Getting The Story Straight
I’m going to tell you a story about stories.
Each and every decision you’ve made in your life was driven by a story. It was either a story you told yourself, a story you heard, or it drifts among the stories you’ve accumulated over time that you believed. Each and every time you believe a story, it has an impact on your decisions and choices.
So, why is it that we don’t give our story diet more attention?
We scroll through the news, social media, and our own thoughts, usually without knowing why we’re scrolling. We run through all kinds of story scenarios in our minds, usually without filtering what’s truth, fiction, or fact. Why? Because scrutiny takes effort.
As the saying goes, knowing that you have a problem is the first step in fixing it. The less discussed second step is knowing that you have a choice to make change and acting on that choice. Enter, the growth mindset.
As I wrote in a previous article, storytelling is the world’s most advanced technology. I was paraphrasing what I learned from the writer Ocean Vuong about the power of his novels and poetry. It’s the most advanced technology because it persuades us all, constantly.Again, each and every decision you’ve made, and everyone else for that matter, has been influenced by a story.
So, knowing that the stories we intake and believe are what drives us, AND knowing that you have a choice on which stories you give your attention and belief to, why don’t we assess our story diet with the utmost care?
A brand is a story. A culture is a story. A business is a story. Each can act as separate stories that compete for truth and attention.
Or they can be woven into a single truthful and potent narrative that moves people. When they culminate together into a single unified story, you have the makings for a beautiful business. One trust-able story line that creates a magnetic pull to the people who are listening for more truthful and meaningful stories.
There’s no potential customer (or employee) on the planet who isn’t seeking this: a company that has integrity and creates value for them.
As I write this, it all seems so simple. But experienced entrepreneurs know it isn’t. As one recently shared with me, “business is hard, really hard; the decisions I have to make each, and every day don’t get easier, they matter more and more as we grow.”
I get it. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 28 years. But I will tell you this, having a great brand-culture story makes your decisions easier. For you, for your team, for your customers.
When we align our business, our culture, and our work story, we work with integrity. Integrity is felt and trusted. Trust is the emotional currency all companies deal in. When your people feel that trust, they are attracted to the unified character of your company. That’s a beautiful thing when it happens. And, it’s unignorable.
Assuming you believe what I’ve written, I’ll bet that the next time you hear a story you’ll meet it with a little (or a lot) more scrutiny.
And, you may begin to think more deeply about the stories you hear within and about your company — especially how they affect you and your colleagues.
As well, you may even think twice about how you shape and tell the stories about your company. At least, I hope you do.
When we weave our brand story, our culture story, our business story together, we braid our work into wholeness. When something is whole, it’s more valuable. Like a diamond. Like a pristine ancient forest. Like a masterful painting. Or a finely built company. Something with wholeness has a magnetic beauty that becomes utterly attractive.
On the personal side: By not filtering your story belief intake, you’re using the world’s most advanced technology, wittingly, against yourself.
For your business: By not weaving together your unified brand-culture story around the soul of your company, you’re disregarding the world’s most advanced technology.
Ultimately, if stories are our most persuasive technology, why aren’t we doing everything we can to create the most meaningful, unified stories and put them to work?
Why don’t we practice a more thoughtful story diet intake?
Why don’t we harness the power of stories every day in our work and our lives?
If you want to put the world’s most advanced technology to good use for your company, that’s what I help with. Reach out and we can do as the Hawaiians do, talk story.
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.