An example of ‘Story’

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

We’ve seen that any inspiring Story is built from seven basic building blocks:

So as an example of what happens when we join these to make a Story, let’s invent one deliberately dull and boring sentence for each building block. And let’s take extra care to make sure that each sentence on its own is tediously uninspiring. Let’s say things like “We are facing a difficult situation.” Or, “We have all the tools we need.”

Now let’s see what happens when we put these building blocks together in a way that creates Story:

“We are facing a difficult situation. It is 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. And if we go forward in the direction I am suggesting then we have the opportunity to build something very special together. Doing this will uphold the most important values and 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 you?”

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

And if this happens with the deliberately dull words I chose, just imagine what you could create!

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.

Story is another step to 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 built a more inspiring Story?

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

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