For today’s post and podcast I’m drawing in part from my Handbook The Appreciative Leader. Scroll down here for a link to download the handbook with my compliments.
To sustain positive momentum in your life and work you must be an inspiring sharer of stories that other people feel themselves in.
“Two young goldfish were swimming along when they met an older fish, who said, ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ One of the young goldfish looked over at the other and said, ‘What the hell is water?’.” novelist David Foster Wallace
Stories can be very short. They often illustrate how the most important realities are often hardest to see.
The most successful leaders have been mastering the art of sharing stories since the beginning of time.
It’s been said that stories are the fabric of culture. I couldn’t agree more.
I was blessed that my parents, grandparents, and many of my relatives told great stories, and so it was natural that I would become a story-sharer myself. I still pinch myself though that I’ve made a living out of doing so for over 30 years!
You don’t have to become a professional, however, you do have to be able to share stories well in order to be a highly successful leader
“The best story isn’t my story or your story; the best story is our story.” says Mark Sanborn.
Therefore the best stories we tell are those other people recognise themselves in.
The best stories tell us what is and what can be and inspire us to go there.
Decide you’ll become the best story-sharer you can be, and make it simple for everyone else to become the best story-sharers that they can possibly become.
I have three suggestions for doing this:
1) Read Bernadette Jiwa’s latest book What Great Story Tellers Know.
I'm a big fan of all of Bernadette's work. This book, as you would expect is full of wonderful stories, as well as many great suggestions to become the best story-teller you can be.
2) Read Joseph Campbell’s book ‘The Hero With A Thousand Faces”. It’s all about what he calls the ‘mono myth’, the single story that is in every culture. Understanding this story, often referred to as ‘The Hero’s Journey’ is fundamental to understanding why stories are so powerful.
3) Invest in your communication, presentation and story-sharing skills and those of other people.
You can join a Toastmasters, Rostrum, or similar Club, and/or engage with well credentialed mentors or coaches, so that stories and their sharing become central to your culture.
Bernadette Jiwa has a great online course called the Story Skills Workshop.
For professionals I highly recommend Professional Speakers Australia which is a member of the Global Speakers Federation that currently has 16 countries as members.
Do Your Work.
Become the wise leader you want to be.