Article Title

Why Leaders Need To Be Good Storytellers

Travels From

United States

Article Content

From childhood through college, I studied music as a classically trained pianist. I took lessons from masterful teachers, practiced every week, played in recitals, and did everything a good piano student does.


You could put almost any sheet music in front of me, and I could play it. There was just one problem. I hated it. Eventually I walked away from it completely.


I was chatting about this with a friend who is a musician, and I told him how puzzled I was that I walked away from that gift, and how it just didn't make sense that I would have such talent and no desire. But he wasn't surprised. "It wasn't the piano that you hated," he said. "It was the music."


For what good if you're skilled, and you know every part.....if the song that you sing doesn't come from the heart?

What does this have to do with leadership? I'm getting there.

A symphony is a great analogy for an organization - the musicians representing the employees and teams - the conductor representing the leader.


Every musician and instrument is carefully chosen. Parts are rehearsed until they are flawless. And each separate note joins with the others to form a masterpiece that will wow the audience.


The musician focuses on his instrument, like the employee focuses on his job. The team of violins join together in a common goal, just as the customer service department works in tandem. Everybody reads this sheet music which shows how their individual notes and clusters of notes work together to form a song that brings value to the audience - their customer.

Just as a conductor makes sure all the pieces are moving together according to the music they are playing, a leader must do all of this AND make sure his employees care about the song they are playing. Leaders set the tone for the entire organization, much as a conductor leads his orchestra to a winning performance.


So what does storytelling have to do with leadership?


Story is the bridge between a conductor and his musicians. Leaders create the music that their employees will play, and keep them passionate about the music. Just as a conductor can't simply expect to hand the symphony the music and they're ready - a leader can't just give employees job descriptions and call it a day.


Every effective leader needs to be an effective storyteller.



Because the job of a leader requires the ability to motivate and inspire a group of people to take action.


Whether it's influencing employees, customers, or a market, today's leader must do more than tell people what to do, but actually make them want to do it. It's the difference in manipulation and motivation.


Now, more than ever before, employees distrust leadership. Not only that, over 70% of employees (according to the latest Gallup poll) are disengaged from their work, and if unchecked is predicted to rise to 86%. That means that over 70% of the current workforce has checked out. They just haven't quit yet. And people who don't care, don't play beautiful music.


Strategic Storytelling is the skill set that leaders use to teach, motivate, and inspire their employees. It is the skill that wraps a goal in a vision and sells the vision to the people.


Story is the tool used to bridge the company to the buyer. No matter what our business or role inside that business, we're all in the business of persuasion and influence. Story is the best tool we have to take information and deliver it in a way that has true influence.


Many leaders focus on the facts and wonder why their audience isn't as excited as they are - when they should be focusing on the story instead. Facts tell, stories sell.


So how do we as leaders effectively utilize this tool? Listen in on the free recorded podcast below where Chip Lutz, The Unconventional Leader, and I discuss story and its application.


  • Disclaimer: The profiles and artwork embedded on these pages are of this speaker or talent, These remain the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by WeSpeak Global.
Google Ad
  • No comments yet.
  • Add a review