The Power of a Clear Leadership Narrative

Great leaders build amazing communities. They do so in a variety of ways and over an extended period of time. One of the most effective tools to accomplish that is to shape and articulate powerful narratives of what’s possible. Effective leaders share stories about what great leadership looks and feels like when individuals come together as teams, and teams come together as communities, with a unifying sense of purpose and collective ambition.

This insight has emerged from both survey data and dozens of C-suite-level interviews as part of a major global study, Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy, that MIT Sloan Management Review is conducting with Cognizant. In this new world of work, where being connected and resilient are of paramount importance, 82% of our global survey respondents and virtually all of those interviewed indicated that an individual in the digital world would need a certain level of digital savviness to be an effective leader. Yet, when asked what skill or behavior was the most important to leadership effectiveness, the answer was being able to articulate a clear sense of purpose, vision, and strategy. What at first seems old is new again: Clarity of communication in a hyper-speed world is a key difference maker in the eyes of current managers and leaders from around the world.

To gain a better feeling of the texture that forms the fabric of this insight, consider this comment from Susan Sobbott, former president of American Express Global Commercial Services: “In the digital economy, physical presence can’t be mandatory to be an effective leader. You have to be able to lead people from many different cultures, in many different locations, and often with imperfect information because things are moving so fast,” she says. Her simple and elegant solution to this decades-old challenge reflects the power of a clear leadership narrative. “You have to be able to see a story emerging and to articulate that story in a way that has meaning and inspiration for a wide range of people. You have to convey your passion and beliefs through a powerful narrative.”

Why Finding Your Leadership Narrative Is Important

We analyzed our survey responses from more than 120 countries and conducted a sentiment analysis and heat-mapping exercise to identify the most important leadership behaviors in this new economy. The traits that emerged were authenticity, transparency, trust, inspiration, the ability to connect and invest in others, analytical capability, curiosity, and courage, among others. Few would argue that these behaviors and attributes are necessary, yet by themselves, standing independently, without the context needed to create meaning or catalyze change, they run the risk of being considered buzzwords. Stories help prevent that from happening, and that’s where the power of creating your leadership narrative comes into play. Developing a powerful narrative demands that you, the leader, take a stand on what you believe in, what you are about, and what impact you hope to create as you set out to form teams and build communities. The leader behaviors and attributes listed earlier become your means of communicating to others who you are, as well as your expectations for others concerning how you will lead together in your organization. It’s about finding and sharing your voice.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, late-night comedian Stephen Colbert talked about his search to “find his show.” For months his show struggled in the ratings, not because it lacked comedic appeal or impact, but because it had no thesis or arc that held it together. Once he and his writing team took a stand on what they believed in and followed through on those beliefs transparently, authentically, and courageously, Colbert believes they found their show, and since then he has commanded the No. 1 slot in the ratings. To find your personal leadership narrative, you need to figure out what great leadership means to you. David Schmittlein, dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, made a similar point while being interviewed for this study. “A great leader must be willing and able to display the courage it sometimes takes to stand by well-founded convictions — to take a stand on a decision that may be unpopular,” Schmittlein states. “It is about finding your narrative — what you believe in — and not being a willow in the wind. A well-thought-out leadership narrative helps create meaning and motivation for others.”

Getting Started: Finding Your Leadership Narrative

I spend a good deal of my time coaching senior executives to shape and tell their leadership stories in leader-led development initiatives around the world. When crafted well, and integrated with important conceptual content, engaging senior leaders to share their perspectives can be a powerful learning experience. Years ago, I was coaching a vice-chairman of a large global financial services company to share his story on what it meant to be a great leader in a changing world. He looked at me, almost with a sense of embarrassment, and said, “I’ve been in leadership roles for 35 years, and this is the first time I have ever been asked to share what I actually believe to be the essential ingredients of great leadership.” My response: “Well then, let’s get started!”

Follow these simple steps to find your leadership narrative:

  1. No matter how busy you are, how many deadlines you are facing, or how many people are vying for your time, give yourself permission to reflect on what being a great leader means to you. Don’t think about it for five minutes and consider the job done. Take a day or chunks of several days away from the office to seriously reflect on this. After you do that, write those thoughts down as a draft narrative. It might start out as a series of bullet points, and that’s completely fine to get you started. But make sure it begins to take shape as a story.
  2. Share your draft narrative with one person, or several people, you trust. By trust, I mean that you trust that they will be honest with you concerning how authentic your narrative feels. Does the narrative describe you? Have they seen you behave this way over time? Have they witnessed you trying to cultivate those behaviors in others? You are trying to discover whether you are an authentic role model for your own narrative.
  3. When your narrative is refined enough, try it out. Tell your story transparently and with authenticity. Your leadership narrative should not be seen as a war story, simply recounting something you did. Work on it so that others can learn from it. At the right time and with the right people, seek feedback on the impact your narrative is having and ask how your story can have greater impact.

