Byron's Babbles

Leading With Stories

C.S. Lewis was a well-known author and scholar who believed that storytelling was a powerful tool for exploring ideas and conveying truth to readers. It was said in Once Upon A Wardrobe, by Patti Callahan Henry, “I believe the world is held together by stories.” In many ways the world is held together by stories. Stories help us make sense of our experiences, connect with others, and create meaning in our lives. It is brought out in Once Upon A Wardrobe, which Lewis was a character in, and in having read a great deal of Lewis’ work we can find he firmly believed in the power of imagination and creativity in storytelling, and believed that stories could be used to convey important spiritual and moral lessons to readers. He was the master of using allegory and symbolism to explore complex ideas in a way that was accessible to a wide audience. It was genius of Patti Callahan Henry to have George ask the question, “Where did Narnia come from?”. He was to referring to Lewis’ book, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Stories have the power to shape our understanding of the world around us.

The ability to tell stories that inform enable us for understand ourselves better and convey to others what we value. These narratives shape entire societies as well as the cultures of our companies, organizations, and communities. Stories help us understand and interact with the world around us. One reason I love reading and hearing stories so much is that those stories can challenge my beliefs, broaden my perspectives, navigate difficult situations, find common ground with others, and build empathy and understanding.

Stories can take the form of conversations, literature, speeches, presentations, film, music, or oral traditions. As leaders, we have an obligation to sharpen our storytelling skills. As a teacher, I understood that effective lessons are couched in good stories. This is true in leadership as well. Stories really are how we process our lives and the world around us.


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