Did you know that the future of leadership will be guided by the experiences, and the insights people have about those experiences today? All leaders have a story about their journey to become who they are, but most of those stories go untold, unappreciated and are underutilized as a developmental asset.
After working with many leaders and organizations over the years as a coach, consultant and learning facilitator, I realized that how others relate to a leader’s story has an impact not only on the leader’s individual success but also on the organization and its culture – good, bad or otherwise. I once was brought in to consult with the leadership team of a mid-size, educational services company while they were onboarding a new CEO. One of the exercises I asked the new CEO to do was to share his values, his hot buttons or triggers, his approach to teamwork and leadership, lessons learned and what habits he was working to improve upon.
The impact immediately afterward on the leadership team was profound. Anxiety and tension in the room evaporated and was replaced by positive anticipation for where the new CEO could lead them. Outside of the C-Suite, I’ve been struck by how quickly people achieve new insights about themselves and others when we encourage them to share their stories. I’ve observed this during the 1:1 developmental interviews we hold at the beginning of each coaching engagement and during a storytelling exercise I often include in my facilitation of team development retreats.
When I started writing Learn Lead Lift, I knew I wanted to leverage storytelling as a catalyst for new insights and learning about leadership. If you’ve read the book, you know that it is literally full of stories from a diverse range of leaders – as well as my own.
What I didn’t expect were the insights the interviewing process would unlock for the people I interviewed.
Laughter, tears and long moments of silent contemplation were followed up with statements like, “Thank you for asking me to do this,” and, “Wow, I’ve learned a lot about myself today.”
Inspired by our experiences during the interviews for Learn Lead Lift, the Kadabra team developed Your Learn Lead Lift Story™ so that leaders, their coaches, and learning facilitators could replicate them. If you’re not already familiar with Your Learn Lead Lift Story™ , it’s a 60-minute exercise designed to uncover an individual’s hidden mindsets through the targeted recall of past experiences.
Mindsets strongly influence leader skill sets, behaviors and learning agility but they can be hard to assess through traditional assessment instruments alone.
Included with every purchase of Your Learn Lead Lift Story™ is a video tutorial by yours truly that walks users through the process step by step. Question prompts, along with templates for: compiling a timeline, crafting a storyboard, and creating a visual frame are also provided.
If you’d like to preview this tool in action, I’ll be guiding leaders personally through the Your Learn Lead Lift Story exercise at the SGR Servant Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, January 26-27, 2023. You’re invited to join me and the Kadabra team there in person or online. Or, check out Your Learn Lead Lift Story™ available for purchase online and let the insights and learning flow!