I met Amy Fox of TwizzleBird at the Big Business Breakfast Event (part of Global Entrepreneurship Week) that I hosted.
She sent me a great piece of feedback on my Power of Stories presentation:
"I was inspired by your talk on the power of storytelling and soft skills being the new hard skills."
Amy writes in her Blog (www.twizzlebird.co.uk)
"Design (like art) talks to our senses, to our emotions and using it well in your business means you can connect with your customers not only consciously but in powerful unconscious ways too. Your business branding, website, premises, products and people tell the story of your business and evoke feelings in clients and potential clients. The power of design is often most obvious when it’s done badly – that strange jarring feeling when a shop you love has a terrible website or when the packaging around some handmade chocolates looks cheap and tacky."
Let's take a look at the conscious and unconscious roles of Story in our lives and businesses.
We are telling a story about ourselves and our business all the time.
That jarring feeling described by Amy is Incongruence.
Incongruence occurs when we are feeling one thing, but saying and doing another. Think of the confident youth that is really a mass of insecurities. Or the novice executive that talks all the buzzwords, but is so evidently confused!
The joy of delivering my Power of Stories programmes, workshops and 1:1 coaching, is when people start to become aware of their old Story. When they want to leave the old limiting story behind, and create a New Story for themselves, that is more congruent, more authentic. This is the point where true Success begins. And this applies not only to personal development - for example, leadership coaching - but also the stories that a business tells about itself, or a team tells about itself. Powerful stories motivate your team; encouraging them to be more innovative and productive.
Story is as relevant and as powerful for the micro-business to the big Apple-sized corporates. And Story, for once, is something that is easier for a small business to manage and use, than a large corporate.
To become aware of the Story of your business (which is likely to be the Story of you and your leadership too), and to use that as an incredibly powerful message. Stories abound everywhere!
I recently gave a presentation "Your Big Story" to the finalists of Your Big Year competition, organised by Smaller Earther (www.smallerearth.com). 24 amazing contestants, inspired, hard-working, talented. What on earth could I teach them? I spoke about keeping the story true to their talents, to their inner wisdom. I encouraged them to keep creating Bigger Stories that will call them to leadership. And I told them that their stories were Beacons of light to inspire others and help show them the way.
Your business can be a Beacon too, through your own Big Story. The Story of your business is not just about how many millions you made - but the way that you did it, with Values and Leadership and Courage. This Story will be told about you long after you retire. It will inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Story is our most basic human technology.With it we can build a team, create a following, leave a legacy long after the tinsel of Success has tarnished.
Take a single story and change the world!