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Leadership as Meaning-Making – The Hero’s Journey

Leadership as Meaning Making   The Hero’s JourneyLeadership as Meaning-Making is the title of an article I wrote a decade ago, that Emerald posted on It seems to get a lot of hits.

Who doesn’t want their life and work to be meaningful? Many people consider meaning-making to be ultimately more important than money-making, provided we have enough to keep a roof over our heads. But how do we get that degree of satisfaction in a world pre-occupied with celebrity, entertainment and indulgence?

Expanding on the original material, I am currently completing  a book with the same title. Clearly, I think that the concept is one of great importance, at a time when many people feel that work is largely meaningless and unsatisfying. No wonder Human Resources people are concerned about how to engage people! How can we change the situation? What would make work more fulfilling? Where does meaning come from? How do we find our Sense of Purpose in our increasingly fragmented and monetarised world?

The book

In the book (to be published in the spring), I suggest that this is the role of leadership. Isn’t leadership that which gives purpose and direction to what we do? In other words, does it not give us a primary source of meaning and significance? What is more, isn’t leadership something to which we all contribute? To discover our own leadership and our own meaning, is a journey. This is the journey of the archetypical hero of fairy tales and blockbuster movies – the hero’s journey. As we awaken to our opportunity and our quest, we discover meaning and shine a light for all around us.

This topic sums up my own life journey and I hope you will want to learn more on the theme “Leadership as Meaning Making”, which can change your life.

Find out more

Although it is easier these days to attend webinars, we can learn more deeply in a residential setting.

Please email me, with your preferences.

Yes, I am interested in learning about Leadership as Meaning-Making

  • I prefer a series of webinars
  • A quarterly series of 24-hour residentials would suit me
  • I prefer a single longer residential
  • I’ll buy the book
  • I want to bring this into my organisation – please get in touch

John Varney

Centre for Management Creativity

Tel. +44 (01)729-830322

This entry was posted in Articles and Thought Leadership.

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