Category Archives: Our latest books on HEROIC LEADERS

Heroic Humility: What the Science of Humility Can Say to People Raised on Self-Focus

heroichumiltycoverTo become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.

        —Charles de Montesquieu

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

        —Philippians 2:3–4

 

Heroic Humility is a book focusing on a type of excellence or virtue that we think is crucial for the 21st century. It is critical because in Western culture, we have been immersed in individualism and orientation toward the self.

Congress seems locked in mortal combat. Relationships seem all about two individuals wanting their way and divorces and break-ups of cohabitation relationships, when added together, are epidemic—far exceeding the divorce rate that rose steadily until unmarried cohabitation replaced many marriages. We have religious intolerance, disgruntlement with police and renewed (and sometimes new) racial and ethnic tensions, and civil unrest over gay marriage. Youth want life to matter—to help the needy—but they want to help only when and how is convenient.

This book is about humility, a commonly recognized virtue. We believe that understanding and building more humility will move individuals and society toward some relief from the tensions that beset our culture. Humility demands that we see ourselves accurately, present ourselves modestly, and orient ourselves toward helping others. news_everettHumility serves as a corrective to self-focus and in-group orientation.

But humility is not easy in an individualistic culture. It requires courage and moments of extraordinary heroism superimposed over a life of heroism. And to help others, it requires leadership. We thus combine humility, heroism, and leadership in this scholarly book.

Humble heroic leaders are the noble champions of society that most people are inspired by and aspire to be. They are not weak but strong, and can employ their assorted virtues to successfully achieve the goals of the group and the people within the group. They are virtuous and have worked hard to build up their own positive qualities, glimpsing the goal   Scott19to which they personally aspire, practicing virtue until it has become a habit of the heart, meeting tests, trials, temptations, and suffering while maintaining integrity, and experiencing a deep satisfaction (even if they are not temporally happy) from doing the right things.

Heroic Humility is authored by Everett L. Worthington, Jr., and Scott T. Allison. It will be published by the American Psychological Association, and it is scheduled to appear in April of 2017.

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Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership

SpiritualLeadershipCover“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

— Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

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Lincoln’s iconic phrase, “the better angels of our nature,” revealed his belief that the noblest qualities of humanity would heal a divided nation. Our book, Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership, is about the expression of these noble qualities and how leaders such as Lincoln make that expression possible.

To many, spirituality and leadership appear to be unrelated phenomena. We suggest that they are twin processes. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines spirit as “the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power.” Leadership is said to be the force within a group that is said to give it life, energy, and power. Combining the two terms, we can say that spiritual leadership refers to the process by which a person or persons within a group give it life-affirming aims and provide members with the energy and power to fulfill those aims. Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership contains chapters written by leading scholars at the University of Richmond. The book is multidisciplinary in its focus and combines historical explorations of spiritual leadership with an examination of contemporary issues.

The three editors of this volume represent a nice blend of expertise on leadership and spirituality. Scott Allison and George Goethals are social psychologists who have co-authored numerous articles and books on heroes, SpirLdrshpPic3heroic leadership, and related questions. Craig Kocher is the University of Richmond’s Chaplain, the Jessie Ball duPont Chair of the Chaplaincy, and a lecturer in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies. Dr. Kocher is the spiritual leader of the university and has published numerous essays, sermons, and columns on a wide range of spiritual topics.

Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership will appeal to audiences interested in both leadership and spirituality. Leadership scholars have only recently begun to address spiritual issues, making this volume timely in filling a void in the literature. This book can be adopted in undergraduate and graduate courses on leadership, servant leadership, transformational leadership, heroic leadership, spiritual leadership, ethics, values, morality, religion, philosophy, existential psychology, positive psychology, and human growth.

The book is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Here’s what they’re saying about Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership:

“Allison, Kocher, and Goethals have succeeded in gathering an all-star team of scholars representing diverse disciplinary perspectives to bring focus to spiritual leadership and its noble, life-giving qualities. Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership is an inspired volume that forges new ground and offers much-needed hope and direction at a critically important time.”

—Bryan Dik Associate Professor of Psychology, Colorado State University Co-Editor of Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace and Psychology of Religion and Workplace Spirituality

“Allison, Kocher, and Goethals’ Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership is an original and truly interdisciplinary study of spiritual leadership and its impact on the lives of individuals and communities.”

