseller over 40,000+ copies sold

Be the Hero

Noah Blumenthal offers a universally accessible technique for overcoming inertia and despair and becoming consistently positive, productive, and happy at home and on the job.

  • Reveals that each of us has the power to choose whether to be a passive, put-upon victim or a hero in control of their life and career
  • Uses the accessible and popular parable format to teach important life-lessons
  • Includes an extensive section of tools, exercises and other resources


A victim mentality is rampant in organizations today. My boss is a jerk. This is a dead-end job. I can't change anything here. The result is lost productivity, lack of creativity, departmental in-fighting-a toxic atmosphere.

But nobody has to be a victim. The truth is people make themselves victims. It's just an interpretation of reality, a story they tell themselves. People can choose a different story. They can stop seeing themselves as helpless victims and instead discover how to put themselves in charge. Anyone can choose to Be the Hero.

Appropriately enough, executive coach and corporate speaker Noah Blumenthal uses a story-of Jeff, a young executive facing what seem to him insurmountable challenges-to show readers how to gain greater success and satisfaction in their lives by transforming the ways they view others, their own situation, and themselves. And he includes a plethora of practical resources that will teach readers how to consistently shift their perspective from victim to hero.

This is not seeing the world through rose-colored glasses-but it is seeing through a new lens. One that helps us look beneath the superficial surface of our unhappiness to discover why people act in ways that frustrate us and do something about it. That finds sources of strength in our lives, even in the toughest circumstances. And that gives us the power to change.

Victim stories limit us, sap our energy, stifle and frustrate us. Hero stories open up new possibilities, spur us to action. In Be the Hero, Noah Blumenthal offers a universally accessible technique for overcoming inertia and despair and becoming consistently positive, productive, and happy, at home and on the job.

 

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Overview

Noah Blumenthal offers a universally accessible technique for overcoming inertia and despair and becoming consistently positive, productive, and happy at home and on the job.

  • Reveals that each of us has the power to choose whether to be a passive, put-upon victim or a hero in control of their life and career
  • Uses the accessible and popular parable format to teach important life-lessons
  • Includes an extensive section of tools, exercises and other resources


A victim mentality is rampant in organizations today. My boss is a jerk. This is a dead-end job. I can't change anything here. The result is lost productivity, lack of creativity, departmental in-fighting-a toxic atmosphere.

But nobody has to be a victim. The truth is people make themselves victims. It's just an interpretation of reality, a story they tell themselves. People can choose a different story. They can stop seeing themselves as helpless victims and instead discover how to put themselves in charge. Anyone can choose to Be the Hero.

Appropriately enough, executive coach and corporate speaker Noah Blumenthal uses a story-of Jeff, a young executive facing what seem to him insurmountable challenges-to show readers how to gain greater success and satisfaction in their lives by transforming the ways they view others, their own situation, and themselves. And he includes a plethora of practical resources that will teach readers how to consistently shift their perspective from victim to hero.

This is not seeing the world through rose-colored glasses-but it is seeing through a new lens. One that helps us look beneath the superficial surface of our unhappiness to discover why people act in ways that frustrate us and do something about it. That finds sources of strength in our lives, even in the toughest circumstances. And that gives us the power to change.

Victim stories limit us, sap our energy, stifle and frustrate us. Hero stories open up new possibilities, spur us to action. In Be the Hero, Noah Blumenthal offers a universally accessible technique for overcoming inertia and despair and becoming consistently positive, productive, and happy, at home and on the job.

 

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Noah Blumenthal

Noah Blumenthal is founder and president of Leading Principles, Inc. an executive coaching and consulting company dedicated to building effectiveness by raising self and organizational awareness. He has been featured as a guest lecturer at Columbia University, Baruch College, the New School University, Fordham University, Fairfield University, and the International Coach Federation. To learn more about Noah and his work, visit his company, Leading Principles, online by clicking here

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Table of Contents



Foreword by Marshall Goldsmith

Introduction: Change Your Stories, Change Your Life

Parable
* Challenges of Work and Life
* People Stories
* Situation Stories
* Self Stories
* Afterword: Find Your Heroic Inspiration

Resource Guide
* Overview of Book and Online Resources
* Be Aware of Your Hero and Victim Stories
* Build a Community of Heroes Around You
* Take Actions to Ecourage the Hero in You
* Hero Tips for Managers
* First Steps to Take Today


Acknowledgments

About the Author

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Excerpt

Be the Hero

Introduction: Change Your Stories, Change Your Life

No one is free from challenges. Work and life events stress us out, people treat us unfairly, and we sometimes feel powerless.

We have tough moments, times when we become frustrated and angry with our jobs or our lives. We may have angry bosses or customers, or we might have spouses or kids who at times feel like too much to handle. Life is uncertain, and change is constant.

