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DAVID GOLDWICH: Leading with Stories

Motivational Nano Library

DAVID GOLDWICH: Leading with Stories -Motivating your Mind Inspiring your Spirit

What do Jesus, Confucius, Lincoln, and many of history’s greatest leaders have in common? They were all
accomplished storytellers! They used stories to explain their ideas to their audience and win followers.

Modern day super salesmen such as Steve Jobs also mastered the art of the story.

In his landmark study of leadership, Harvard Professor Howard Gardner found that “the key to leadership … is effective communication of a story.”

Stories are an excellent way to connect with people, to make complex ideas easier to understand and to make your
message memorable.

But telling stories is more than just a folksy way to relate to others. It is a powerful and persuasive vehicle that top
leaders use to get their message across with maximum impact and minimum resistance.

Generally speaking, leaders in business and government value facts, data, logic and reason. Yet when presented with
facts, people try to make sense of them through critical evaluations. They look for flaws in your argument. As a result, using only facts and logical arguments can put your audience in a confrontational state of mind.

Storytelling, on the other hand, combines facts plus emotions. When people become emotionally invested in a story,
they aren’t looking for ways to shoot it down. By packaging your message into a story, you can introduce your
message to your audience without hitting them over the head with it.

We all know that telling a relevant story is a great way to make a point or teach a lesson. This is the most common
purpose stories serve. But stories can do so much more! You can use stories to:

Introduce yourself. The right story can position you the way you wish to be perceived, rather than allowing others to define you. Stories can help you build rapport with your audience and establish credibility. Truly great leaders are
driven by their purpose and a story is a powerful way to tell others what you stand for.

This is the most important story you will tell as a leader. And you will tell it over and over again. Doesn’t it make sense to craft a reliable story to introduce yourself and learn how to tell it well?

Promote your brand. In addition to introducing and positioning yourself, you can use stories to introduce and position your company and brand. Some of the world’s most highly regarded companies have great brands in part because they have great stories. We know their stories and these stories shape the way we feel about these companies. How many small businessmen would love to have a story like Nike, Apple, or Starbuck’s? Many do, they just don’t realize it!

Transmit key organizational values. Every organization has a socialization process. The right stories can help members feel like they belong far better than a list of core values on a poster hanging on the wall. The right story can also sell customers on your core values.

For example, nearly every company in the world claims “customer focused” as a core value, but as customers we
know that is rarely our experience. A compelling story of your company delivering an extraordinary customer
experience means a lot more than an empty promise.

Communicate your vision. This is what makes or breaks a leader. Ronald Reagan, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. all excelled at articulating a clear vision for the future and they did it with stories.

These are just a few of the purposes stories can serve and there are many others. By harnessing the power of stories,
you will be much more persuasive in 2014.

DAVID GOLDWICH: Leading with Stories -Motivating your Mind Inspiring your Spirit

Leading with Stories



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