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.
James K. Beggan and Scott T. Allison
Partnered social dancing (such as swing, salsa, and waltz) represents a form of serious leisure that has a close connection to issues at the intersection of leadership and sexuality. Within the tradition of social dance, roles as lead or follow are assigned purely on the basis of biological sex, with men leading and women following. Conformity to these roles represents an at least tacit acceptance of gender stereotypes, with men perceived as agentic and decisive and women perceived as perceptive and accommodating. Despite the close contact inherent in social dancing, many dancers adhere to the belief that dancing, while intimate, does not possess a covert, let alone an overt, sexual component. In this analysis we explore the plausibility of this belief and examine its implications with regard to the romantic and social lives of dancers.
Power, Principles and Processes
Edited by James K. Beggan and Scott T. Allison
George R. Goethals and Scott T. Allison
James K. Beggan and Scott T. Allison
As an area of study, the intersection between leadership and sexuality has not been adequately addressed, despite the importance of sexual issues influencing leadership processes. To address this limitation, this chapter introduces three distinct ways in which to understand sexuality and leadership. One way is in terms of sexual leaders, i.e., individuals or organizations that put forward new ideas about how people should embrace their sexuality. The second way relates to how leaders, regardless of the industry or environment in which they lead, must think about the way that sexuality influences how they should govern. The third area, the sexuality of leaders, focuses on how the sexual desires that people have or the decisions they make may be influenced by their role as leaders.
Scott T. Allison, George R. Goethals and Smaragda P. Spyrou
This chapter explores what it means for a person to show maturity as a leader. We describe the defining characteristics of mature leadership and the developmental stages required to demonstrate it. After providing an overview of psychological, developmental, and spiritual definitions of human maturity, we propose two central defining characteristics of mature leadership. We argue that rites of passage provide essential fuel for growth and maturity in all human cultures. Drawing from theory and research in heroism science, we identify heroic transforming leadership as the pinnacle of mature leadership. We also explore the Jungian archetype of the puer aeternus, or “eternal boy,” referring to the immaturity that characterizes leaders who are stuck at early stages of social, psychological, and spiritual development. We show how Donald Trump’s behavior as a leader represents a striking instantiation of the puer aeternus, and we discuss implications for mature leadership.
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.