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embracing the art of storytelling

Embracing the Art of Storytelling

embracing the art of storytellingIf leaders can keep their teams anchored in values and mission, momentum can be more easily attained, and therefore, long-term motivation is much more sustainable. These values serve as the compass guiding a company’s priorities, influencing decision-making, shaping culture, and fostering a sense of purpose among team members. What’s the secret sauce of how leaders can ensure these values are not just words on a wall but ingrained in the collective consciousness of the organization?

Perhaps the answer lies in the art of storytelling.

1. Weave Values into Personal Narratives
Leadership is not just about strategy and metrics; it’s about connecting on a human level. By integrating organizational values into personal stories, leaders can create a compelling narrative that resonates with the team. Share specific experiences that reflect the values in action, whether it’s overcoming challenges, celebrating victories, or learning from mistakes. These personal stories make the values relatable and memorable, fostering a deeper connection within the organization. A leader who can vulnerably share personal stories, intertwining them with the company’s values, demonstrates authenticity and builds trust. It’s the mark of a leader who leads not from a position of power but from a place of shared humanity.

2. Embrace Humor and Wit
A touch of humor can transform a mundane story into an unforgettable tale. Leaders can infuse their narratives with a dose of humor and wit to keep others engaged and connected. Regardless of age or stage, include humor that everyone would be able to understand. Laughter can serve as the bonding element between values and team members. Leaders who can inject humor into their storytelling display a human side, making them approachable and relatable. It’s a leadership style that fosters camaraderie and a positive work environment. One of my favorite Ted Talks is about this very issue. I encourage you to listen to this here.

3. Repeat, Reinforce, and Reflect
Repetition is key to memory retention. Leaders should incorporate the values into regular communications, team meetings, and discussions. By consistently reinforcing the narratives, the values become an integral part of the organizational DNA. Additionally, leaders should encourage team members to reflect on how the values manifest in their daily work, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and alignment. This is when the rubber meets the road, right? Why do these tasks matter? How does this project move the mission forward? 

Sharing stories can be the tool that weaves together the tasks and values. Simon Sinek touches on this here. On a very practical level, repetition is a cognitive tool that aids in learning and retention. Consistent reinforcement of values is not about indoctrination but about creating a shared understanding and commitment within the organization.

Leaders have the opportunity to elevate their storytelling to make organizational values memorable. By weaving values into personal narratives, embracing humor, and reinforcing the message consistently, leaders can ensure that the essence of their organization’s values resonates throughout the team. If leaders realize others aren’t resonating with the values, it’s time to reassess. Why is that happening? What can shift in order to create a bridge between teams and the mission of the organization? That connection is absolutely an important role and responsibility of leaders.

In the realm of leadership, where the journey is as important as the destination, storytelling becomes the vehicle that transports organizational values from abstract concepts to lived experiences.

Narratives bring the words on the wall to life. It’s through these narratives that leaders can inspire, connect, and lead with excellence in the professional world. Sharing these narratives is an opportunity to help others understand the impact values have, which is what brings meaning to the mission.


Learn more about Melissa and Royal Coaching Colorado here.