Business Leader as Storyteller

I’m still doing research on this business leader as storyteller concept.  I’ve downloaded the audible version of All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin and maybe it will shed some light on the subject.

I can remember when I was in Jr high school and later in high school going to the library and reading every Louis L’Amour book I could get my hands on.  I read plenty of other authors as well and spent many of my days escaping from the mundane experience of high school by vicariously enjoying life through the words of a story teller.  For the most part the books were fiction and I knew they were not true but I gleaned plenty of understanding about people, geography, history, and many other subjects from these stories.  I also read some autobiographies and biographies which I thought were interesting.  The manner in which many of these works were written stimulated my imagination and ignited a passion in me to learn more, which was something my high-school teachers could not get me to want to do.

Now don’t get me wrong when I mention story telling as a way of doing business.  I’m not advocating dishonesty here. When I mention story telling I’m talking about what we’ve got to say about ourselves and our experiences.  There’s no doubt about it that the things we think about all day and the stories we tell others are what defines us and if we’re in business it’s what defines our business.  There is an art to explaining things to people and marketing ourselves and I believe that it has a lot to do with our ability to tell stories… authentic stories people will listen to and want to learn more about.

Stories are a great tool for leaders because they:

  • Can encapsulate and drastically simplify very complex concepts and environments in a manner that makes them easy to understand.
  • Can be used as a lenses that the audience uses to interpret the facts and make them relevant.
  • Engage the imagination and the attention of an audience that might not otherwise be receptive.
  • Can be used to engage the emotional side of the audience in situations where facts alone would not or conversely to disengage an audience from an emotional response when the facts would warrant one.

I’m still working on my story and hopefully after listening to this book I’ll have a little more to share.

– Joel