June 13, 2017 / THE WORLD'S A STAGE, WHAT'S YOUR STORY?
June 13, 2017
“Stories are the single most powerful tool in a leader’s toolkit.” –Howard Gardner, Adjunct Professor, Harvard
Being in the executive search business, we interview hundreds and hundreds of candidates each year. We much prefer story telling with emotion versus an overly meticulous accounting of a candidate’s job history and credentials in chronological order. We want to hear your story… with brevity and clarity.
Crafting Your Story
Good stories are told with feeling and establish an emotional connection with the listener. Great stories inspire the listener to trust us and they are memorable. To create your story about your career or business, start with three columns. In the first column list all of the major events, good and bad. In the second column, write briefly about each event. In the third column write about what you learned from the experience and the outcome. Put the events that are most compelling in a problem/solution format. You may want to connect the past and present to the future. Do you see a coherent story through your experiences?
Stories paint vivid pictures. Do you recall being read to as a child and the vivid pictures you had in your head? Using a vignette to bring a story alive can create a memorable and powerful connection. For example, I tell a story about how I started my business by jumping into the deep end of the pool without a life jacket.
Own It and Hone It
Practice, practice and practice your stories. All great stories are edited over and over again to get to a great novel. Put yourself in front of others to listen and react to your stories. Own it and hone it until you feel the authenticity of your story in your head and in your heart.
Using The Power of Storytelling
Set yourself apart at networking events and conferences with a briefly well-crafted self-introduction that tells a story. Everyone can see your name and company on your badge. Communicate your contributions with humility and, even humor, if appropriate. Make it informative and interesting. Frame your aspirations, what you want from the meeting. All of this in 30 seconds or less!
Think of Yourself as a Brand
Marketers have been telling brand stories for years. With the explosive growth of social media and content marketing, personal branding has become essential for career and professional development. Building your personal brand is a continuous process. What compelling stories do you want to tell to have others experience you? Entice and engage those you are intent to influence to have a relationship with you.
Storytelling is the key to building executive presence. The world is your stage. Get prepared for your entrance.