—Michael Harvey Professor of Business ManagementWashington College Co-Editor of Leadership Studies: The Dialogue of Disciplines

“Leaders are models and mentors, instilling in others the motivation to transcend their current states in order to take actions that would not otherwise occur. Such transcendence is the essence of spirituality and, as such, the understanding of leadership and spirituality are synergistic intellectual pursuits. However, no prior book has integrated these fundamental facets of human life. Creatively bringing together scholars from multiple disciplines, Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership: Discovering the Better Angels of Our Nature provides rich, unique, and singularly important discussions of the history, and contemporary significance, of transcendent leadership for enhancing personal thriving and social well-being.”

—Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development Tufts University

Reel Heroes & Villains

ReelHVfrontcoverWhat makes a good movie hero? Which kinds of villains are the best — or the worst?

In Reel Heroes & Villains, Scott Allison and Greg Smith present a new way of understanding movie heroes and villains. This book is already an Amazon Number One Best Seller. Inside this book you’ll find:amazon-bestseller

  • A new innovative model of heroes & villains in the movies
  • The key to good characters in the movies: Transformation
  • The Eight Great Arcs of transformations in heroes and villains
  • How heroes and villains transform morally, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically
  • How the hero’s journey differs from the villain’s journey
  • 52 reviews of movie heroes and villains in 2014

Reel Heroes & Villains is scheduled for release on August 15, 2015.

Here’s what people are saying about Reel Heroes & Villains:

“Allison and Smith have deftly crafted THE premier text of heroes and villains in contemporary cinema. A shiny portrait that brilliantly dissects the hero-villain dichotomy through a dense mixture of passion, knowledge, and humor to offer profound insights into the hero-villain relationship.”

Jason Roy, The Hero Construction Company

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“A daring model of heroism and villainy. Allison and Smith’s analysis forever changes the way we view movie characters.”

Dr. Robert Giacalone, Professor of Business Ethics, University of Denver

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“A must-read for all fans of heroes and villains in the movies.”

Dr. James Beggan, Professor of Sociology, University of Louisville

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“Those mad geniuses, Allison and Smith, are back. Here are the secrets of the villains you love to hate, by the writers you love to read. Cinema’s worst villains are no match for Allison and Smith.”

Rick Hutchins, Author of The RH Factor

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“A dive into the minds of those you love to hate. Allison and Smith examine the shadowy reflection of heroism.”

Jesse Schultz, Author of Alfheim

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“A revolutionary way of understanding heroes and villains in the movies. This book is Allison and Smith’s tour de force.”

Dr. James Beggan, University of Louisville

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Conceptions of Leadership: Enduring Ideas and Emerging Insights

Conceptions of Leadership gathers together the latest work by distinguished leadership scholars in social psychology and related disciplines to explore classic conceptions of leadership.

The book reviews topics such as interpersonal influence, charisma, personality, and power, as well as recent perspectives on those enduring concerns. It includes contemporary departures from traditional approaches to leadership in considering gender, trust, narratives, and the complex relationships between leaders and followers. Together the chapters provide a wide-ranging and coherent account of how human beings get along and the ways they engage and work together to accomplish their goals.

Conceptions of Leadership is edited by George Goethals, Scott Allison, Rod Kramer, and David Messick. Here is an excerpt, taken from David Messick’s opening chapter:

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“In the spring of 1999, two of this book’s editors, Kramer and I, met for lunch at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago. Kramer was on the faculty of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and I was on the faculty of the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. One of the topics that we talked about during lunch was the shift in emphasis in both business schools away from cooperation, trust, communication, coordination, and the like, to the related but distinct topic of leadership. Kramer and I were social psychologists and knew that the topic of leadership had been an important theme in some of the earliest research on group processes. However, as social psychology experienced an infatuation with the “cognitive” revolution in psychology, the topic of leadership shrank into obscurity. By the turn of the millennium, though, there were some new ways of thinking about leadership that had not been introduced to the business school environment. Why not, we thought, have a conference and invite some of social psychology’s most creative innovators to a conference to discuss these new approaches to leadership and then publish a book based on the talks? The conference was held in August of 2000 at the Kellogg School of Management, and the book based on this conference, The Psychology of Leadership, was published in 2005. Two of the creative innovators who were invited to the conference and who wrote chapters for the book are the other two editors of the current book, Allison and Goethals.

