Friday, July 31, 2009

Leadership & Storytelling Part 4 of Many...

A picture of two passionate people engaged in Tango dancing seems like a perfect image to set the stage for this entry. Dance is a wonderful metaphor for leaders in today's organization. Feel the music vibrating, see the flood of opportunities, risks, challenges, and dynamics ever-changing. The music doesn't stop and it draws us on. Are our leaders prepared to put their passions on the line? How will their passions instill a burning desire for others to pick up their heels and join the dance.

Here's the fourth behavior in our series of eight leadership behaviors and story-based communication skills. Grab your tango partner and join me now in the dicsussion...

4. Share Passion to Instill Passion

Tuning into the fires of the heart is a mission-critical ingredient for success. Without passion the organizational actors are just reading their lines from teleprompters on a bare stage. In whatever personal form it takes, leaders must find ever-new ways to share their passions. They must do this not simply for the purposes of rallying others to be illuminated by the leaders’ brilliant blaze but to model and encourage others to stoke their own fires. Having lots of fires ensures that the organization is bright, alive, and warm and that it contains a plethora of inviting interpersonal places for people to gather around and share their stories of how thingshave been and dream about how things can be.


• Take a piece of paper and draw a large heart. In the center of the heart write down all the things you are most passionate about in your organization. Describe how the role you play in the organization relates
and contributes to these areas of passion.

• During a team meeting ask people to share these pictures of their passions.Discuss how various team members’ passions overlap. Discuss any gaps between people’s passions and the organization’s
current goals and direction.

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