Tower Hamlets: Storytelling as Leadership

A short introductory presentation on the value of leaders becoming ‘Storytellers in Chief.’

Global narratives around lockdown

As we come out of lockdown its noticeable how many education systems around the world are addressing questions around what has been learned and how can benefits be accrued into the future. The language, and how the moment is framed, are both of interest. For some the language 

The Hero’s Journey 

Joseph Campbell constructed a model he called the Hero’s Journey. It’s derived from the epic stories replicated across cultures. The narrative follows a familiar pattern and occurs in classic literature, also in more contemporary tales. At this point in time, we are also seeing it in the global lockdown stories of struggle, quest and renewal. Schools have an opportunity to construct their own stories struggle, quest and renewal out of lockdown.

Research on Storytelling as Leadership 

The research on Storytelling as Leadership is convincing. 

Springboard Stories

An item from Forbes magazine talk about framing the lockdown stories in order to avoid ‘threat rigidity.’ Better to frame the moment as an opportunity.

Commission, Collect and Curate 

The guidance I’d give to leaders would be to 

  • Start with your own personal story
  • Then create opportunities for others to tell their own stories
  • Share the stories and the lessons learned
  • Sort the stories in order to nudge towards change,
    • Spotlight – what do we want to talk about?
    • Success – what was successful about this? What did we do to make it a success?
    • Secure – how do we learn from and retain the success going forward?
    • Shape – how do we alter, add to and improve upon that success in a new future? 
  • Collect and curate the stories and use as an agenda for future work