“Now, a decade, more or less, later, and there has been a virtual tsunami of books and articles about leadership. When the issue of updating the earlier book was first raised, Kramer and I wondered what the point of a revision would be. We then became aware of the creative work by Allison and Goethals and realized that there was indeed a body of research that had not been described in their earlier book. So Kramer and I discussed the idea of a revision with Allison and Goethals, and we all agreed that such a project was worth exploring. After much discussion and the exchange of scads of ideas, the current book was agreed upon by all of us, who, we should note, are all associated with the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I was a faculty member, Allison and Kramer were graduate students, and Goethals was a visiting scholar.

“The familiarity of us four editors with each other is a blessing but also a shortcoming. We are all male, white, North American university professors. These facts surely limit our views of what constitutes good leader- ship and who qualifies to be thought of as a leader. Famous people from around the world, people like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, are all well known and admired. But there are many others who would be unrecognized by most Americans. Take, for instance, Lee Kuan Yew (familiarly known in Asia as LKY). LKY was the first prime minister of Singapore and one of the most famous and admired political leaders in Asia. When one of us (DM) taught in Hong Kong to a broad mix of Asian executives, LKY was one of the most popular figures executives wrote about to illustrate excellence in leadership. Consider also Molly Melching, about whom a book has appeared (Molloy, 2013). She is a volunteer in a not-for-profit organization in Senegal who spends time in rural villages where the practice of female genital cutting is a well-established cultural tradition. She has begun the process of gradually eliminating this barbaric practice from hundreds of villages in Senegal but remains relatively obscure in the United States. Finally, think of Simon Bolivar. His name is recognized by a fraction of US scholars, but he is famous throughout Latin America for having led the South American people in a rebellion against Spanish domination. Indeed he has one nation named after him (Bolivia) and is widely known as el Libertador throughout Central and South America. He is to Latin America what George Washington is to the United States.

“Inescapably then, we editors are constrained by our backgrounds in our selection of “core” issues about leadership, and we are constrained in ways that will often be invisible to us. For instance, we are all social psychologists and have read much of the same literature on leadership. But that literature is different from that which a political scientist or a journalist or a military historian will have read. Their books on core concepts would be different from ours—not better, necessarily, nor worse, just different. The way we define leadership is likely to differ from the way people whose backgrounds and experiences are different from ours define leadership. This fact is true about professional experiences and it is equally true about political and social differences. Most citizens of the United States, for instance, would not consider Fidel Castro to be a hero and a leader, but most Cubans would. Most North Koreans think their leaders have almost godlike qualities and most Americans think these leaders are monomaniacal lunatics. What is implied by these differences is that leadership, like beauty, may be in the eye of the beholder. If history is written by winners, one will either be viewed as a hero or a terrorist depending on who wins….”

Conceptions of Leadership is available in both hardcover and paperback.

Presidential Leadership and African Americans

In this book, George Goethals  traces the leadership affecting African Americans of eight US Presidents, from George Washington through Lyndon B. Johnson.  In addition to chapters on each of these men, the volume includes an Introduction and a concluding chapter that considers progress during the past 50 years.  The overall arc of the story begins with slavery and ends with the election of an African American president.

The lives and leadership of individual presidents is considered within two important contexts.  The first is the evolution of the United States, starting as a collection of thirteen separate colonies joining together in 1775 to fight a war against England, and eventually becoming the world’s leading economic and military power.  A second is the evolution of the role and status of African Americans in the United States from slavery to emancipation, through Reconstruction and Jim Crow, to civil rights and voting rights, through affirmative action and to the White House.

But the focus is on the evolving psychology that underlies the attitudes and actions of men who served as US president throughout America’s history of constitutional government.  How did their backgrounds as well as the challenges they faced as presidents shape their values, attitudes, moral development, judgment and, ultimately, their decisions?  We see that historic, economic, and cultural evolutions affect both the lives of African Americans and the nature of presidential leadership.  We see that specific events and politics combine in influencing each president’s attitudes and actions toward blacks.  And we see that the contributions and actions of African Americans alter economic, military, and cultural developments, and, ultimately, presidential leadership.

