Episode 24 of Leading Matters features Patti Sanchez the SVP of Strategic Services for Duarte and co-author of Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols. The new release from Sanchez and Nancy Duarte is an innovative yet practical work on actionable leadership.
Yet another episode that I believe you absolutely must listen to. In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say don’t even listen to the interview just go buy Illuminate. The book offers incredible insight into the repeatable pattern that lay behind great moments of leadership, and distils that pattern into a systemic practical and repeatable approach for leadership that can be adopted by anyone who seeks to improve the way they lead.
In this twenty plus minute interview, Sanchez addresses the five states of the epic tale that can be used to lead a team of any size. She explains how well the five stages of storytelling align almost perfectly with the natural cycle of business maturation, and how the story itself mirrors the natural progression of how we seek to advance our growth goals. She underscores the fact that storytelling shouldn’t be difficult for us because we tell stories every day, but for some reason we set that ability aside when we start our work week. The story is the heartbeat of what we do with our professional lives, and Illuminate helps us to inject more color and life into our leadership.
Dreaming and Leaping
Think about the last major initiative you lead. Whether it was in your business, your own personal development, or even in your family life it is likely that the start of that initiative had an intended destination, a dream. The first step felt more like a leap into the abyss. This, Sanchez offers, is exactly why those major initiatives unfold like an epic tale.
Obstacles and Battles
Sanchez makes it clear that the story is one of a journey, and the journey is fraught with challenges. Our ‘hero’ must face down these challenges, fight and climb in order to ensure that he have a better chance at arriving at the intended destination.
Lack of Creativity is Not the Problem
Is it work to align our business objectives against a specific narrative? Maybe at first, but it doesn’t necessarily require an abundance of creativity because as humans we are naturally disposed to storytelling. We need only to harness that natural ability in order to tell the tale of our intended journey.
Embrace the Disruption
The story is hardly ever singular, it is more likely just one story going on in parallel with many others. And the script is never written in ink so we have to embrace the disruptions of our story and accept those disruptions as a new opportunity to advance our epic tale.
The Story Helps Turn Mission & Vision Into Reality
So many companies struggle with making their mission, vision, and values tangible. What better way to add clarity and color to company mission, vision and values than by telling a tale about what they mean.
Save the episode now and promise yourself you’ll listen to it in full. You will never look at your strategic plan the same way again.