Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Stories v. Scottish Claymores: 3 Rules for Telling Personal Stories

Today, I should simply repost what I wrote on Wednesday, as I am struggling with my own personal narrative.

But, whether it’s something I struggle with or something someone else struggles with — our struggles are our story. Stories are what help others move forward. Move on. Change. Transform.

Our stories.

Some leaders lead with authority. They wield power like an oversized Scottish claymore, showing off strength. Making people do the things they may or may not want to do. Motivation is external. Adscititious.

This blog is not for those power-mongers and sword-swingers. I'm more interested in serving those who lead from the back. Leading from the back of the room is much more subversive. Intrinsic. Those who are leading from behind can’t wield swords and power. That’s a great way to get fired.

Those who lead from behind can use stories. And a story is way more powerful than the sword.

Our experiences, our pain, and our joy. Even our despair. These are stories which assist others in their journey.

There are three rules for personal stories - especially stories told by leaders without position.

Be Authentic

I must tell stories which accurately portray my life. I should be honest about who I am and where my life has taken me. Storytelling is not "mansplaining". It's using the stories from my unique experience to benefit others. Meaning ...

Avoid Ego

The purpose of the stories I tell should never be to make me look good, appealing and beautiful. My motive for telling stories is to benefit the people around me. Avoid making yourself the hero of the story. Don't be self-indulgent. Genuine help must be your motive.

Tell The Truth

Don't make up crap. Tell stories that are true. Events which actually happened.

Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools in business. Use them, whatever position you hold.

Because storytelling is leadership.