An example of ‘story’

In a time of change, the best way to get people to try something new is by inspiring them. And the best way to do that is with story.

There are seven building blocks of an inspiring story. They are:

As an example of the power of this approach, let’s invent one deliberately dull and boring sentence for each of these building blocks.

Let’s take extra care to make each sentence on its own tediously lifeless. Let’s say things like “If we go in the direction I am suggesting then we have the opportunity to build something very special together” and “We can’t stay as we are, or go back to where we were: we have to move forward.”

Now let’s see what happens when we combine these seven boring blocks together to make a story:

“We are facing a difficult situation, unlike anything we have experienced before. But we come from a line of people who have faced similar situations and overcome them. We can’t stay as we are, or go back to where we were: we have to move forward. If we go in the direction I am suggesting then we have the opportunity to build something very special together. Following this path will uphold the most important principles we stand for. We already have all the tools and resources we need. The only question is, will you join us and play your part for those who will come after?”

Each of these sentences on its own is dull, flat, and lifeless. But, like your mother’s cooking or the recipe for gunpowder, combining the right ingredients in the right proportions and the right order can create something inspiring! Explosive!

Story is the best way to combine fact and emotion so that the listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.

Story is the best way to inspire yourself and other people to long to make your project happen.

The Churning, Inner Leadership is a book that shows you how to find the right ingredients, in the right proportions, and the right order to create the story that inspires you and the people around you.

Each of ingredient is another step towards becoming antifragile.

What is the story you are currently telling yourself and the people around you about where you are going, why, and how you are going to get there? Is it inspiring you? What would happen if you created a more inspiring story?


Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

You can sign up to daily posts here.

You can buy the book here and the workbook here.

(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)


Photo By orionpozo via StockPholio.net

Leave a Reply