Storytelling and the truth is more accurate when the subject is marketing. Curiously, children understand effective storytelling at a very young age. Give them a chance to tell a story, they immediately look at the world as they want it to be. Children quickly become heroes; or in some cases villains! Regardless, their world vision involves them in the middle of the action. They are crafty, they are bold, and most importantly, they find a way! Children solve problems in their stories. Their heroism, creativity, and tenacity is everything to expect from a business titan. Unfortunately, they grow up.
Grade schoolers who eventually become interns, or newly minted team members, or rising managers, routinely accept the moniker of children among new colleagues. As the new person, they start with some sort of story. For example, upon assuming business development roles, the children want to demonstrate their competence through their education, social connections, or personal charisma. Eventually, reality emerges. The successful maintain youthful exuberance and create the reality they see. Their storytelling sounds fantastic, but their confidence and knowledge is just strong enough that success perhaps is possible. Their story has a premise. It has conflict. It has resolution. To a customer, that sequence means they identified a need or want. Their creativity supersizes potential pain; the horrific experience that will happen if the need is not addressed directly. Then, the hero convinces the prospect that he has the solution to slay their monster. Next, he demonstrates superior business acumen and skillfully delivers. The resultant personal brand presents the necessary evidence to communicate a story that builds trust and credibility.
The childlike mindset has birthed a professional who delivers results. Essentially, successful professionals tell stories that are fundamentally true. Furthermore, with additional success, they tell stories revealing how they want to see the world. They no longer report. They forecast. Then, other people get on board! As they become more confident and successful, their story then becomes a vision. The truth that is reported is less relevant, as the vision that they project reflects the team’s aspiration. Storytelling becomes the reality that they want. Then, it becomes the reality that the team works to build. Execute the process successfully and the new reality is called progress! Repeatedly deliver this vision’s specifications enough and it becomes branding. Find others to join the movement, either colleagues or customers, so that the entire organization benefits from subsequent successes. That is a great story.
But, someone has to tell the stories. Call them lunatics, dreamers, peddlers, entrepreneurs, or mavericks. However, when they accurately tell the story and create the reality for their customers, marketplace, and/ or industry, they will undeniably be called successful! Summon the hero inside, seek the challenge, solve the problem, and celebrate the victory. Storytelling for the successful professional projects a vision for the organization’s benefit that manifests through its execution. Who needs to grow up? To the victor goes the spoils. The good guys win!
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond