Leadership isn’t just about standing up and speaking, it’s about weaving a story so compelling to bring everyone along the journey with you.
Good leaders ask, “How do I tell better stories?” Great leaders ask, “What stories do I need to tell?”
Does that mean how you tell a leadership story doesn’t matter? Of course not. But if you tell an irrelevant or unimportant or self-serving story, it doesn’t matter how well you tell it. The story is more important than the delivery.
And while great leaders need hundreds of stories, not all stories are equally important. I’ve interviewed over 300 CEOs, leaders, and executives in 25 countries around the world about their use of storytelling in business. Here’s my conclusion about the most important ten stories any leader needs to be able to tell at a moment’s notice:
ONE: Where we came from (our founding story) – Nobody ever quit their job and started a company for a boring reason. Find that reason for your company’s founder and tell that story. It will infect everyone with the same sense of purpose and passion.
TWO: Why we can’t stay here (a case-for-change story) – Human beings are creatures of habit. Change is an unwelcome visitor. This story provides the rationale for why change is needed and a real human reason to care. Read more