The CEO Storytelling Trifecta
Knowing how to tell a great story about yourself goes beyond simple entertainment. In fact, your company’s future may depend on it.
“In today’s market, it’s more important than ever,” says Corey Blake, CEO and founder of Round Table Companies. “Having a great story encourages others to trust you; it helps them understand your deeper experience and why you’ve been destined for the work you’re doing.”
Trust is currency. How do you build more? You tell a captivating story about why you stand for what you stand for as a leader.
Superpowers and Thought Leadership
Leaders may look back on their achievements and identify certain milestones that they deem exceptional. However, leaders may have trouble seeing their entire story as equally valuable as their proudest milestones. Leadership is fueled by individual superpowers.
“Your early challenges in life required an intuitively creative response, and that response became what we refer to as a superpower,” says Blake. That superpower was planted in your being when you were young, and has been thriving and growing as you've navigated your life.
“Storytelling asks the storyteller to lean into vulnerability and embrace the connecting impact this risk offers as a reward.”
Since CEOs tend to have an intense drive to achieve, they can impact a large group of people by sharing their story. The key is recognizing every story is remarkable.
Three Tenets of Successful Storytelling
1. Get comfortable with being vulnerable. Successful storytelling requires the storyteller to lean into vulnerability and embrace the connecting impact this risk offers as a reward. Let your guard down and be open to sharing moments from your past. Your vulnerability = your humanity.
2. Look at your life from a “hero’s journey” perspective. While you might not consider yourself heroic, you can benefit from seeing your upbringing as a hero’s journey. The four walls of your home(s) growing up were your ordinary world. Eventually, you accepted a call to adventure, struck out on your own, and entered the special world; a place with different rules you had to learn one by one through a road of trials. Mentors and allies propelled your learning until you found yourself facing an ordeal that felt insurmountable and nearly did you in. But you overcame and reaped the rewards, be them recognition, treasure, or wisdom gained.
3. Write down what you’ve learned along the way. Writing is rewriting. Working the language like clay gives way to a new and powerful understanding of your own story. One that can invite you into a more powerful future.
Storytelling is a catalyst for trust building among stakeholders because our stories invite us to see ourselves through each other's words.