Friday, December 24, 2010
When was the last time you talked with your CEO? Many of us "ordinary" employees don't get a chance to meet with our CEO, and when we do, we try to play smart, or even better, shut up completely to prevent ourselves from saying something stupid.
But guess what? CEOs are humans, just like us, and like every human being, they love stories, and they even have some stories of their own to tell.
In fact, CEOs quite often have very interesting stories in their toolbox. That's why they are CEO, after all. Do you think someone could become a leader without having any stories to tell?
Forbes.com published a great article in 2009 called The CEO As Storyteller In Chief.
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 sheets and PowerPoint slides. They transform the boardroom into a bored room. Not that numbers and charts are unnecessary, of course--what would happen if salespeople never mentioned numbers? But storytelling can be the most powerful way for a chief executive to sketch a vision and align people behind it.
And further down, they observe ...
A CEO who has a great story and tells it has a much easier time reaching out to people, connecting to them and creating a sustainable community of them, than anyone who relies entirely on data points and charts has.
So, next time you bump into your boss or the boss of your boss, don't shy away. Ask him or her about their story and the story behind your company.