Does the world really need another hero? I think we need more leaders. I took my daughter to see Snow White and the Huntsman this weekend and it rocked. As I often try to do, I spent some time in quiet sweat-through-gardening reflection about this movie. I kept coming back to what makes a leader?
I’m back from my week-long blog-cation. Did you miss me? Blogging 3times a week is hard. I didn’t realize how hard or draining it was until I threw my hands up in defeat last Sunday and said, “I’m taking a week off.” Sometimes you just need a break to recharge. It’s the first real blog-cation I’ve taken in a year and a half – it felt really good. Thanks for waiting on me – I really appreciate it.
Bonnie Tyler in her song Holding Out For A Hero asks where have all the good men gone? She talks about the various things she needs from a hero: he has to be strong, fast, fresh from the fight, sure, soon, and larger than life. Sounds like somebody with an ego the size of New York – but then, that’s what a hero needs.
Heroes come and go. They swoop in and rescue the world, save the girl, and then they’re gone again oblivious to the aftermath their interference causes. A leader is there in the thick of it, and helps you rebuild afterwards. What I loved about Snow White was the lack of heroes, this movie was full of leaders. Here’s a peek at the trailer if you’ve somehow managed to not see it.
Iron sharpens iron. Leaders are forged in the fires of adversity. In Snow White, there has been almost twenty years of fighting. People often have one of two reactions to hardship: they bow to the pressure or they’re strengthened by it. Do you know anyone who’s come through a truly trying time and is better for it? They’ve met the challenge and grown through it? Know anyone who faced difficult circumstances and chose to drink their way through it, maybe they ran from it, or just stuck their head in the sand?
Perhaps this difference is what separates leaders from followers. I’m not sure. I think those born leaders who choose to let hardship defeat them are the ones who live in self-loathing, and that bitterness seeps out into everything else they touch.
“You have eyes, Huntsman, but you do not see…Where she leads, I will follow.”
Leaders take chances. They are willing to try the things that no one is. A leader is someone who sees the path ahead and chooses to walk it for themselves, turns around and finds others following them. Leaders can inspire others to take up a cause, remain steadfast, or provoke them to act. True leaders step up and do what needs to be done and don’t do it for the accolades or reward.
In Snow White we have the Huntsman – a tortured full of self-loathing leader and William, a boy-turned-man who regularly defies his father but is the voice that calls people to action. And then we have Snow White. She’s humble, mature, and a woman of few words. She takes the path few dare to tread, and looks behind her to find others are following. There’s nothing of a reluctant hero about her. She knows what she has to do, and is willing to take chances and depend on others to help her do it. Is that the mark of a leader?
I won’t give anything away, but the end of the movie struck a chord with me. Here’s the thing: true leaders, leaders who lead in a big way – they belong to those who follow them, not necessarily those who love them. I would hate to have a king for a father (as cool as it would be to be a princess), because he would never be able to focus on his family – the duties and responsibilities of leading a people would always come first. I liked the ending, but you tell me – would you have liked it to end differently?
There’s so much I could write about this movie, so many layers that I’m dying to explore, but I’ll keep it short this time.
In your opinion, what makes a leader? Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower? Have you face adversity or a hardship and found yourself strengthened by it? I’d love to hear about it.
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