The Storyteller & Growth Within: creating the space for authentic leadership

What is your story?

I have found that our stories, and what we make of them are a big part of who we become. A dear and brilliant colleague of mine, Claire Louge, stated recently, “Who we are is how we lead.” That really made me pause and consider the impact of that idea, especially if we were to take it at face value, and move forward with that as our intention.

 

Is who we are how we lead?

Would this impact how we lead our younger generations, our own children, our places of formal learning, our businesses, and the teams of people we guide?

 

I share with you that a significant portion of my own growth has been connected to me being willing to share my own vulnerability via stories as a blogger, and what apparently many now reference as an influencer. To be clear, I have never sought to become an influencer. That has been a complete byproduct. When my Nana told me “everything you touch turns to gold” she didn’t add that I had to or that I should seek to influence others. She simply planted an amazing seed of self-belief and encouraged me to be my best, as did my parents and many mentors. 

I’m not alone in feeling this way about my own growth as a blogger, father, spouse, educator, entrepreneur, and executive and mental fitness coach. There are others we should pay attention to and learn from. One that stands out is the inspiring voice of Sue Painter. She is inspirational to me because she’s an example of no matter which generation in which you’re born, you can connect with ANY generation, and in her case, ALL generations. She offers travel advice to various groups, including families, offers marketing services to small business owners, and is an expert in social media marketing who’s been featured on major networks, 

 

Check out Sue and ask yourself what part of her story inspires you to share your story and inspire others to be inspired!

Back to my colleague Claire, she also shared with me, “Can you change someone’s life by learning about their story?”

 

When I use the term storyteller, an image of a crafty elder sharing stories by a campfire may be what comes to mind, and that certainly has its own merits. However, what I’m talking about is a much broader kind of storyteller and storytelling. Specifically, the stories from our own life, which we can share publicly in ways that help others find their voice. We can also share our stories to inspire others and ignite positive change in their own life, and that of their circles of impact.

 

When we help others embrace their own voice, who they are, and encourage them to lift others up, this is as authentic as leadership can be.

 

I also love to celebrate others who see the world through the lens of possibility. I recently came across a group of individuals who also blog and impact, each in their own way. As the father of a world changer daughter (and my fellow co-author of children’s books), I am particularly inspired by human beings who happen to be women and who lead authentically. Check out these bold and uber-intelligent world changers.

The common thread that I encourage you to notice today is that when we decide to share our story, by default our story will be witnessed by others. When others witness your story, there is a much better chance that they will share their story someday. This leads to many positive byproducts, including but not limited to:

  • Elevating a sense of community
  • Moving from isolation to solitude to connection
  • Seeing our adversity as a potential ally
  • Re-inspiring ourselves

I encourage you to take action in the following ways:

  • Ask great questions of yourself
  • Look to continually learn
  • Embrace your own vulnerability as a means of creating profound connections

Contemplate on all your stories and title each one however you want, and think about what the positive message is in each of them. Then… think about when, how, and why you’d share them in the course of your own life.

Create the Good!

Enrique

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