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Do You Know the Story of You?

key-leadership-visionWe all spend a good deal of time polishing our public personas. We pour our professional accomplishments into LinkedIn profiles. Facebook has become a channel for sharing events both momentous and meaningless — a new job, a family vacation, what we had for breakfast. Twitter allows us to engage in stream-of-consciousness commentary on almost anything.

None of these, separately or together, fully tell the important and compelling story of you. Something is missing.

Knowing your story — understanding what makes you you — is essential, and part of who you are is your setbacks and failures. Acknowledging your own missteps, struggles, and pain is necessary to acquire the emotional intelligence central to leadership effectiveness. In particular, empathy for others comes from admitting mistakes. Receiving a promotion may be testament to your talent and hard work, but getting laid off presents a test of your character, adaptive capacity, and resilience. Executive coach Eddie Erlandson calls this discovering your genius zone, the work you’re so passionate about you’d do it for free — but which you figure out how to get paid for.


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3 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Good read. Doing a story for a corporate organization is much easier than doing such a narrative for yourself. We’re way too biased and married to how we think in the moment. But I’ve found doing story boards can divorce us from the moment and see us as a main character in a much larger setting. I highly recommend anyone who wants to understand their own story should prepare story boards and animate them into video. You’ll be blown away by what you see.

  2. Excellent points in this article. In my experience as a life coach, introspection and greater self-awareness is key to understanding ones own personal story, both the memorable times and the struggles. Behind our story are thoughts that either align with our current passions and purpose or create roadblocks due to fear, uncertainty, feelings of unworthiness and more. As a leader and high achiever a person can inspire and help to bring the best out in others, assisting them in creating their personal story based on now, their unique gifts and what they can offer that can be a positive influence. Our achievements are a byproduct of our level of confidence and courage while facing a world of polarity and resistance, as well as opportunity and potential.

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