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What do good leaders do? Good leaders tell stories – Tips

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Leaders Tell Stories – What is Yours

What do good leaders do? Leaders Tell Stories

Stories have a significant impact on our lives. Our memory consists of lots of stories. When  we talk about things we remember they are usually in the form of a story. We primarily  communicate through stories.

What do good leaders do? They tell stories of course. Stories captivate people and can be powerfully effective.

You have probably had the experience of being in a workshop where a trainer is lecturing about various facts and concepts. But as soon as she begins to tell a story, she draws you  in. That is why you are finding, for example, more leadership books written in the context of a story.

Great leaders whether they lead in business, home, church or anywhere else can benefit from telling compelling stories and doing so frequently.

Stories can be drawn from many facets of life. All a leader has to do is start looking for them.

Here are three suggestions:

1. Think of your life experiences. We all have them. There are stories there. If you have read my blog you know this a primary source I draw from all the time.

Jot you life experiences down. For each story; categorize it by a subject such as reaching goals, overcoming adversity, bad customer service etc… Put them in a file by category.

2. Tell stories that have already been told. Do a quick search on the internet and you will find thousands. Or as you read books, newspapers or magazines mark or clip out stories that impress you. Categorize and file them as explained above.

3. Collect fables. Aesop Fables are a great place to start. You will notice I have used several of these fables in my blogging. A quick search on the Internet will yield a valuable return.

So, again, what do good leaders do? Leaders tell stories of course. Look for a future post on how to be more effective in telling stories.

What are some ways that stories have impacted you through your life? We would love to hear your comments below. Thanks!

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Leave a Comment

  • Mike Rogers June 26, 2012, 9:13 pm

    Seems so Cengiz.
    Excellent Lori. Sounds like interesting work you have done. I am a very big believer in the power of stories. I look forward to checking your site out.
    True Rav, lots of ways. Stories are a powerful way to inspire.

  • Cengiz Gocer June 26, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Leaders need to unlearn all they have learned about leadership to get unstuck to get inspired. We have to remove blocks to accessing inner energy ti get inspired so we will have many inspired following inspired people. Simple isn’t it? :-}

  • Lori Silverman June 26, 2012, 9:07 pm

    HI Mike,
    You are correct. Good leaders do tell well chosen, well-crafted, thoughtful and compelling stories.
    Based on the three years of action research with 171 business leaders across more than 80 enterprises that I spearheaded for the book, Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over: How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results, these leaders do more than this in the story realm. They also know how to evoke stories from others through story prompts and story triggers — and listen to these stories in a fashion that increases engagement and truly forms long-term bonds. On top of this, they know the importance of digging into stories and embodying them in ways that move beyond the oral tradition of telling.
    I just finished teaching a 2 day workshop on these topics to a group of 45 leaders to help open their eyes to these possibilities.
    There are a number of (free) follow-up articles available at that adds to what we’ve learned over time.
    Thanks so much for adding to the conversation through your blog article!

  • Ravi Iyer June 26, 2012, 9:11 pm

    Hi Mike, What you have said is true. While there are a number of qualities a good leader should demonstrate the essence of good leadership is inspiring people by one’s own actions which apart from setting the direction should be ethical, fair and consistent with what he or she talks


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