Sure, raping and pillaging are frowned upon now; but not everything the Viking’s did was bad. In fact, some of their core mythological doctrines are finding relevance again and are making quite the resurgence.
And resurgence is perhaps an understatement.
The fastest growing religion in the world right now is not Catholicism or Buddism, there are no prayer mats or surgeries required, it is called Asatru (or more commonly, Norse Paganism). Followers, affectionately known originally as The Heathens, are part of one of the oldest, organized faiths on the planet; and it’s new found popularity sees the belief growing at about 3% globally while other organized religions are in steady decline. In the Vikings’spiritual home of Iceland, it is wildly adopted, growing 244% since 2007.
Asatru is based on Nine Noble Virtues – courage, truth, honour, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, self-reliance, industriousness, and perseverance. They were meaningful in Viking times and equally valid today. In life, and arguably, they differentiate a winning morning show from an average one.
Courage – doing the difficult things, the things that scare you or push you, as talent, outside of your comfort zone. It is also about
Truth – being true to your character, consistent and reliable in your tone, opinions and stance, and sincere with your co-hosts and audience.
Honour – striving always to be ethical, to be highly regarded by peers and competitors, and loved in the community, nurturing respect in your social standings.
Fidelity – faithfulness to a plan or cause or belief, loyalty to the other members of your show and a constant concerted effort to always put the audience first.
Discipline – we have to be better today than we were yesterday. Everyday. We have to be disciplined in keeping our eyes on the big topics of the day and producing memorable content.
Hospitality – being inclusive rather than exclusive. Doing the show for the audience and not for the other members of the show. It’s also understanding the value and power of a face to face meeting with a listener – good or bad, these touchpoints can make or break perceptions for a lifetime.
Self-reliance – because who else can you truly rely on. Harness your skills, work on them every day. Have high demands on those around you but higher demands on yourself.
Industriousness – working hard and never forgetting that it is a job. Yes, it’s fun. Yes, you get to goof around. But it’s still work. And it needs to be respected.
Perseverance – never giving up. The ratings gods will deliver good times and bad times, competitors will challenge us, management will frustrate us, and life will try us with trivial stuff – never give up.
Work on these within your show or with your team. There will always be one or more that needs attention and can be a potential growth area. The Viking’s behavior was far from perfect but even today, being fierce and barbaric in a radio battle is totally acceptable behavior.