Good sermons tell a story. In a place of worship we can be confident that the good guys will win, the story will have a happy ending, and finish with an empowering message. What can business leaders learn from their spiritual peers?
Business leaders often need to change course and direction. They do this by developing new strategies. Executing these strategies works best with motivated teams who overcome obstacles.
Implementing new strategies is a change to the way things get done. It is a new way to make things happen, and often a new way of working together as a team. Changes to the way we work often requires changes in roles and responsibilities. Asking people to be open to new and better ways in one thing. Asking people be different is an entirely different ask.
When you ask people to take on new responsibilities do they really understand the true scope and nature of the change? When you ask people to take on new responsibilities or work in a different way do they believe they can be successful? As much as we want to think business is a logical affair, our organizations are made up of people who are not always logical.
Spiritual leaders want to lead people to change. They want their flock be better people, better connected to their community, and invested in helping others. In many ways spiritual leaders are asking people to take on new responsibilities, and work together in new ways. To make these changes happen, spiritual leaders often use stories about people overcoming specific adversity and succeeding.
Think back to some stories you may have heard from spiritual leaders. Debtors should strive to be lenders not borrowers. Those in poor health can be healers.
These are inspirational stories of transformation. Can we leverage these stories to empower our organizations to succeed? Yes of course we can. There are four rules of storytelling a business leader can learn from spiritual leaders.
- Focus on the empowerment of an individual. People can picture themselves as the hero.
- Forgive past errors. Leaders will allow people to move forward when they forgive.
- Express a sense of faith that everything will work out. Faith engenders hope. Hope enables people to try something new in the spirit of progress. Hope enables people to break free from a fear of perfection.
- Keep it simple. Good stories have three parts
- >Beginning - Who the hero was, and what the hero did before any change
- >Event - Something happens which changes the hero in a profound way
- >Victory - They hero has changed their nature and they are on the path to success
Business leaders can create stories which are messages of hope and forgiveness that address the possibility of a new day. Hope are forgiveness are the foundations to personal empowerment, and enablers of positive change.
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