To Use or Not To Use…How to Choose The Right Story

05.01.13 Wednesday 2Leadership stories can come from many different places. You can pick a challenge or a lesson that you want to teach by using a story. You can then match the story to your objective. With all of the information that is available on the Internet and through social media, there are always many ways to locate leadership challenges and stories.

You can begin by making a list of your most important leadership issues, such as:

  1. Visualizing the future
  2. Strategic goals and purpose
  3. Aligning your Team
  4. Beliefs and corporate culture
  5. Customer service and focus

The challenge can be finding how  to teach leadership principles and values through stories to your particular industry. You can begin by looking for stories about people who implement their core values in day-to-day tasks. Values tend to be unclear until you integrate them into stories about actual experiences.

Inspire with Emotions

Magic happens when you narrate otherwise soulless data into emotional nodes that render an experience to an audience—and a single listener is an audience—that makes the information inside the story memorable, resonant and actionable. ~ Peter Guber, Chairman and CEO, Mandalay Entertainment

Leaders who successfully use storytelling know its key to create an emotional connection and stimulate a desire for a different future. Without this connection, nothing happens. Decisions are made emotionally, without activation of the brain’s logic center, so being able to be engaging to your audience’s hopes is critical.

The leadership challenge requires you to help participants see new opportunities and come to their own decisions, based on the evidence presented in your stories. Inspire people to view a situation through their own lens, but in a new way, with new possibilities. This will help them make progress in implementing organizational goals.

The knowledge of using stories definitely isn’t new, but those that are effective for leaders aren’t the  big and dramatic stories conveyed by the use of a bullhorn. Change usually hinges on simple, plain and realistic stories.


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