Hank O’Donnell on Hero Syndrome

Hank O’Donnell is a Philadelphia-based Business Coach. I met Hank O’Donnell several years ago when I attended a Vistage Coach Training Seminar in Leesburg Virginia and Hank led several of the sessions. I was a relatively new Vistage Coach at that time and O’Donnell as a veteran coach was working with a group of coaches to help us hone our craft. This was back when Vistage still invested heavily in Coach Training (see Why I Quit Vistage). Since then I’ve moved on as has Hank O’Donnell but I still learn from him via his emails and video blogs.

Here’s a great example of one of his videos. Watch and learn as Hank drops leadership knowledge.

Quoting from Hank:

I’ve discovered a major flaw in many leaders — myself included. I call it The Hero Complex, and it creates what Dr. Stephen Karpman calls The Drama Triangle.

I love to rescue people! It made me feel good to solve my team’s problems, but after a while, it became exhausting. I’d become the “victim” myself, and they became the “persecutors.”

I’d find myself saying, “Why don’t they take responsibility and first try to tackle problems on their own? Why do they always come to me?” What I didn’t realize was that I had trained them to do that!I escaped the Drama Triangle by embracing the Empowerment Triangle, which encourages leaders to be coaches — not heroes. Coaches help people solve their own problems. By empowering my team to develop those problem solving skills, it took a lot of excess responsibility off of me.

Ask yourself: are you a rescuer? What do you do to enable “victims”? What’s one new behavior that will help break the cycle?

Hank O’Donnell

If you don’t see the video, you can link to it here.

If you are in need of leadership coaching and you are in the Philadelphia area, or hell if you’re in DC and you hate me, you can contact Hank O’Donnell  via this link.

Or if you’d like to discuss your leadership style and challenges, and you don’t hate me, you can sign up for a complimentary, no-obligation, online coaching session by pressing that little red button down there.