“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, 2002
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 buzz word for branding these days is “storytelling.”
As a storytelling mentor, I seek to build leaders from the ground up, in the sense that youth who are comfortable with exploring multiple points of view in story, articulating what they see, and creating a life-affirming completion to the story, will be more fully prepared for adulthood.
I encourage, support and lead students to their own discovery of the power and value of story, the importance of listening to one’s inner voice, and the transformative nature of speaking from the heart.
My method immerses students in life-affirming folklore from many cultures, leads students through examination of their personal experience of the tales, and facilitates discussion, in order to grow interpersonal understanding.
The stories are not memorized, but become friendly equity from which the students may draw wisdom and insight. The experience of telling stories imbues students with confidence and poise.