Blog

  • Can lessons from the past help Joe Biden today?

    The protagonists of our two previous posts, Charles De Gaulle and Margaret Thatcher, are illustrations of a point I like to make when I teach or speak about leadership: Particularly in times of crisis, a skillful leader often takes a narrative that has been dormant and brings it back into focus. As such, De Gaulle’s use of story and symbol was so

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • An impressive tale of transformation

    The previous post, about Charles de Gaulle’s use of narrative and historical symbol, led some readers to ask if I could cite other examples of individuals who influenced their worlds in a similar manner. Truth be told, I did spend hundreds of hours during my years of doctoral research looking for cases of heads of state who used personal stories

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Using story and symbol to unify diverse groups

    It remains somewhat disheartening for me that President Biden appears not to be reading this blog. Worse yet is another possibility—that he is indeed reading what I write and simply choosing to ignore my advice. In all seriousness, though, I recall writing last time that the president would do well to avoid broad generalizations that risk alienating large portions of the electorate.

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • A type of discourse Joe Biden should avoid

    After the last post, it was gratifying to receive so many favorable comments about my views on Joe Biden, his potential use of personal stories, and the hope that he might encourage some form of unity in America. Today, since a number of people requested I do so, I continue to weigh in on the new president’s discourse. More specifically,

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Our world now needs stories of inclusion and unity

    In the last post of 2020, I remarked that Joe Biden had positively impressed me with a powerful personal story during his first public interview after the election. Indeed, that autobiographical anecdote—one of the very few I have seen from the president-elect, left me hopeful that he would continue to use this device after he takes office on January 20.

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • A veritable story of identity from the incoming president! 

    Last time, I stated that I had not seen any true examples of “leading by autobiography” on the part of Joe Biden. While the president-elect did tell some personal anecdotes in the closing weeks of the campaign, I did not observe any attempt to use such tales as instruments for explaining the origins of his core values and beliefs. Then,

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling