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Storytelling for a Better Business – Part 4: Stories for Leadership and Culture

Stories are an important tool both inside and outside a business. Storytelling helps build an emotional connection to an idea. Stories for leadership and culture are a great way to communicate these ideas. This is a key to building personal relationships, growing a culture and passing on the experiences of company leaders.

If you missed part 1, 2 or 3 of this series you can read them here:

Storytelling to clarify your mission

Developing a brand story will bolster your connection to your market and can also strengthen your organization from within. Knowing exactly why your brand exists and who it seeks to serve clarifies each team member’s responsibility to the brand and its customers. Supporting stories that overlap and reinforce your core storyline can demonstrate everything from the company’s HR philosophy to corporate responsibility, and production standards to customer service tenets. Your mission should be a natural conclusion based on the story that forms your brand’s foundation.

Leadership through storytelling

Sharing authentic stories — whether of your own experiences or those of people whose accomplishments you admire — helps create a bond of empathy between you and your team or your peer group. By recounting an event that inspired you, taught you something, or influenced your outlook on some aspect of your life or business, you’re hinting at what makes you tick, how you think, and what you value, while allowing others to feel that they understand you better, building trust and increasing your leverage of authority and influence with them.

Mark Twain said “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” To borrow the concept, your “influence on society” comes from what you share with the world — whether explicitly or implicitly. Consider your story to be the “clothes” you use to communicate to your clients, your peers, your organization, and the world.

Growing a culture with stories

Using the power of storytelling you can shape and maintain a company culture. This is a keys to the success of the business. Providing examples of past and present actions taken by employees is a great way to demonstrate both desirable and undesirable behavior. You can easily pass on the lessons of, “how things should get done” or, “why customers choose us” and even, “how you make the right decisions” using past examples of successes.

Hearing a story of a job well done by someone in the company is a great way to set the tone and encourage others to follow their example. It motivates, inspires and offers a guide for the mindset you want to encourage.

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