As a leader, you have a story to tell, and being a storyteller will set you apart from the average leader.
When you tell a compelling story you draw on the emotions of your audience, grab their attention, and keep them hanging on every word. Now, THAT is inspirational and authentic leadership.
We all know the leader who announces any bit of company news, such as a new initiative, a change in management style, or an impending merger, with a PowerPoint full of facts, data, and colorful graphs. It’s the kind of presentation that has you bored to tears and thinking of updating your resume for a job search as soon as the meeting is over. It was after the first slide that your eyes had glazed over, leaving you deeply uninspired!
Now, imagine the leader who announces all that same news with compelling stories of possibility and growth, sharing their experiences with change – stories that stir feelings of excitement and energy. There are details that keep you on the edge of your seat, and you want to know more about the obstacles faced and overcome that led to a previous team’s rise to greatness.
Which leader would you rather have? What if you shared a story during a merger that left your followers not filled with fear about the future, but instead thrilled about how they can bring something of value and contribute in a significant way? Tell the narrative in a way that your team realizes they have just become part of something bigger than themselves and has them excited about the future.
As a leader, you must learn the art of storytelling so you can tell stories that inform, persuade, and inspire. You need to be able to nail a narrative that compels people to care. You need to tell a story in a way that wins your followers over and keeps them engaged and wanting to keep following you.
When you are reviewing your organizational strategic plan, you are telling your company’s story – both its progress and the vision for the future. You need to be able to communicate your ideas in a way that connects you with your people; and become a compelling storyteller.
Do you want your team to simply gain new customers and grow the business today, or do you want them to make strong connections earning the trust and respect of lifelong fans?
Storytelling is not about embellishment and dramatic effects, but about conveying a simple and clear message that connects with people as humans. Every business and individual has a story. It can be an origin story, the story about being the underdog, or a story of sweet success after years of believing in a vision and applying the discipline to grind it out to the bitter end.
Good storytellers are persuasive.
They may not have a perfectly designed vision right from the get-go, BUT… they are gifted at constantly persuading others to follow them on their journey toward something incredible.
Five things to consider at the start of your storytelling journey:
- Know your audience!
- Think about your goal.
- Be clear and concise.
- Get personal.
As you embark on your own storytelling journey, remember that every interaction is an opportunity to weave a thread of connection, spark inspiration, and lead with authenticity. The choice is yours: be the leader armed with presentations that induce yawns, or be the one who paints a canvas of possibility through stories that resonate deeply.
Your story is the bridge between where you stand today and the future you’re paving for your team. So, stand not just as a leader, but as a storyteller – a beacon of inspiration, a catalyst for change, and a weaver of the narrative that unites hearts and minds.
Are you ready to take your leadership journey to the next level through the art of storytelling? Let’s connect and continue this conversation on Instagram! Follow me @dr.dionnekress for more insights, tips, and inspiration on becoming a powerful storyteller and a transformative leader. Together, we’ll craft narratives that ignite change and leave a lasting mark. See you on the other side!