The life histories and the administrations of the eight presidents we consider both shape and are shaped by Americans of African descent.  While the story highlights the leadership of these chief executives, it also emphasizes the agency of African Americans, some well- known, some never to be known.  These include figures such as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, A. Philip Randolph, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  They also include unnamed escaping slaves and as well as fighters in America’s battles from Bunker Hill in 1775 to the present day in the Middle East.

In appraising the personalities, policies, and initiatives of these selected American presidents, the book situates their lives and administrations within the political and cultural context of their times.  The actions of all of them, and the credit or blame we attribute to them, have to be understood within these parameters.  In each case, the historical and situational forces that shape their values, priorities, and ultimately, their actions are highly relevant.  In evaluating their leadership we often overlook these contextual influences.  One goal of this book is to weigh them more fairly.

Presidential Leadership and African Americans is published by Routledge and is now available for purchase.

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Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership

HeroismHandbookCoversThe Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership represents the first effort to gather scholarship on heroism into one definitive reference volume.

The Handbook showcases scholarly contributions from distinguished social scientists on the topics of leadership, morality, resilience, courage, empathy, meaning, purpose, altruism, hope, human growth, cooperation, spirituality, health, transformation, and character strengths. The volume provides a much-needed consolidation and synthesis for scholars of heroism and heroic leadership.

The Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership features three conceptually distinct sections that reflect the current state of theory and research on heroism and heroic leadership. These sections are Origins of Heroism, Types of Heroism, and Processes of Heroism. The Origins of Heroism section focuses on the formation, causes, and antecedents of heroic action. Types of Heroism addresses phenomena associated with different categories of heroism and how these hero types affect individuals and society. Processes of Heroism examines the functions, processes, and consequences of heroism.

This volume offers insights and inspiration about the pinnacle of human behavior and how leaders can make use of these insights to help their followers reach their fullest potential. The Handbook provides a compelling foundation for the development of a multidisciplinary perspective on the antecedents and consequences of heroic behavior. The Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership shines a scholarly light on all the gifted and enlightened leaders whose behavior has embodied the most exquisite qualities of humanity.

The Handbook will be published by Routledge and is scheduled for release in November of 2016.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Philip Zimbardo

Introduction

Setting the Scene: The Rise and Coalescence of Heroism Science

Scott T. Allison, George R. Goethals, and Roderick M. Kramer

Part I

Origins of Heroism

  1. Attributes and Applications of Heroes: A Brief History of Lay and Academic Perspectives

Elaine L. Kinsella, Timothy D. Ritchie, and Eric R. Igou

  1. Why Heroism Exists: Evolutionary Perspectives on Extreme Helping

Sara Kafashan, Adam Sparks, Amanda Rotella, and Pat Barclay

  1. Adaptive Foundations of Heroism: Social Heuristics Push Advantageous Everyday Ethical Behaviors to Heroic Extremes

Gordon T. Kraft-Todd and David G. Rand

  1. The Evolution and Neurobiology of Heroism

Stephanie D. Preston

  1. Character Development and the Emergence of Heroic Leadership: Towards a Relational Developmental Systems-Based Model

Kristina Schmid Callina, Richard M. Lerner, Ettya Fremont, Brian Burkhard, Danielle Stacey, and Shaobing Su

  1. The Moral Character of Heroes

Lawrence J. Walker

  1. Why and How Groups Create Moral Heroes

Ari Decter-Frain, Ruth Vanstone, and Jeremy A. Frimer

  1. The Hero Organism: Advancing the Embodiment of Heroism Thesis in the 21st Century

Olivia Efthimiou

Part II

Types of Heroism

  1. Everyday Heroes: Determinants of Moral Courage

Anna Halmburger, Anna Baumert, and Manfred Schmitt

  1. Heroism in Times of Crisis: Understanding Leadership During Extreme Events

Zeno E. Franco

  1. Holocaust Heroes: Heroic Altruism of non-Jewish Moral Exemplars in Nazi Europe

Stephanie Fagin-Jones

  1. Heroism and Wisdom in Medicine

Margaret Plews-Ogan, Justine E. Owens, Natalie May, and Monika Ardelt

  1. Deviant Heroes and Social Heroism in Everyday Life: Activists and Artists

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Michael Condren, and Izabela Lebuda

