In recent Blogs, including ones on ‘Authenticity’, ‘Resilient Leadership’, ‘Adaptive Leadership’ and ‘How To Engage & Motivate’, we have looked at the various styles and key components of the practice of Leadership, whether that be Self-leadership, or as a Leader of a Business or Organisation.
A fundamental part of leadership is being able to connect with those you lead through your purpose and values, through your passion, your integrity, your transparency, your vision and your personal narrative.
A great Leader is connected first and foremost with their personal story and the key events, messages and people who have shaped who they are; but a great Leader also understands the DNA of story telling and the power that broadening a narrative can have, which they in turn use for their purpose and with their passion to inform, influence and persuade.
A really great Leader will step out of the pack and communicate the story in a way that motivates and makes others want to take action. They will use change and challenging times as opportunities to serve, go that extra mile to inspire, &, connect with their colleagues’ hearts and minds.
Part of the lived experience is to be obsessed with stories in some shape or form, probably because these mirror our lives and are metaphors for our innermost hopes, fears, successes and failures. Whilst in the work context the fabric of any Business or Company will be stitched together by some pretty simple stories even though as innate structures they might appear to be organisationally complex.
These stories will all be part of the richly woven threads of any tangible system, corporate entity or physical place. They might be about what the employer and the candidate exchange during an interview. These stories might be about the brand; custom & practice; triumphs ; disasters. They will also very probably be about past and present employees and they will be the stuff of folklore and legend.
They are intrinsic to the culture, the artefacts and the architecture of the place, &, they can be used to engage, motivate, gain commitment and drive forward change, as employees, clients and customers all experience a resonance and link aspects of their professional and personal lives with these narratives.
Storytelling is just as important whether you are the Owner of a Small Business, the Leader of the Council, or the CEO or Chair of a Multinational. You will need to set a vision, provide a context, define culture and values, engage, inspire, motivate and teach important lessons.
You will also need to be prepared to explain who you are and what you believe in, to demonstrate you care and understand the concerns, fears, hopes and dreams of those whom you lead.
Undoubtedly the power of Storytelling in Business and Corporate Life is big stuff and for your Company or Organisation to have a Story is a crucial step in the journey to becoming robust, resilient, agile & successful.
But The Mudd Partnership believes that it’s not just enough to have a story and tell it. The Super Performing Leader and the Super Performing Business & Organisation are all ‘Story Doers’ too, who advance their narrative through action as well as words.
‘Story Doers’ will create a loyalty and a kind of evangelism that means not just employees, but customers too, will go and tell and spread the stories by word of mouth and these messages will also now increasingly be relayed and amplified by the use of various social media platforms and tools.
In a recent Blog we looked at, ‘How To Be A Leader On Line?’ & how crucial it now is to be clear about your values, how you want to present yourself and what you want to be known for.
We also identified four key steps you should take to lead from the front in having an on-line strategy and the first of these is to Embrace Your DNA i.e. To know who you are and to not be afraid to tell your story!
For more about the other three steps which include, ‘Loosing The I Am A Leader & I’m Right Attitude’, ‘Using Every Available Resource’ , &, ‘Practicing Patience, Passion & Perseverance’ – follow the ‘How To Be A Leader On Line’ link above, &, if you want to be a ‘Story Doer’ as well as a ‘Story Teller’ then:
– make sure you have a story to tell;
– make sure the story is about something big, for example a larger ambition to make things better;
– make sure key people understand and care about the story;
– make sure the story is used to drive and direct tangible action at all levels & even better if you can directly measure impact and results;
– make sure the main thing remains the main thing even as the picture gets bigger; &
– make sure colleagues, employees, friends are all motivated to engage with your story & that customers and stakeholders can actually use it to advance their own causes.
If you want to find out more about our work developing Individuals, Teams, Organisations and Businesses to Super Perform and Succeed please visit our website www.themuddpartnership.com
STOP PRESS: Remember we are also now developing a Series of Super Performance Events which will start Happening at The Mudd Partnership Place from this Autumn, so watch this space & follow us on Twitter @muddpartnership for further details.