I’m currently planning our annual LionSpeak team retreat, and as I revisited my vision for the future to share with the team, it occurred to me that while I have shared my view of the future with them before, I’ve never actually shared the past that brought me to it. Do they even know the LionSpeak story? How I got here? Why I do this work? Why this is my purpose? How I came to believe it is so important to our industry and the world?
In helping many other business and practice owners to clarify and articulate their view of the future for themselves and their team, I have realized there is always a back story that often goes untold.
Why do we do what we do? What makes us passionate about it? How did we come to care so much about using our work to make a difference? What was the journey or critical moment that brought us to this work and to our vantage point of the future?
The answers form the story behind the work—the story that defines, unifies, and separates our business from others just like it. It is the backstory of our Why. And it’s important that our teams know, understand, and have the ability to retell it in their own unique way to co-workers and clients.
It’s empowering for the team to understand the foundation of the past on which they are standing and from which they will launch and create the future.
As I think back, there were defining moments in my childhood, early work experience, motherhood, and even after I turned fifty that shaped my interest, study, and teachings on Courageous Conversations with customers, co-workers, family members, and myself. These were the times that proved to me how much our words and mindset matter. They were pivotal, life-altering moments, and all of them are part of the LionSpeak backstory—the reason we do what we do.
My work this week is to simplify and solidify that story so that my team can know it and share it with clients, teams, and potential customers.
What is your company’s story? Have you shared it with your team members? Could they retell it as an inspirational chapter in your company’s history to clients or patients?
At your next team meeting, consider sharing what brought you to this work and why it has meaning for you. Allow your team members to, then, recount it to their co-workers so that they can find their own voice within that story. Let us know how it goes, and I’ll report back soon about how ours unfolds as well.
“Many top executives, trained at conventional business schools, eschew storytelling and stick to a tight-jacketed professional approach. They lay out their vision, goals, and results using data points, graphs, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides. They transform the boardroom into a bored room. Storytelling can be the most powerful way for a chief executive to sketch a vision and align people behind it.”When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under great pressure.”
~ Sangeeth Varghese, author of Decide to Lead