Strong leaders use stories to communicate the reasons for their decisions and actions, to paint a picture of the company’s vision, and to bring context and clarity to any failure or success.
But, there is another way stories can support leaders, whether on a board, a committee, or as part of any team. When a leader discovers and creates a story that connects the dots between who he or she is and why they are choosing to lead — their life story — this can reignite passion and commitment, and serve as a jumping off point for a whole new level of success.
Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronics, is the author of True North and Authentic Leadership. In True North, he states, “Successful leadership takes conscious development and requires being true to your life story . . . ”
To discover your life story, consider these questions:
- During your early years, which people had the greatest impact on you?
- Starting with your earliest memories, which experiences marked key turning points in your life?
- Has there been an instance in your life where you have felt like a victim?
The answers to these questions can lead you to your purpose, your values and your goals. They can help you identify a much deeper relationship to your work and/or your mission, and drive you to even higher levels of meaning and success. Knowing your life story can, well, make your life and your work make sense.
Imagine what it could mean to your organization.