Leading With Your Story

Stories are how we learn to make choices. Stories are how we learn to access the moral and intellectual resources we need to engage with the uncertain, the unknown, and the unpredictable. Because stories speak the language of emotion, the language of the heart, they teach us not only how we “ought to” act, but can in fact inspire us with the “courage to” act. And because the sources of emotion on which they draw are in our values, our stories can help us translate our values into action.

Personal Narrative construction helps an individual to understand the concept of Leadership through self-awareness. Sharing stories is a powerful tool that helps in connecting ideas, since values are not presented in abstract principles but as a lived experiences. This gives a deeper understanding of leadership in both generic and contextual manner. It helps define leadership in the grass root level, national and international level. Personal narrative gives a better understanding of the roles stories has in everyday life and how they can be used in different leadership role.

Daayitwa’s Nepal Leadership Lab’s coaching on “Leading with you story” is based on “Story of Self, Us, and Now”.

Telling stories makes it easier for the audience to identify and relate to similar values as the one the speaker has. When the audience relates to the values and connects to the challenge the speaker then a strong bond is created between the speaker and the audience. They too connect to the challenge have a willingness to contribute towards the action that the speaker will take or plans to take.

Why stories?
Stories are how we learn to make choices. Stories are how we learn to access the moral and intellectual resources we need to engage with the uncertain, the unknown, and the unpredicted. Because stories s+peak the language of emotion, the language of the heart, they teach us not only how we “ought to” act, but can in fact inspire us with the “courage to” act. And because the sources of emotion on which they draw are in our values, our stories can help us translate our values into action.

A plot begins with a protagonist moving toward a desired goal, an unexpected event, creating a crisis that engages our curiosity, the choices made in response to the crisis, and an outcome. Our ability to empathetically identify with a protagonist allows us to enter into the story, feel what s/he feels, see things through his or her eyes. And the moral, revealed through the resolution, brings understanding of the head and of the heart. From stories we learn how to access the moral resources to face difficult choices, unfamiliar situations, and uncertain outcomes because each of us is the protagonist in our own life story, facing everyday challenges, authoring our own choices, and learning from the outcomes – the narrative of which constitutes who we are, our identity

By telling our personal stories of challenges we have faced, choices we have made, and what we learned from the outcomes, we can become more mindful of our own moral resources and, at the same time, share our wisdom so as to inspire others. Because stories enable us to communicate our values not as abstract principles, but as lived experience, they have the power to move others.

Stories are specific – and visual – they evoke a very particular time, place, setting, mood, color, sound, texture, taste. The more you can communicate this visual specificity, the more power your story will have to engage others. This may seem like a paradox, but like a poem or a painting or a piece of music, it is the specificity of the experience that can give us access to the universal sentiment or insight they contain.

You may think that your story doesn’t matter, that people aren’t interested, that you shouldn’t be talking about yourself. But when you do public work, you have a responsibility to offer a public account of who you are, why you do what you do, and where you hope to lead. If you don’t author your public story, others will, and they may not tell it in the way that you like.