When frustration settles in, we sometimes see ourselves as victims. Perhaps you can finish these victim sentences:

“My boss is a _______.”

“My job _______.”

“Worst of all, there’s nothing I _______.”

When in victim mode, people complete these sentences with words like jerk, stinks, and can do. Such statements produce a self-fulfilling mentality that makes it impossible to be your best.

Yet some people are at their best even in the toughest times. You might know some of them. No matter what happens, no matter the stress or challenge, even if they become angry or get thrown off their game, they quickly recover. And before you realize what happened, they are positive, energized, and taking productive action.

I wrote this book because I believe anyone can become that person — the person who experiences pain or doubt or tough times or unfairness but who maintains perspective, humor, and a sense of optimism. When this person faces difficult problems, he or she still performs at his or her best. This person is an everyday hero.

This book is about helping you choose to be an everyday hero.

Everyday heroes don’t let life’s challenges bring them down. Instead, they stay positive and find a way to overcome their obstacles. Everyday heroes don’t always succeed, but they consistently act on the belief that they can do something to improve their situations and those of the people around them.

The way you think — what I call your stories — can lead you to be an everyday hero. The stories you tell can make your life positive, hopeful, and empowering or bitter, miserable, and hopeless. You can choose your response to everyday events that might disappoint, frustrate, or anger you — to react in a way that casts off the victim mentality and enables you to act with a hero’s resolve.

Your stories determine your happiness and success. When you think like an everyday hero, you open the door to new possibilities. When you work in a company of heroes, communication increases, silos break down, and creative ideas multiply. You experience greater camaraderie, openness to new ideas, and receptivity to change.

Telling hero stories does more than change your state of mind. These stories lead to actions that produce:

Career success

Improved relationships

More effective conflict resolution

Increased adaptability to change

Stronger leadership

Reduced stress

Greater happiness

These outcomes arise from telling hero stories, and we can all tell hero stories. I have divided these stories into three types:

People stories. Heroes choose to feel others’ pain and seek to understand their actions. Victims focus on their own pain and blame the people around them.

Situation stories. Heroes see the best in their lives and appreciate what they have. Victims focus on what is wrong in their lives.

Self stories. Heroes believe they can influence their lives and choose to take action. Victims believe nothing can be done to improve their lives.

No one tells hero stories all the time. We all lapse into victim mentality occasionally. Part of being an everyday hero is recognizing those lapses and shifting back to hero stories.

The techniques and strategies presented in this book come out of my years of corporate coaching and consulting, helping everyone from senior executives to line workers to entrepreneurs achieve greater success and peace of mind at the same time. These strategies also come from my personal experiences as an employee, manager, business owner, husband, and father.

In the last decade, first as a founding member of an internal consulting group at a Fortune 500 company, then as the founder and president of my own consulting company, I have coached hundreds of corporate executives facing work crises, family challenges, life decisions, and moral dilemmas. I have taught thousands of people how to accept accountability and lead themselves to the life and work experiences they desire.

Each time I explore a story with one of my clients, we both learn from the experience. I am grateful to all of my clients for helping me understand the power of our stories. Each time I catch myself in a victim story, I also learn. The lessons from all of these experiences are captured in this book.

To support you in shifting your stories, the book is divided into two parts: a parable and a resource guide.

Parable

In the parable we follow the story of Jeff, a good guy with talent and high hopes whose life throws him some unexpected challenges. His struggle is one I believe we have all faced. How do you respond positively to adversity without letting it bring you down? With a little help, he discovers the answer, and so will you.

I wrote this book as a parable because I think the story brings the lessons to life and makes them easier and more fun to digest. Although this story is fictional, the characters draw from many people in my life — my family, friends, colleagues, clients, and of course myself.

However, one part of this parable is true. That story has been one of the greatest inspirations of my life. If you can’t guess which part that is while you read the parable, you’ll find out in the afterword.

Resource Guide

The lessons of the parable will be evident, but that doesn’t mean they will automatically translate into sustained behavior change. Therefore, a resource guide after the parable offers specific tips and tools you can use to carry the lessons from this book into your work and life.

I have done my best to provide effective lessons in this book. However, changing your stories is a skill that takes practice over time. I still discover more every day. In order for me to share these lessons, www.be-the-hero.com features a reader’s section that will be updated with more information and tools to help individuals and managers succeed.

You will also have access to a forum where you can connect with others who are seeking to live and work like heroes, and you will be able to ask me questions about the heroic challenges in your work and life. Your access code to enter the reader’s section of the Web site can be found in the resource guide of this book.

I hope you enjoy this book, and I invite you to be the hero you want to be.

Noah Blumenthal
July 2009

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Endorsements



"I recommend Be The Hero for anyone who is driven by the challenge of delivering peak performance at work and at home."

-Michael H. Thaman, Chairman and CEO, Owens Corning

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