Story and Leadership: The Most Powerful Weapon on Earth
That's a quote from an Iraqi community leader. I think it's wise.
But it's not just about words.
I could write random words on this post and they would mean nothing. Lorum ipsom and the quick brown fox have no real power. They are not dangerous. These words would lay on my page with all the banality of a slug outside my front door.
But, when words are put together in such a way that they tell a story, the power shift happens. Banality and impotence gives way to ingenuity and muscle.
Story is the most powerful tool in the human arsenal and should be wielded with skill and respect.
Part of understanding the power of story is understanding the structure of story, which we do by instinct. We know when a story is great and when a story is boring. We can watch a movie or read a book and recognize there's nothing happening here. Or, worse, there's no purpose or meaning in what's happening.
Story structure is important. It's hardwired into our brains.
Understanding story structure and the power of story is a tool for leadership. It is particularly effective tool when leading from the back of the room.
Words in the form of story can be devastatingly dangerous.
But, in another context, can be world changing-ly good.