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Leader or Storyteller? Try: Both

The idea of “Leader as Storyteller” is something I have talked to many companies about. Storytelling is about creating alignment; it is how leaders can connect their vision and values to the things that happen within their company.

If you are a leader in your organization, I suggest you check out a recent video on BizTV Canada. It features HR Strategy expert Helen Giffen as she gives tips on how leaders can build a great (and effective) leadership story.

According to Giffen, these are the top 3 things any leadership story must be:

  • Strategically relevant and tied to a greater purpose
  • Told by someone credible and authentic
  • Delivered with passion and belief

Giffen talks about how stories engage people and unify them toward a future goal. Where is the company going? Why does it matter? What opportunities lie ahead? What are the dangers to avoid and the rewards to reap?

Leaders who answer these questions with a compelling story bring meaning to the work that people do on an everyday basis. Employees need clarity of purpose and vision to become engaged in their work.

The end goal of storytelling is this shared meaning. Every employee wants to understand how their specific job aligns with the corporate vision. They want to know their job is valued. Engaged employees go home at the end of the day feeling valued for having done their job.

When I meet with CEOs, I like to have them discuss something someone did that day that aligns with their strategy, values, and vision. When they do, it shows how different employees are valued. It creates a story that makes heroes of the people the CEO talks about. People understand stories and parables better than any sophisticated dissertation of strategy. 

A well-told story sticks with the organization, building shared meaning and encouraging engagement.

Watch the video below!

>> Workplace Engagement Insights helps leaders understand how to be more effective through our employee engagement survey and our leadership book camp. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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