Story Time

In that latest issue of the Harvard Buisness Review, filmmaker Peter Guber (The Color Purple, An American Werewolf in London, etc.) gives tremendous insight into the art of storytelling and its crucial implications for leading…as he states, “For the leader, storytelling is action oriented-a force for turning dreams into goals and then into results.”

Two LIES about storytelling:

  • Storytelling is purely about entertainment. Not true! “…the use of the story (is) not only to delight but to instruct and lead” (55).
  • Storytelling is in conflict with authenticity. Great storytelling does not conflict with truth…as it is always built on the integrity of the story and its teller.

Four TRUTHS about storytelling:

  • Truth to the Teller. It all comes down to authenticity. You not only need to make sure you are opening your heart and showing emotion…but you need to show that everything about you is a part of the story you are telling (even your wallet).
  • Truth to the Audience. Ask the question, “Who is my audience?” What will their reactions be? What are their emotional needs? How can you surrender ownership of your story to make it interactive? It is all about leaving them emotionally fulfilled with an “aha!” moment, having experienced something worth their time.
  • Truth to the Moment.A great storyteller never tells a story the same way twice. Instead she sees what is unique in each storytelling experience and responds fully to what is demanded” (57). The key here is contextualization. It goes beyond asking, “Who is my audience?” to asking “What is my culture?”
  • Truth to the Mission. A great storyteller is devoted to a cause beyond self. That mission is embodied in his stories, which captures and express values that he believes in and wants others to adopt as their own” (58). It comes down to the vision of where you are taking your people and how that is woven into every story you tell.

To purchase this article you can go HERE.


~ by Dave Smith on December 31, 2007.

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