Story Tactics for Leaders

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Stories are a valuable leadership tool. Building a repository of personal, unique stories can assist leaders, whether holding a formal or informal leadership role, to offer meaning, inspire action in others, and lead with a story. Stories can help leaders and followers connect with an idea in a new way or develop trust and inspire followership. Stories show that change is possible and are a reminder of what is important. Storytelling skills can be developed. Leaders need these essential skills to impact organizational culture and followership. This article applies design thinking to the story process and provides six tactics to develop storytelling skills for educators, executives, and students to select, sharpen, and shape stories to lead others. Story tactics include using a mind map and life lesson for selecting, using memorable language and start in the middle for sharpening, using story blocks for shaping, and using guided feedback for sharing.