Narrative Leadership

Key Idea

Narrative leadership refers to the use of stories and narratives to increase morale, produce change and lead collaboration. These stories, whether focusing on how the organization encountered and overcame difficulties or how it seizes new opportunities, are all designed to create a shared vision for those who are now at the organization (and those who will be employed there in the future)

Book to Read

The Leader's Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative by Stephen Denning (2011)

Quick Take from the Book

 Narratives and stories are used to:

  • Build trust.
  • Create company branding.
  • Instill organizational values.
  • Encourage collaboration.
  • Optimize knowledge sharing.
  • Neutralize conflict.
  • Create a shared vision towards the future.

Quote of Note

“Leadership is essentially a task of persuasion, of winning people’s minds and hearts. Typically it proceeds inductively by argument from one or more examples towards a more general conclusion about the goals and assumptions we should adopt towards the matter in question. Storytelling is thus inherently suited for the task of leadership.” –The Leader's Guide to Storytelling P. 89

Related Styles: Adaptive Leadership, Inspirational Leadership

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