Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why tell stories?

Stories are important. They provide more than just entertainment - stories are carriers of wisdom. In fact, I believe that story-knowledge is just as valuable as scientific knowledge (though they are addressing different needs).

Howard Gardner's book Leading Minds asserts that stories are important for leaders. Every great leader has a story to tell and is able to embody that story in spite of opposition. These great stories infrom our aspirations as they tell us who we are, where we come from, where we are going, and what we must overcome.

The famous Bible story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 illustrates this concept. Goliath is a greater threat than King Saul can handle, but David shows up and tells a story about his expereinces of delivery from other predators. David is confident that in the same way that God delivered him from the lion and the bear (allowing David to slay them), "this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them."

IDEA LEADER: What stories are you telling those you lead? Do your actions match the values illustrated by your stories?


Welcome to Idea Leaders. My name is Stan Ward and I am a PhD student in Leadership Studies at Dallas Baptist University who currently teaches at The Brook Hill School in Texas. My goal here is twofold: (1) to provide a place for me to briefly work out some ideas that my PhD program has me working with, and (2) to provide you leadership resources in the form of an "idea leader."

Each week I will post a brief summary or application of an idea, a book, a project, etc. that I am working on. That post will end with an "idea leader" - a reflection or application question to get your own leadership ideas flowing.

Blessings to you and those you lead!