“Storytelling is more than an essential set of tools to get things done: it’s a way for leaders - wherever they may sit - to embody the change they seek.” Steve Denning, Why Leadership Storytelling Is
Important, Forbes, June 8, 2011
“The reality is that developing the next generation’s leaders is a task of pressing importance.” Douglas A. Ready, How Storytelling Builds Next-Generation Leaders, MIT Sloan Management Review, Summer,
Storytellers have long known that it takes courage to examine one’s point of view in relationship to a story, and to willingly explore the point of view of another. Leadership requires just such courage and fluency in the world of Story. Every conflict,
challenge, or problem is a story.
Many corporations and government organizations are realizing the importance of storytelling in leadership and are scrambling to implement meaningful and productive storytelling training programs. Likewise,...
The 10 year boy seemed to be struggling in school. He was a social student and enjoyed being with his friends. He was struggling in school. His parents were struggling with solutions to helping their son improve his academics and behavior in class.
The boy and his family were out to dinner with a friend. He was a psychologist and had some deep insight into the characteristics of the different personality types that people demonstrate. He asked the boy a couple questions: “Are you more outgoing or
reserved? Are you more task or people oriented?”
The boy's response showed him to be the inspiring type; someone who is excited, creative, and loves to be with people. Everything for an inspired person is exciting, fun, and a good time. The doctor then asked if he were to ask his teacher the same questions,
would she respond the same or differently. The boy thought about it, and his response of what his teacher might answer happened to be the opposite of...
Imagine eating ice cream on a warm sunny day. Not just any ice cream, but your favorite pick
from the ice cream truck. You've just spent the afternoon, running and playing with the
neighborhood kids, sitting in the backyard sharing a sweet treat among friends. Sounds good,
right? Many of us have similar memories, and a summer afternoon, relaxing in the sun is a
good way to spend the day.
Imagine this time, being at your favorite amusement park with all your closest family and
friends. Hopping between roller coaster rides, ferris wheels, and shrieks of excitement racing
in the speed of the wind. You laugh, share hi-fives, and turn to see a tall, decadent ice cream
parlor with blinking lights filled with not just ice cream but custard, homemade and fresh with
every imaginable topping and flavor. You race to the counter, find no one...
While I am pursing my doctorate degree, I tutor math and reading with a student. It is true that many students do not like math and reading. But we all do math and reading in our daily living. As we go about our daily walk, we read to understand and we
use numbers to calculate things mentally and physically. For instance, when we go shopping, we use math mentally to see if we can pay. Also, when we drive, we read road signs. So in our daily walk, we continue to use math and reading subtly because they
are omnipresent. So students need to realize that we encounter math and reading because they are part of our daily living. So I encourage my students to believe and stay focused which will help them to achieve anything they are doing at the moment.
When mentees ask me how to develop their leadership capabilities, I tell them that the first step in the process is to recognize that they need to assume personal responsibility for the development of their leadership skills. They often say "what do you
mean by that." I then offer some examples. If they are not getting timely feedback on their performance, I urge them to ask for it. If they need some formal training, I tell them to go find it. You get the idea.