Storytelling in Leadership

Time for confession: I buy into Disney’s propaganda. I believe that one day people in lands far away will tell stories of my journey and paint pictures of me in pretty dresses and tiaras. Of course I also believe that they will cheer for me as they remember how I save a prince in distress from his own ineptitude. He in turn will treat me like royalty; others will come for miles around to listen to my sage advice and I will live where cute animals do all the dirty work and we will live happily ever after.

Perspectives of stories matter. I see myself in the hero role but at times I’m both the protagonist and antagonist and often I’m my own worst enemy. But when I’m telling the story I often forget my power to shape the outcome. The power of words allows us to tell stories and have othe people see their role in the journey.

My leadership vision encompasses the core values of growth through learning, loving, and laughing. All creation enters this world with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily and learn to walk and to talk, but at a certain point the desire to learn wanes in certain areas. By revisiting this intense drive for learning, one can be led to not only improve but to inspire others to change as well. Loving others is key to Christian faith and the greatest commandment (Luke 10:27). This radical love and respect for others builds trust and integrity as a foundation for leadership. When seeking to answer the primary questions for leaders involved in social transformation: “What are you trying to do with your life? What kind of person are you trying to become?” there is a tendency to take life seriously verses living life seriously. Living life seriously involves laughter and fun through the joy of abundant life.

As I continue to articulate and cast this vision, the story will unfold. I’ve searched for years for the six steps, three ideals, four workshops, and ten books that will be the answer in all situations. Yet they aren’t out there. They aren’t out there because this is my story. I need to see where God is working and do my part to help it unfold. Along the way I will learn, love, and laugh and this adaptive style will enable me to be who God created me to be.

What are your thoughts?