I should be heading to bed right now, but I find myself thinking about two stories and their impact. Very different stories, sort of.
First story: The new lead singer of Journey who was discovered from a You Tube video - I posted about this story here. It is very cool and inspiring. I told the story again last week as I was waiting to start my presentation at the ASTD conference. The attendees found it fascinating. And tonight, I see on my blog stats that several people found my blog post while searching for information about Journey's lead singer.
Second story: From a Twitter post, I discovered that Bill Wixey, Q13 news anchor in Seattle, has a blog about his journey to fight Hodgkin's Lymphoma. His blog is open, human, and amazing. He is telling his story with a lot of transparency and it is compelling.
What both stories have in common is they are compelling, real, and demonstrate the power of passion and focus. As I have written so many times before, reality is socially constructed and if you read and tell great stories, this WILL impact you life and your results.
What kind of stories are you repeating to familiy and friends?
And for those of you who are a leader - at work, in your community, within your family - never underestimate the power of your well-told story. Anyone can (and should) share moving stories. Here are a few suggestions for how to tell a great story:
- Be open, warts and all. The best stories do not gloss over the details, they tell them. Conversely, share the truth and be credible.
- Give your story a narrative - paint the picture and tell the story with action. If you know them, share the details in order with all the highs and lows that actually occured.
- Tell people what the story means to YOU. The best story tellers show their connection to the story even if they are not directly involved.
- Be concise, but not dismissive of colorful details. Take as much time as you need to tell a vivid story, but no more.
- Offer pictures, links, audio, or anything that helps you tell the story.
- Make note of the larger themes of the story.
I think that organizations and individuals can learn a lot by reading both the Journey story and Bill Wixey's blog. You will learn about the power of perserverance, the power of passion and giving something your all, the power of community, the power of networks and connections, and the strengths of the human spirit.