We can all be heroes if we make the difficult decision
A view from Sue Unerman

We can all be heroes if we make the difficult decision

In a world where what you see is fairly often not what you get, integrity is increasing in value, as scarce resources throughout history have always done.

It's well documented that many of the institutions people trusted 20 years ago have lost some of that trust - take the Royal Family or politicians for instance.

But recent developments in the media have put even more institutions at question - and if we cannot even trust Blue Peter, then what can we trust? Last month witnessed an unprecedented apology over the phoneline scandals from TV stars Ant and Dec as they announced that proceeds from the next series of Saturday Night Takeaway would be donated to charity.

They said: "Our roles as executive producers are purely creative ones. We are not involved in running the phonelines, the logistics of the competitions or selecting winners. We are deeply upset about what the review uncovered. However, we welcome the full disclosure of these problems, not least because we can be sure that our viewers have the opportunity to get their money back."

They cannot be faulted for this statement, although Private Eye has had a field day with the definition of an executive producer.

Phoneline scandals aside, at some point you will face a crossroads in your career where you can make a choice about whether to do the right or the easy thing.

Faced with an extraordinary challenge at work, and at some point most of us will be, that is the moment when we can all be heroes.

Sarah Churchwell, senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia, has published a series of articles about the absolute enduring popularity of stories about supernatural heroes.

Certainly, the current series of Heroes on BBC2 has a huge and devoted following in our office. And whether we prefer Harry Potter or Lost, there is a desire for good to win out over evil that remains a deep drive inside most of us.

Heroes is about apparently ordinary people who are special and find ways to rise to extraordinary challenges. Trust your instinct to make the right decision, especially when it's the difficult choice, and it will be the best career move you can make.

- Sue Unerman is chief strategy officer at MediaCom, sue.unerman@haymarket.com.

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