Storytelling Can Be a Powerful Leadership Tool
July 12, 2004
The most effective innovative leadership development approach is storytelling.
So concluded an international study by the
International Consortium for Executive Development Research, a highly regarded leadership development think tank.
Its president, Douglas Ready, Senior Lecturer, Leadership Development,
MIT Sloan School of Management, explains:
"When done the right way -- and it's not as easy as it sounds -- storytelling by senior executives helps position a company to maintain success when its current generation of leaders departs and a new generation takes the helm."
Storytelling was recently used successfully by Jim Rager, the Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Canada, a large and venerated financial institution. Rager was looking to focus and direct the future directions of the firm after having grown extensively through acquisitions. Stories about the trials and challenges of a restructuring were illuminating and inspiring to his audiences. Rager found:
"It was all about communicating who we are, what we stand for and how we treat employees, customers and communities."
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