Do you remember your favorite children’s book? The one you always wanted someone to read to you? My all time favorite was the Story of the Root Children. Every spring, my father would read this fanciful story. I’d crawl into his big brown chair and listen to him tell the story of the root children waking up. I remember the story was often followed by a trip to the forest with my father asking….”Can you hear the root children?” Of course, I did. I always did.
What does a great children’s story have to do with leadership? We can learn a great deal from children’s book authors and illustrators. These authors have mastered the art of using as few words as possible to make a wonderful point that draws you right into the story. They use illustrations that fill in the gaps for the words and allow you to think about all that’s possible. Truly great leaders know how to do the same: engage the listener, be concise, and help a team envision what’s possible.
This last week, I had the opportunity to see how the power of story telling not only engages a team but also bridges cultural differences. [Read more…]