This paper was published as a Faculty Working Paper (no. 190) for the Lubin School of Business, Center for Applied Research, November 1999.

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In this paper the concepts of leadership and heroism are defined, discussed, and compared. The concepts are then integrated to form an orientation toward leadership known as heroic leadership. A model of heroic leadership consisting of five major dimensions including character, work orientation, risk-taking and reward orientation, relating to others, and organizational impact is then presented and discussed. Major sub-elements for each dimension are also identified and examined. The implications for leadership in non-heroic organizational settings are highlighted.