What Is Your Story About Who You Are And What You Stand For

What Is Your Story About Who You Are And What You Stand For

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Your leadership story is a story for you to write.

We all have a story we can tell, about where we’re from and where we’re going. It’s a story that describes not only who we are, but also who we have not yet become. It is a tune and a script we play in our mind of the lessons life has taught us and the pathways we have so far taken and those we may take in future. But the challenge, is whose story is it. Is the story we tell, truly ours, or is it one created by other voices? If we are not the authors of our own lives, others will write their script for us.

Our leadership journey is a story only we can truly tell. Other people will have their version of our life and who we are and we may have accepted these versions as if they were true. But stepping into leadership is the moment when we can delete those that aren’t true and search more deeply within for the real story of who we are. An authentic story is derived from the past that has shaped us, the future that calls us and the challenges that define our leadership now.

It is with hindsight that we can see how the life we have already led, and what we have learnt so far, have built the foundations for the values and principles we hold today. It is with foresight we can find our inspiration in dreams of the future, as we imagine the life we would like to lead. And we can inevitably build a better bridge between the past and the future as we gain greater insight into the rhythms and patterns of life as we lead it today.

Each of us has a uniquely personal insider’s interpretation of the life we have led and it makes most sense when we can tell it in a way that, not only explains the flow of our life, but is also a simultaneous narrative about someone who is now, and at the same time, is someone still becoming. No matter where we are in our lives, we all have a sense that there is more to us than we have yet become. In each of us there is so much that lies unexplored, so much we could do and could be and so much potential to be unlocked for the future. The nature of inspiration is to bring to life the possibilities that lie dormant. To be inspired is to awaken the yearning that lies within and then to give it greater expression.

As humans we are the learning species with the capacity to adapt to new circumstances and change course and direction at speed. We tell stories as a way of translating our experiences from one situation to another and making sense of the challenges and opportunities we face. We build models to understand and mindsets to bring clarity to complexity and to increase our ability to predict outcomes and make better choices. We tell ourselves stories of what is true and what is not true, of the values we hold that are negotiable and those that are non-negotiable and of who we are and what we stand for

As we grow in maturity, we continually shape our philosophy for life, a philosophy that encapsulates the essence of our unique identity – our purpose, passions and principles – that not only propel us forward, but also provide us with our own guidelines for living. In this way the story we tell brings not only greater self-awareness, but also a clarity that reminds us of who we are and what matters most in the life we live.

We use lessons from our life to explain and teach, but also to help others in their own search for meaning. All chapters in our life’s story matter- the good and the bad, the happy and sad – all have contributed to the totality of who we are. Sharing stories with others is a way to deepen trust, strengthen relationships and build a supportive community for giving and receiving feedback for development.

The aim is to craft a story that is personal, meaningful and empowering. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because just as we change our lives, our lives in return change us. Our true story will evolve over time as our self-awareness increases and our insight deepens. Essentially it will be our humility and humanity that carry us forward and nurture the unfolding of the authentic and more complete person. Ultimately, the story we tell will reveal the moral compass we live by and give voice to the legacy we want to leave on the lives we touch and on the world in which we live.