How we work is changing, but why we work and what we hope to achieve through our work remain largely the same. We want to be part of something larger, something special, something that helps make this world we live in a better place. Your leadership narrative can motivate others in important ways. Finding your narrative — one that expresses authentically, transparently, and courageously what you believe in as a leader, what you are about, and indeed what you are willing to fight for — will let you begin to unite individuals into teams, and teams into amazing communities.



* This article was originally published here

65 comments:

  1. This is a great and very interesting! I would like to hear more about your awesome ideas. Please share us your motivation in creating an informative website like this one. https://www.totom1.com/토토사이트추천/

    ReplyDelete
  2. This help me a lot in such different way. You made an excellent and informative article. Thank you for always sharing your inspirational work. Keep on working. https://www.totom1.com/토토사이트추천/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think this is an enlightening post and it is particularly valuable and proficient. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very entertaining and informative. I am so grateful that I have read your amazing article. https://www.totom1.com/토토사이트추천/

    ReplyDelete
  4. I finally found great and very informative post here! I will get back here. I also added your site to my bookmark sites. Quality post is the crucial to invite the visitors to visit the web page, that's what this web page providing. https://www.totom1.com/토토사이트추천/

    ReplyDelete
  5. When browsing the net quite often I have discovered a web page than can be quite though provoking such as this one. I desired to shared that I discovered the information within your website was really amazing and interesting so that I've learned many things. I will be certain to look for the next write -up. Thank you very much for the excellent write-up. I will come again for sure in the future. https://www.totom1.com/토토사이트추천/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats! I hope this leads you to your success. 토토사이트추천

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank for sharing this post . This is Really helpful.
    You can visit my blog website here Sidtalk. You will definitely find quality content knowledge posts.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for all the information. I also believed that all the establishment needed innovation for every process that we used to do. Innovation helps a lot to increase and help you in different terms. Keep it up.
    By the way, Feel free to surf to my webpage: 토토사이트추천

    ReplyDelete
  9. In general, all travel trips are being booked later and later, so unless there's a major conference going on in your destination city, you should be able to find somewhere to stay. What can be more difficult to ensure is that it's somewhere you want to stay and that it's within your budget. 출장안마

    ReplyDelete
  10. The essential choices of business are exclusively founded on the money related arranging of the whole year and procedure consultancy assumes a significant job in it. Before you start any business or you intend to begin any extend inside a business, you need some procedure which you can pursue. At the point when you have a procedure, you have a make way to pursue. Six Sigma

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If you are a programmer and having any problem related to this ,you can visit my site and contact us.click here

    ReplyDelete
  13. We have started a tutorial,how to start your own blog Visit Us

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have kept your website. It is illuminating and fulfilling for me. I regard the central information you offer on your site. A devotion of thankfulness is all together for posting it.

    Feel free to surf my site: nba 생중계 nba 생중계

    ReplyDelete
  15. good post!!!
    https://customadd.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this website regularly, this web page is in fact nice and the viewers are truly sharing fastidious thoughts. 123Movies

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was very happy to uncover this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!! Fmovies

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually recognise what you are speaking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally consult Yesmovies

    ReplyDelete
  19. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our website.Keep up the good writing. Solarmovie

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great to end up going to your weblog once more, it has been a very long time for me. Pleasantly this article I've been sat tight for so long. I will require this post to add up to my task in the school, and it has identical subject together with your review. Much appreciated, great offer. Visit here to my web:: 모모벳 | 모모벳

    ReplyDelete

  21. Today, Emblix as one of the best and top most service-oriented Digital Marketing Agency in Hyderabad and India , Which provides high-quality result-oriented Digital Services ranging from SEO to Web Design, Social Media Marketing and more, to a broad spectrum of clients from diverse industry segments. Through a well-oiled combination of Quality Solutions, Transparent Pricing, helping brands connect with customers, Flexible Delivery & Contract Model with a firm commitment to deliver on time and to budget, Emblix has successfully built a strong relationship with clients based on mutual trust and respect. Further, Emblix’s extensive market experience and expertise in Digital Marketing helps clients in successfully managing data as a strategic asset.

    Website: https://www.emblixsolutions.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. No matter if some one searches for his required thing, so he/she wishes to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here. 123Movies

    ReplyDelete
  23. Awesome post. I am a normal visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a frequent visitor for a really long time. 123Movies

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hey there! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Movies123

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi there. I found your blog via Google while looking for a similar matter, your web site came up. FMovies

    ReplyDelete
  26. We are only trying to provide you relevant information about the situation according to our various research sources which don’t mean that we are at the support of these kinds of piracy sites. YesMovies

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well I really liked reading it. This tip procured by you is very helpful for accurate planning. Bệnh Lậu

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well! I have thrown my phone away, turned on computer, logged in and commented your article.LOL. This is so hilarious Jav Uncensored

    ReplyDelete
  29. I were caught in same trouble too, your solution really good and fast than mine. Thank you Jav Streaming

    ReplyDelete
  30. That’s true, i have same opinion with you about this. We should together figure this out Jav Censored

