Telling stories: to inspire future leaders

6546233741_53027de382_zEveryone loves a good story and most of us would have been captivated by stories in our childhood. Good stories grab our attention, touch our hearts, inspire us and enable us to vicariously learn through the other person’s experiences.

Stories can be used in any aspect of communication to create a journey of imagination in which transformations can happen. This is potent in any aspect of leadership such as:

  • Implementing change
  • Portraying your brand and values
  • Influencing others
  • Unifying people towards a common vision, purpose or goal
  • Imparting and sharing knowledge
  • Motivating and inspiring

When you tell a story that is authentic, powerful and engage the listener on an emotional level, that story becomes memorable and will stay with the listener.

And for this reason, storytelling has a crucial role in developing future leaders. As a leader, you can use your personal leadership stories to engage, develop and grow future leaders – be it in the workplace, in the community, in school, at home….

There are abundant opportunities in the everyday environment to lead through your relationships, behaviours and  actions. Seize them and start storytelling

Stories that connect are those that include an element of challenge, hardship, unusual moments, learning through failure, showing some vulnerability, compassion…and as effective leaders you will have experienced some of these in your journey.

There is no final destination in leadership, only continued learning.

And leaders need to continue to evolve their skills, competencies, behaviours and abilities to keep updated, fresh and agile in our fast changing environment.

As you continue to learn, your stories will become dynamic and evolve with your new experiences. (like me, you must have come across leaders who keep on telling the same old stories!)

This will enable you to have a supply of stories to tell and if you tell them well, you will have a captive audience who will vicariously learn from what they are hearing and experiencing.

So next time you are involved with future leaders (at work, at home, at play…) think about what stories you can share, that will help to develop their leadership.

Image Flickr


About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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