As a child, my idea of a hero was strongly influenced by legendary figures from Greek or Norse mythology — individuals imbued with exceptional strength and the courage and guile to take on fierce beasts and evil tyrants.
Over time, this model of hero evolved to include military figures and war heroes.
At its most basic level, the hero’s narrative arc is well established — an individual is confronted by a choice of choosing between the easy option or taking on personal risk to help others — but implicit in this definition is the concept of independence, self-reliance and individualism.
The hero is at their most heroic when isolated, alone and facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
This concept has many contemporary equivalents — whether it is the “Great Man” theory of history or the Hero Founder narrative of modern business — great change is driven by visionary individuals.
THE UBUNTU PHILOSOPHY
As a South African brand, Nando’s leadership philosophy and culture have been strongly influenced by its origins — by a South African emerging from apartheid.
While this African heritage is felt across the business, it is unsurprisingly most tangible in South Africa. Having had the privilege of travelling to South Africa, one aspect of this heritage has personally resonated with me.
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