Share these talks and lectures with your colleaguesInvite colleagues
The Hero Trap: how great brands win by putting people in charge
Published on October 29, 2020 27 min
Other Talks in the Series: The Purpose Economy
Extended-form Case Study
Responsible business: impact as a force for change
- Ms. Savitri Groag
- Refugee Talent Hub, The Netherlands
My name is Thomas Kolster, and I'm the author of two books, The Hero Trap and Goodvertising. I'm also the Director of the Goodvertising Agency. I'm here to talk about my latest book, The Hero Trap, which really takes a new perspective on leadership, but also what it takes to create change at scale.
Immediately, with my first book, Goodvertising, I was a staunch believer in purpose and also trying to understand the business case behind purpose. In the book, I lay out the foundation and the belief that if you do something good for people and planet, it also is good for brand and business. But I've had to revise my own beliefs and I had to go up against the idea about purpose. Because I think today the approach is wrong.
Because if you really truly think about it in today's market place, it does seem like every brand out there is pitching themselves as the world saviors. That doesn't look good saying, we're fighting ocean plastics, we're doing this for water issues, we're coping climate emissions. Sorry for the analogy, but it does look a little bit like this. Think about it, if you kicked open the door to a bar and you said, "I'm the world's best lover." probably at some point in time, somebody is going to figure out you're not, and the same is absolutely true with when you pitch yourself as that world saving hero, whether you are a brand or a leader, somebody at some point is going to call you out. From my first book that came out in 2012 till today, the marketplace has really dramatically changed. Because if you go down into the supermarket today, it really does seem like every brand is pitching itself as either a Mother Teresa or a Gandhi. How do you then create a believable, authentic positioning? How do you, as a leader, tell a believable story about yourself?