  1. To Become or Not to Become? Existential Courage and the Pursuit of Desired Identities

Roderick M. Kramer

  1. Heroism in the Networked Society

Dana Klisanin

  1. A Training Program in Spiritually-Oriented Leadership: Inner Growth for Outer Change

Elsa Lau, Sarah B. Sherman, and Lisa Miller

  1. Career Development and a Sense of Calling: Contexts for Heroism

Bryan J. Dik, Adelyn B. Shimizu, and William O’Connor

  1. Underdogs as Heroes

Joseph A. Vandello, Nadav Goldschmied, and Kenneth Michniewicz

  1. Whistleblowers as Heroes: Fostering ‘Quiet’ Heroism in Place of the Heroic Whistleblower Stereotype
    A J Brown

Part III

Processes of Heroism

  1. The Hero’s Transformation

Scott T. Allison and George R. Goethals

  1. Moral Transformation: The Paths to Heroism, Villainy and Victimhood

Amelia Goranson and Kurt Gray

  1. The Impact of Heroism on Heroes and Observers: Stories of Elevation and Personal Change

Jeanne Nakamura and Laura Graham

  1. Accidental and Purposeful Impediments to Heroism

Craig D. Parks

  1. Heroic Empathy: The Heart of Leadership

Ronald H. Humphrey and Laural L. Adams

  1. Heroic Leaders and Despotic Tyrants: How Power and Status Shape Leadership

Anika Stuppy and Nicole L. Mead

  1. The Intersection of Purpose and Heroism: A Study of Exemplars

Kendall Cotton Bronk and Brian R. Riches

  1. Heroism and the Pursuit of Meaning

Jeffrey D. Green, Daryl R. Van Tongeren, Athena H. Cairo, and Nao Hagiwara

  1. Psychopathy and Heroism: Unresolved Questions and Future Directions

Brett A. Murphy, Scott O. Lilienfeld, and Ashley L. Watts

  1. The Courage of One’s Moral Convictions: Exploring the Two Sides of Heroism

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman and Prerana Bharadwaj

 

Here’s what they’re saying about the Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership:

“Editors Scott Allison, George Goethals and Roderick Kramer have assembled an outstanding team of contributors whose expertise ranges from neurobiology and evolutionary psychology to developmental approaches as well as spirituality, leadership, and career development. In addition to the variety of topics and approaches featured in this volume, readers will appreciate the uniform clarity of the presentations and their engaging style of academic storytelling.”

  • Phil Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, and Founder of the Heroic Imagination Project

“The study of heroes and exemplars is generating increasing excitement throughout the social sciences at the present time, and for good reason. We live in a time of diminished expectations for moral leadership and true heroism. This innovative Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership draws on the best available science to help us understand the conditions that foster heroic leadership, and how it works across a variety of social contexts. The volume is an essential contribution to the study of human lives in all their full potential.”

  • William Damon, Professor and Director, Stanford Center on Adolescence, author of The Path to Purpose

“Studying heroism is challenging for scientists, yet Allison, Goethals, and Kramer have assembled 30 chapters by knowledgeable authors who explore varied aspects of heroism. The result is a thoroughly impressive volume that surely is the key resource in this developing area of science. Professors could organize an outstanding course or seminar on heroism around these excellent chapters.”

  • Alice Eagly, Professor of Psychology and James Padilla Chair of Arts & Sciences at Northwestern University

“Allison, Goethals, and Kramer’s Handbook marks the emergence of the study of heroes and heroism as a central concern of the social sciences. A handbook in the truest sense, the book’s well-organized and executed chapters—written by leading experts in the field—combine to form a foundation for the study of heroic leadership; they summarize current scholarly thinking, build thematic connections between subareas, suggest novel interpretations and insights, and identify future directions for theory, research, development, and application. This book is a goldmine of information essential for anyone seeking to better understand the ethical, psychology, interpersonal, and spiritual bases of heroism.”

  • Donelson R. Forsyth, Colonel Leo K. and Gayless Thorsness Endowed Chair in Ethical Leadership at the University of Richmond

“This handbook is a comprehensive, informative, and exciting contribution to the literature on heroism and heroic leadership. Material on heroism tends to be scattered in many different places, and it is wonderful to have it at last in one place, in readable and engaging prose. I recommend the handbook most highly.”

  • Robert J. Sternberg, Professor of Human Development, Cornell University