Why the Heroic Journey?

Because the teenage years are—by definition—a heroic journey, so this is your story. It really is.

What to Expect & What to Do. This site is intended to give you a sense of the “Big Picture” of the journey of being a teenager – the three really big challenges, what to expect on the journey and what to do about it.

Have Conversations. You can get a lot individually from the site, but it is really designed to support conversations—with peers, in groups, with adults (yes, even parents).

Relax. The text is less than 50 pages long and it’s pretty easy to navigate. Just go where you want and poke around.

Resources and More Info. There will be lots of resources added that will allow you to access the wisdom of many others. Those resources will be tools you can use to focus more on any aspect of the journey.

It’s a Draft. This site is a first draft, so please comment, send resources and examples of how you’ve seen the heroic journey play out for you or others, ask questions, etc. This is a work in progress.

– Gordon Barnhart

About Gordon Barnhart

Gordon Barnhart is the CEO of The Center for Heroic Leadership and the author of Leading the Heroic Journey: The Wisdom of Cultures Throughout Time (online at heroicleaders.com). He is also the senior partner for physician leadership at the O’Brien Group, an executive coaching firm.

Gordon has consulted across industries on leading change for thirty years. He has worked with communities such as the Mohawk Nation, community organizations such as the Urban League and corporations such as P&G and GE Aircraft Engines, Microsoft and many smaller firms. Changes have ranged from re-engineering and establishing new businesses to changes in leadership style and executive coaching. He has a particular interest in leadership development for adults and teenagers.

Gordon has also worked with teenagers in NYC at the Fortune Society (working with juvenile offenders) and The Door—A Center of Alternatives, which saw up to 300 teenagers a night. He was dean of boys at Sandy Spring Friends School while in grad school and has consulted with several school systems as well as being a school board president.

While writing the book on corporate change Gordon realized that adolescence was—by definition—a heroic journey. The website currently holds the first rough draft of the book and is intended to be a test run in order to get feedback on how to best develop the site – not quite an open systems approach, but looking for wisdom and insight.

Gordon has a BA from Duke University and an MA from Antioch University in clinical and developmental psychology. He has written numerous articles and the online book on leading change noted above.