Noah Blumenthal Be the Hero – Interview

March 17, 2010
Be the hero

Noah Blumenthal

Noah Blumenthal is an international bestselling author, as well as an accomplished coach and speaker. His message, “Be the Hero” Three Powerful Ways to Overcome Challenges in Work and Life, could not have been more perfectly timed for what many of us have gone through in the past several years (or, for some, even longer). Noah is the Founder and President of Leading Principles, Inc., an executive coaching and consulting company that helps people see the best in themselves and become more confident, energized, and effective in their work. Noah started his coaching career as a founding member of UBS Financial Services’ internal consulting group for team development and leadership coaching. He consulted with over one thousand line, management, and executive teams and coached hundreds of team leaders on how to change their behaviors. In 2003, he followed his dream of building exceptional leadership skills with an even broader audience and left UBS to start Leading Principles.Noah is a seasoned speaker and trainer, delivering keynotes and workshops on executive coaching, individual development, and team building. He has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University, The New School, Baruch College, Fordham University, the American Society of Training and Development, and the International Coaching Federation.

Gary B. Cohen: What was the question you were trying to answer with this book?

Noah Blumenthal: I was trying to answer the question, “How?” We spend most of our time on, “What?” What does great performance look like? Great leadership or sales? Great parenting? But none of this knowledge matters if we don’t know how to master ourselves – how to bring out our own best thinking, decision-making, energy, emotions, and performance.

Be the hero
What is your one wish for readers to gain from “Be the Hero?”

I hope they learn to feel, think and act their best – what I call the attributes of the hero – no matter what challenge they are facing.

When you say ‘Hero’ one can imagine someone who sweeps in and rescues people, often with a touch of arrogance about it. How is your definition of hero different?

I’m not trying to evoke the superhero. Rather, my definition of hero is the person who stands opposite the victim. Instead of letting people and circumstance bring him or her down, the hero is someone who knows how to stand up and be at their best even when others may be struggling around them.

Where does courage and truth telling intersect with heroic action?

This is really about believing in options. Too often we fall into victim mode and tell ourselves that there is nothing we can do. This happens frequently when we are afraid to speak truth to power. Speaking up isn’t always the best course of action, but too often we mistakenly place it into the “Can’t” bucket, when in reality we are really saying that we won’t. Won’t and Can’t are very different. Just by recognizing that you can tell someone that you disagree or call them on a behavior or say no, you have moved out of hopelessness. Instead of telling yourself there is nothing you can do you are now faced with a decision – will I? won’t I? Either way you have chosen a path instead of feeling helplessly forced into it. That is a great first step. If you continue to make this a choice then over time you will find more and more courage to tell the truth.

What type of lasting impact on your readers and the participants in your workshops do you believe you have had?

I think I’m one of the luckiest people alive to do what I do, in large part because of the inspiring stories I hear in thank you letters from my readers and participants. I’ve heard from people in organizations who have told me the hero mindset has helped them deal with budget cuts and layoffs and turn around entrenched conflicts in their organizations. School teachers and principals have told me how this is changing the way they work and teach. Then there are the incredible life stories of people who have used the hero concept in battles with cancer and even to overcome the fear of flying.

What steps would you take to build the hero’s mindset in an organization or larger community? (Click to Continue 3/14/10)

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