Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Storytelling: The Most Powerful Tool You Have

  • A group of five missionaries are killed in the Ecuadorian jungle. Their spouses return to the same people. Redemption happens.
  • A hobbit leaves the comforts of his hobbit-hole for an adventure that changes everything.
  • Said hobbit's nephew ends up inheriting a magic ring which sets off a whole new set of troubles. The stakes are raised. Life as we know it is in the balance.
  • The daughter of a southern lawyer watches her father defend an innocent man with dark skin in the racially charged setting Alabama in the 1930's.
  • A teenage girl and her sister are refugees from war-torn Syria. While seeking a safe place, the motor on their boat gives out. There are 18 refugees on board a boat meant for 6 people adrift in the Aegean Sea. The two sisters jump into the water and start swimming, pushing the boat 3 hours to safety. The girl competes in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.

These are powerful stories, each of which have had a powerful effect on me. I think, feel, and act differently because I know these stories. Some are true. Some are made up. But I'm a transformed person because of them.

Story is an effective leadership tool, because story taps into a magical domain where human thought and emotion meet. Stories help us think and simultaneously touch our feelings. Thinking and feeling are the impetus for action.

Action leads to change.

Story is not just powerful. It may be the most powerful tool humans have at their disposal.

From global narrative to corporate narrative to our own personal narratives - stories are burly, muscular things that influence us more than we know.

And it could be the stories we tell ourselves are most powerful of all.