Sudden (?) interest in storytelling

Sudden (?) interest in storytelling

I must confess that I am discovering that one should not plan too much in advance when writing a blog.  Today, I would like to attempt to reconcile my plan to write some more about leadership training with my desire to discuss current happenings in my work life.

More specifically: my plan was to go into some depth about my views on leadership training.  The unanticipated happenings of the past week were several conversations about storytelling, generated by the publishing of the ‘Seven rules of storytelling’ (in French…soon to be in Spanish and English).

So…while I still intend to write more about leadership training (which remains one of my favorite topics!), the events of the past week have taken me a bit off that track, and I want to write about some of the conversations I am having about storytelling.

Since the publication of the book in French, I have been contacted by numerous people, in fact far more than I had anticipated.  I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by this seemingly sudden interest in storytelling.

The contacts from these individuals have led me to reflect again on how storytelling became a central theme in my life and work.

Today, whenever I talk about leadership or leadership training in various venues, I always stress the importance of leaders learning to express themselves in ways that inspire others.  Leaders do this through their personal stories of identity.

However, and as I often repeat to audiences, my interest in storytelling did not start as an inherent interest in storytelling.  Rather, in my research and teaching, I was asking the somewhat obvious question, “Is there anything that effective leaders share, that they nearly all seem to do, any traits or behaviors that they seem to have in common?”

In my work, study, observation and reflection, I found that this ‘somewhat obvious’ query has no obvious answers.  However, I did make several discoveries, and these are outlined in the book. Among the most significant of these discoveries is a phenomenon I call ‘leading by autobiography’, which I will explain next time.


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