The Power of Stories
Every basketball team has a specific narrative that is built over time through the creation and retelling of stories. Stories have such immense power within any organization because they reflect the culture and vision of that team.
They are the living, breathing, active representations of a program. In short, your team’s culture is largely shaped by the type of stories you create.
A few days after Ohio State won the National Championship, I was listening to a nationally syndicated radio show who had Urban Meyer on as a guest. Meyer is widely regarded as one of the best coaches and most effective recruiters in the country, and for good reason.
In the 5 short minutes that Meyer was on the show, the radio host only had time to ask him five questions. Meyer responded to 4 of those questions by doing what? Telling a story.
Meyer recounted many stories that had defined the team throughout the season, which in turn gave us access into his world. A huge reason Meyer is so great in recruiting is because his recruits catch the vision of his program long before they step on campus. Meyer sells his recruits on the idea that they can be part of something bigger, and he uses stories as the main weapon in his arsenal.
Great leaders, are great storytellers. Here are 3 habits every leaders should practice in the area of story telling.
Leaders are Story Gatherers
- Being a great leader doesn’t mean you have to be a great orator, it simply means you have to make story-gathering a priority. Think about a typical business meeting. Most meetings have a platonic agenda that deal with the “whats” and “hows” of an organization, but rarely will a meeting focus on the “whys” (and stories are the barometer of how well an organization is executing the “whys”). The mission (or larger purpose) of a team is directly measured to the degree with which each member of that team is conscious of the type of impact their group is making on others. To increase this level of awareness, find stories that align with your culture and find creative ways to spread those stories within your team or organization.
Leaders Highlight the Heroes
- When great leaders learn to empower others, they make a decision to highlight the heroics of those around them. Talented leaders will find a story that stars one of their “employees” or “teammates” and will communicate that story in a way that accentuates the other person’s accomplishment. For example, if one of the larger purposes of your team is to be other oriented a great leader would find a time when a teammate put someone else’s needs before their own and make light of that to the rest of the group.
Leaders Live Great Stories
- Great leaders live great stories. People both within your team and outside the organization should be able to look at the life of the leader and see a great story in progress. If you preach the values of discipline and hard work within your team, the only way the rest of the group will buy into that vision is if they see the leader faithfully living out these values every single day.
In closing, I would love to hear your thoughts about how Arete Hoops can help you live a more powerful story. We would be honored if you would consider taking a few minutes and sending us an email with your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
We Hope to hear from you. Continue living out incredible stories on your teams.