SHIFTSHAPER TREK (aka hero’s journey)


Why personal development is like a heroine’s journey?

In our search for the right leitmotiv, we ultimately got hooked on the concept of the Hero’s Journey. The famous concept by Joseph Campbell has been the template for so many myths, sagas, and Hollywood blockbusters. It represents the guiding principle for a transformation story involving a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed.

But since words make attitudes, we had to rework the terminology: First of all, we are convinced that not only heroes should tell their stories, but also heroines. And second, transformation is more than courage, strength and noble character traits. In an age of complexity the paradigm of the leader as the lonesome “hero” is outdated. That’s why we prefer to call them Shiftshapers – or persons (f/m/d) who do not change things by fighting the existing reality but by building new models that make the existing models obsolete.

Moreover, the term “journey” seemed a little worn out, too. And it is pointing in the wrong direction: a journey has become something that you do for pleasure, something that should be nice, comfortable and convenient. However, true transformation is not a cruise. We need to be willing to get down to the nitty-gritty, also facing up to the unpleasant questions. It is a trip that can be arduous sometimes, that involves difficulties or tough decision making. That is why we think trek is the better expression.


The SHIFTSHAPER TREK therefore represents a personal transformation story. And our brains like stories of change. Unexpected change makes us curious. Whether it is good or bad, we want to know the outcome. This anticipation is a powerful trigger that we can make use of. The quest is “Finding out who we are” by stepping out into the wilderness and questioning ourselves. Every Shiftshaper will have to go on the same trek: from the ordinary world, seeking adventures, changing, learning and building new attitudes, before coming back home transformed. Happy to welcome you aboard 🙂

Open the DAYDACTICS guidebook to discover more principles of learning design and leadership development. 

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