Your story as inspiration
The Legacy story is your signature as a leader; how you’ve learned to motivate people over the years. You are a leader, and you may or may not be a born leader. You are used to taking responsibility and making decisions. You want to include people in your vision and perspective on the future. How do you do that? What does leadership mean in a strongly emancipated and individualised society? What are the keywords that describe your personal style? Is it about having a strong, clear course – my way or the highway – or more about supported decisions, based on consensus and harmony?
What have been your signature leadership experiences? On what considerations or convictions do you base your decisions? What goes well and what goes wrong? What dilemmas do you have? You have empathy, but sometimes you also have to make hard decisions. How do you deal with rationality and emotion? Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness — how do you avoid that misunderstanding?
You are a visionary, driven and enterprising. You have achieved business successes of which you are rightly proud but you’ve also had a few bumps and bruises along the way. What were your experiences with the ‘leaders’ in your life, such as a father or a teacher? What has been the most important development in your thinking and actions over the past five to ten years? What is now your most important message for inspiring leadership? In short, you have a story. The Legacy story shares your experience with future generations of leaders.
The unique perspectives of the Legacy story
Assuming leadership of a company means being consistent, recognisable and even predictable. That is the basis of credibility. Daring to set out your vision and mission – not inflexibly but to create openness – is what makes you a strong leader. Leadership is explicitly linked to the future. Good leaders are able to visualise the future before it becomes reality. As a leader, you are able to represent the vision and lead people to its realisation in the future. Your authentic legacy story from your own business culture is the best guarantee that you, as leader and chief storytelling officer, are the inspirational force for your customers, your brand, your organisation, your employees and yourself. Your Legacy story is your signature as a leader.
Unique themes within the legacy story
Inspiration: cherishing values
Core values express what your organisation stands for. Your employees can rely them, your customers can depend on them. Core values are the starting point of a good vision. Values for which you collectively stand form the foundation for future growth.
Within the story, it is essential to bring values to life. Values in themselves are hollow phrases that everyone can interpret in their own way. Placing values in an authentic story gives them direction and meaning. It is particularly interesting when employees can connect their own personal stories with the values of the company.
Vision: building trust
As a leader, you want to get the best out of your employees. But loyalty, passion and enthusiasm are not for sale. People go the extra mile if they are touched in their hearts; if they have the idea that they are working for the greater good. This makes the development of a connecting vision all the more important.
A vision is more than a passage in an annual report. It is also more than an idea in the director’s head. Call it the proverbial dot on the horizon, the view of the future; a vision story works when it leads to a shared dream, including the meaning associated with the dream: something you cherish and would like to achieve. Moving toward the future together – that is the core of the leadership story.
Connection: touching people
Leadership is about getting people moving.A good story convinces and moves people, and sets them in motion. If the story rings true in its clarity and feeling, the reader or listener is carried away by the power of the story. This creates real contact.
Good storytellers know how to captivate and engage their audience. It was always thus and still is. With storytelling, you ensure that your Leadership story is also taken up and passed on by managers, until all employees become part of the same unstoppable, connecting story.
Conviction: lighting fires
Mission, vision and objectives complete the story. Now the time has come for you to share the story with your employees in the form of a presentation. This is your chance as a leader to make an indelible impression and bring a new dynamic to your business. Good preparation is half the work.
Employees expect leadership from you; for you to define opportunities and sketch an outlook. But in which way will your message best stick with people? How do you create enthusiasm and conviction, the fuel for change? You don’t even have to make such a big step, the trick is to stay close to yourself. You know how to tell a story with passion. And you allow your story to create a spark with your audience.
Success: unlocking unity
No concept is as magical as ‘leadership’. However, if you peel away all the layers of meaning, you expose the same core: the ability to include people in a vision. The leadership story is an essential tool for achieving your business goals. You play the role of your life. Leadership with a personal signature; that creates rapture and ultimately brings the applause. Live your story!