    ReplyDelete
  31. Today is a great day when read this. Your article is what im looking for so long. Thank you.
    Jav Censored

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you so much, your article is excellent. Hard to pass such a great information like that.
    Japanese Porn

    ReplyDelete
  33. This really really a usefull website, these information helped me a lot of in my jobs. Thank you so much.
    Jav Uncensored

    ReplyDelete
  34. We at Marvel Geospatial, provide you with an ultimate Geospatial Solution with our accurate data mapping and management services. Marvel brings horizontal and vertical integration of Satellite/Aerial Remote Sensing, Positioning Applications, Photogrammetry, GIS Databases and Applications, GIS Web-services and Networking of GIS Databases.Marvel offers expert advice and reliable data for all geospatial needs. Discover what’s possible with Marvel. Give us a call today for a free consultation!

    https://www.marvelgeospatial.com/

    ReplyDelete
  35. Though i have learned about it but after read your articles, i just realized the amount of knowledge that i missed. Thank for your shared. Jav Streaming

    ReplyDelete
  36. Really suprised with these things, i have thought it would be different. Thanks for useful information Jav Hot

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you and thank for your shared, i will introduce to my friend to visit your website more often Jav Free

    ReplyDelete
  38. movies123. This is your first post. Edit or delete

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks a lot very much for the skilled and amazing guide. I will not hesitate to suggest the blog to any individual who should receive guidelines on this problem.gogoanime

    ReplyDelete
  40. it is really a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us
    american diamond necklace

    ReplyDelete
  41. it is really a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us

    Matka guessing chart

    ReplyDelete
  42. When you come across trigonometry question, you often think to avail help from someone who can assure to provide you solution. So, here we are at Crazy for Study, helping students to take Trigonometry Solution Manuals from experts that too at pocket friendly price.

    ReplyDelete

  43. شركة دانة الزهراء فني تكييف مركزي الكويت و تصليح وحدات تكييف وصيانة مكيفات و تصليح ثلاجات
    "
    و فني تصليح غسالات اتوماتيك تصليح من فنيين معتمدين على مدار 7 أيام 24 ساعه خدمات منزل جميع مناطق الكويت"
    تصليح تكييف

    ReplyDelete
  44. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. Leadership Development

    ReplyDelete
  45. The blog is quite resourceful, however a touch of the professionals can diversity it even further. Visit idealassignmenthelp.com and watch how the experts promise a fine quality my assignment help. The best experts in the business are here to take care of your academic needs.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Set aside my effort to peruse all the remarks, however I truly delighted in the article. It's consistently pleasant when you can not exclusively be educated, yet in addition, engaged!
    360digitmg big data course

    ReplyDelete
  47. The author of the blog certainly has extremely impressive writing skills. You can strengthen the blog even further by adding a few grammatical detailing that promises to take your written piece to another level. Explore the academic services offered by livewebtutors.com and seek assignment help. Read More Here….My Assignment Help | Assignment Help Australia

    ReplyDelete
  48. Use Assignment Help services if you don’t find anything to compose your academic paper or homework. Sometimes, you can’t concentrate on your studies because of being busy with many activities and find hard to write your assignment. So, take the online help of experts and find some more hands for drafting the documents. When you don’t find sufficient time for managing the different activities of assignment writing, then you have to make the right option. This is the best option to finish your papers without any tension.
    Online Assignment
    help with my assignment

    ReplyDelete
  49. You really make it look so natural with your exhibition however I see this issue as really something which I figure I could never understand. It appears to be excessively entangled and incredibly expansive for me.
    https://360digitmg.com/course/certification-program-in-data-science

    ReplyDelete
  50. You should talk it's shocking. Your blog survey would extend your visitors. I was fulfilled to find this site.I expected to thank you for this phenomenal read!!
    what is the difference between analysis and analytics

    ReplyDelete
  51. This blog is very informative, it is quite understandable that you might not be able to connect with them during the daytime so, most of the online assignment help companies are working all round the clock so that you can reach out to them any time as per your convenience. You can let them know that you have an urgent assignment help Australia requirements and they will take it ahead and get it completed within a span of few hours and that too without any kind of compromise related to the standard. But when it comes to the preparation of an assignment, it takes a while to research about the topic and then to prepare as per the given guidelines. This might take a lot from the student's schedule and at the end, it might not be of the same quality as well. So, it puts their result under huge risk as most percentage of the grades is related to the assignments. To be free of all the challenges mentioned above, connect with assignment help Australia service providers. The professionals are available all day and night to make sure that you get your urgent requirements covered with ease. You can connect with them as per your convenience and get all your queries resolved right away. So, search for my assignment help company which fits in perfectly for your needs and as per your budget. You will surely have a great academic tenure!

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is a great post I saw thanks to sharing. I really want to hope that you will continue to share great posts in the future.
    iot course in noida

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi dear
    thanks for sharing this premium knownledge free of cost
    Thanks sharing me sharing me
    sharing me

    ReplyDelete