My grandfather on my dad’s side – we called him ‘Patch,’ which is a story in itself – was a great storyteller. He told wonderful stories of his travels buying raw lumber in the Northwest to be processed in his small Southern town during the 1940’s.
The realization I’ve had is that I was exposed to very little storytelling of family history. The bad part of this is I don’t have as many stories of my heritage as I would like. The good part of this lack is that it positions me to become the teller of what stories have been passed to me and to create and tell my own – from the unfolding of my journey.
As I had this realization, I also knew it had an application to leadership. Leaders need to be engaged listeners in the stories of both their calling and the organizations where they live out the call.
And of course, leaders should be tellers of organizational stories that embrace the listener in the familial. Leaders endear themselves to those they lead by giving through their stories, providing an environment where new stories are co-created, and then welcoming others in the consequent celebratory telling.