Leadership and Storytelling

After getting back in mid-July from vacationing in the Philippines, I dove right back into my storytelling agenda. My first assignment was to facilitate the board retreat of an international organization with a mission to engage civic-minded citizens to be positive agents of change in their local communities through leadership and service. The objectives for the retreat were to strengthen relationships between board members and to develop a cohesive message to other members of the organization for achieving specific goals.

Each participant shared stories about personal experiences as a volunteer that were transformational. Their stories revealed common beliefs in how their mission can change the lives of people they serve after seeing how it has changed their own lives.

I enjoyed listening to their stories as I got to know each of them on a more personal level — their aspirations, challenges and values. They tugged at my heart strings and, in some cases, I burst out laughing. Either way, I was moved to the very core. I couldn’t remember the last time I was in a room filled with so much empathy, compassion and camaraderie.

With clarity and a fresh perspective on their shared values, the board members showed confidence in mapping out next steps as I exited the room. On my way out the building I thought, “Beyond a meeting of the minds, people can solve social problems if they open themselves fully and share their hearts.”

A learning nugget from the board meeting:

Everyone agreed that building a story bank was an important first step to enhance storytelling within the organization. Here’s the link I shared to get them started. It’s one example of how Families USA collects stories and uses them. Let me know if this proves to be useful to you or if you already have a story bank. Would love to hear from you.

Please join us for our fall storytelling workshop series:

September 20
Commercial-ize Your Mission – DETAILS AND REGISTER

October 11
Don’t Let Words Get in the Way – DETAILS AND REGISTER

October 18
The Power of Symbols – DETAILS AND REGISTER

November 13
Writing for Video – DETAILS COMING SOON

For more information about the workshops, visit the workshop series page.

Looking forward to seeing you in the fall.

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