On my way to work one of the days this week, the radio played Bonnie Tyler and her "Holding out for a Hero". I am no fan of Tyler, but the lyrics of this song made me think...

In my youth I was an alpine skier with more passion than skills. In this phase of my life some of the skiers in the World Cup was my real heros. Alberto Tomba and Pirmin Zurbriggen to mention a few. I studied how they did their magic in the slopes, dreaming to do just like them. I didn't follow in their footsteps, but it showed me the importance of having heroes.

When I grew up, my alpine skiing was reduced to recreation and fun, and my focus shifted more to work and software development. Software development became my work, my hobby and my passion. Again heroes arised. This time some of my most experienced co-workers became my heroes. Some of them because of their technical skills, others because of their capacity to work around the clock or to keep calm in difficult situations. These heroes was the onces I looked up to and wanted to be like.

I need a hero.
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night.
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight.

Bonnie Tyler - "Holding out for a Hero"

Who my heroes are changes all the time, and I have different heroes for different things. One hero for work capacity, one hero for work/life balance, a set of heroes for technology skills, another hero for career etc. In the quote from Bonnie Tyler above I think she describe my heroes in a good way:

  • He's gotta be strong- My heroes needs to be strong in the field he/she is my hero
  • He's gonna be fast - Fast in the meaning effective and reliable
  • He's gonna be fresh from the fight - Old glory fade, I need my heroes to be on the mark and have recent achievement for me to keep them my heroes.

Why are heroes important to me? I learn from them. They make me strech to reach my goals. To do the little extra to be like them, or even better if possible. They set the marks of how I want to evolve.

Recommendation 1: If you don't have work releated heroes today, try to define them and see if they exist. It might give you valueable input to your own career.

Recommendation 2: If you know your heroes personally, let them know you look up to them and for what reason. Maybe it will make them proud, maybe you become their hero, or maybe at least you make them happy. That's worth a whole lot.

One thing is for sure: My only life long heroes are my parents!