People follow people, not plans.
Projections, plans, implementation strategies are all necessary and important for informing the people you lead, but don’t overlook the importance of providing insight on who they’re following.
That doesn’t happen by handing out your resume or talking about past success. It happens when you tell your story.
I’ll admit I’m not great at this. I’ve never felt it was important or even necessary to tell my story. What’s the point of hearing me ramble when you have your own stories and experiences to draw from?
And then after talking to a number of female leaders I realized I was looking at this the wrong way. Telling my story isn’t about me. It’s about giving others context for their stories and experiences. In other words, it’s a way of showing people they’re not alone.
And yet selling is sometimes easier than showing. Selling people on your qualifications seems like an easier task because past success can be quantified and used as proof you are a good leader/belong at the table/are qualified to make a decision. Showing people WHO you are requires a different level of confidence, but it also leads to greater empathy, connection, collaboration and communication. Great leaders aren’t afraid to pull back the curtain and share personal stories.
Here are a few things you should know in telling your own story.
Authentic and empathetic leaders draw people in and make it easy for their team to trust not only the decisions that get made, but the person making them. Stories make a difference. Start telling yours.
Jen Mueller, veteran sports broadcaster and rock star keynote presenter is the author of The Influential Conversationalist. She specializes in conversation strategies that develop leadership potential to improve business communication.