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Scott T. Allison and Olivia Efthimiou

Throughout the animal kingdom, sexual behaviors are conducted in the service of reproductive goals that will enhance the survival of the species. In modern developed nations, the urgency of the reproductive goal has been minimized. Our entertainment industry provides a vicarious experience of reproductive urgency in the television series The Walking Dead. This chapter focuses on the heroic self-sacrifice of bringing children into the post-apocalyptic world of lawlessness, hunger, and brutality. The decision to reproduce illustrates heroism and heroic leadership at two different levels of analysis. First, the choice to have children in the post-apocalyptic world reflects heroic self-sacrifice on the part of the individual decision maker. A woman who chooses to have a child in a world with no formal healthcare system risks her own physical wellbeing. Second, the choice to repopulate the broken world of The Walking Dead also reflects a systemwide societal drive toward regeneration and restoration. The decision to reproduce thus reflects the heroic embodiment of human society as an organism intent on surviving and even flourishing.

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Dawn Bennett, Olivia Efthimiou and Scott T. Allison

This chapter explores the role of heroic creativity and heroic leadership in creative work. It does this by applying heroism theory to creative workers’ qualitative accounts of their careers. Responses to a creative industries survey implemented in Australia were analysed for the presence of the functions and themes of heroic leadership. The findings suggest that heroic creativity and leadership feature strongly in the careers of creative workers. This may be beneficial for equipping creative workers – and potentially other graduates and job seekers – with the resources to better negotiate the precarious twenty-first-century labour market. The development of a heroic leadership profile may be an important attribute for optimizing well-being, satisfaction, and career coping strategies. Future research might develop specific measures for identifying the presence of heroic leadership qualities in creative careers.