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? Tell a captivating story, be it personal or professional.
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. Thought leadership is fueled by individual superpowers.
“Your early experiences in life created a place for you to learn behaviors to survive when life became most challenging, and those behaviors become what we refer to as superpowers,” says Blake. It is almost as if those superpowers were planted in our being when we were younger, thriving and growing as we navigate personal and professional challenges.
“Successful storytelling requires the story’s owner to lean into vulnerability and embrace the connecting impact this risk offers as a reward.”
Blake specializes in helping aspiring authors tell their stories and publish them. Round Table Companies thrives on uncovering leaders’ superpowers. Since CEOs tend to have a very intense drive, they can impact a large group of people. The key is recognizing every story is remarkable.
Three Tenets of Successful Storytelling
Blake breaks down three very important tenets of successful storytelling that will drive one’s story from good to great.
1. Get comfortable with being vulnerable. Successful storytelling requires the story’s owner to lean into vulnerability and embrace the connecting impact this risk offers as a reward. Blake challenges leaders to “let their guard down” and be open to moments from their past. Vulnerability = humanity.
2. Look at your life from a “hero’s journey” perspective. While you might not consider yourself a hero, you can still benefit from seeing your upbringing as a hero’s journey. Blake goes on to describe the ordinary world, where you grew up, and the special world, when you went away to college or moved out of your childhood home. The journey from the ordinary to the special is where the hero’s story can be found and your storytelling is enriched with detail.
3. Write down what you’ve learned along the way. Every good storyteller takes notes.
“Once you’ve spent time fleshing out your hero’s journey from the ordinary to the special world, ask the hardest question of all: What ordeal above all others forced you to grow and change?” Blake says. Articulate your progress as you share your story.
Storytelling is immensely powerful and is a catalyst for trust building among stakeholders. After all, you would want to work with a company led by someone who was born to instigate change. A hero, if you will.