I have not been writing on this blog for a while. but two recent events got me thinking that I should start again. In fact, the two events are related, and they lead me back to the story of Medicines for Humanity and founder Tim Bilodeau.
Event One: I am being honored by the organization as ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ at their annual dinner on 15 September. I am still a bit mystified as to why they have chosen to give me this particular honor, but I am flattered, and let’s just say that their decision got me thinking again about this remarkable organization.
Event Two: a book in French that I have co-authored with my colleague Loïck Roche is scheduled to be published by Pearson Education in October. In the book, entitled “The seven rules of storytelling for authentic leadership self-expression”, Loïck and I use Tim and Medicines for Humanity as a sort of ‘showcase’ example, as it exemplifies many of the principles we try to illustrate.
The book is an explanation of how I coach leaders through the process of self-discovery, self-expression, and self-actualization. It is a chronicle of the type of transformations I have seen during my 10 years of coaching leaders.
Truly remarkable transformations happen when a leader learns to use the power of authentic stories of identity to motivate and inspire an audience of employees, co-workers, or any stakeholders.
My clients and students, many of whom have experienced the power of leadership storytelling in their own lives, encouraged me to write this book.
The coaching that I have done, the experiences and the people I have met through this work, have led me to several discoveries that we share in the book, discoveries that form my worldview about leadership self-expression, storytelling, and deliberate practice:
Discovery 1: leadership is a decision, and a decision that is accessible to anyone
Discovery 2: storytelling is the language of leadership; we lead by autobiography
Discovery 3: we become better storytellers, and thus learn to communicate more effectively as leaders, through deliberate practice.
In the coming weeks, I will tell stories from some famous (e.g. Gandhi) and some less famous (e.g. Tim Bilodeau) leaders. I will use their examples to explain more about my three discoveries.