5 Ways Storytelling Makes You A Better Leader

Leadership is a role that requires one to wear many hats. In many situations, leaders may find themselves as planners, organizers, and mentors all at once. With such a huge task on their shoulders, leaders should constantly be eager to learn tactics that will make their job so much easier. One strategy they can apply that has great potential to significantly improve their leadership is storytelling. As to why aspiring leaders should strive to master the craft of telling good stories, check out some of the reasons presented below:

You can use stories to form a connection.

Due to the privileges that come with their status, many managers can appear intimidating to their subordinates even without intending to. Unfortunately,  these impressions can make people feel awkward around their superiors and hinder positive working relationships. To solve this problem, leaders can share personal anecdotes that will help their followers see them in a new light. By sharing stories that people can identify with, leaders transform into a warm person that is easy to feel comfortable with.

You can use stories to inspire.

I
t is hard if not impossible to accomplish something notable if a team lacks motivation or purpose. However, since not everyone has the drive to do more than what is expected,  the mission to inspire a group of people can be very challenging. Leaders who are gifted storytellers know how to use the power of stories to push people to give their best at all times. With stories that highlight the role that hard work and commitment play in the road to success, leaders can keep a team’s spirit up and running even during bad times.

You can use stories to educate.

Continuous learning is necessary for a team’s growth. For this reason, a leader is also tasked to facilitate or organize activities that help the team acquire new skills and knowledge.Stories can indeed make learning sessions in a group more interesting. With the creative use of stories, it can also make retaining knowledge easier and this theory is backed by research. According to a research done by psychologist, Jerome Bruner, the possibility of students to remember facts significantly increases if they are told through a story.

You can use stories to resolve conflict.


Group members can sometimes clash and in many situations, the leader has to act as a mediator. Stories that will remind people about the value of each person in the group can help fix this delicate situation. To discourage people from engaging in unnecessary spats, leaders can also present sad examples of groups that allowed small misunderstandings to get in the way of their overall goals.  

You can use stories to generate ideas.

Leaders who know how to use the power of stories know how to use creativity to avoid boring their listeners. They do it by freely exploring different ways of sharing anecdotes. Sometimes, the leader can tell stories the typical  way, with a fixed beginning and end. Other times, stories can be open-ended and the listeners can either change the plot or design a new ending. These story variations teach people about new possibilities and may help them see things in a new perspective.  It would not be surprising at all if sharing stories can lead to new ideas and innovations.

To be a competent leader is no easy feat. You may have to face a long list of skills and traits that you need to master to be one.  However, since everyone has a story to tell, how about starting your journey by honing your skills as a storyteller first?

Brad and Julie Duncan5 Ways Storytelling Makes You A Better Leader
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Teen-Friendly Volunteer Projects for the Summer

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Poolside lounging, backyard barbecues, beach vacations – three summertime staples that spark joy in almost all of our hearts. But the summer season wasn’t made just for rest and relaxation; the midyear sunshine is also perfect for philanthropy. Though many working adults don’t have the luxury of enjoying the same extended break their school-aged children have, luckily, philanthropy is an equal opportunity activity. When it comes to volunteering, the summer offers endless possibility and plenty of free time to pursue. Here are three teen-friendly volunteer projects for the summer.

1. Building
For those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, why not dive into a building project? Charities like Habitat for Humanity and The Fuller Center for Housing build homes for people in need, while organizations like Bikes for Goodness Sake build bikes for underprivileged children. If your teenager’s heart lies in education, plenty of nonprofits like BuildOn Global dedicate their volunteer hours to constructing schools for underserved communities.

If building houses and schools requires too much physical exertion, think outside-of-the-box and create your own nonprofit or charity. The business can be as small and short-term as a weekend lemonade stand, or as complex and long-term as an online boutique of handmade crafts. Once the profits start rolling in, take the proceeds and donate them to a worthy cause.

2. Cleanup
Many of the spaces we occupy and enjoy require tedious, behind-the-scenes work to keep clean. However, the bright sunshine of summer provides the perfect motivation to lend a helping hand. Commit to sprucing up the neighborhood. Gather a group of friends and create a gameplan to clean up one (or a few) of the following spaces:

  • The Beach
  • A Heavily Littered Street
  • An Elder’s House or Yard
  • A Local Park
  • Your Neighborhood Common Areas

3. Social
Get social! For all the extroverts and social butterflies, your time and attention can prove to be a priceless gift. Help your fellow man by participating in a bit of good ol’ fashioned, face-to-face interaction. Consider visiting a rest home, hospital or hospice center and sharing your company. Enroll as a Big Brother or Sister (if you are over the age of eighteen) or offer your literary expertise to a summer reading program at your nearest library, bookstore or daycare.

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” — Tom Brokaw

Although the free time that accompanies summer break is traditionally consumed by self-serving pursuits, what better time to do more than is required? There are millions of causes, both locally and globally, waiting for the attention and action of a future philanthropist. You are never too young to make a difference. The leaders of tomorrow start by creating change today. So, this summer, encourage the teens in your life to get out of the house, take advantage of the sunshine and make a real-world impact through volunteerism.   

Brad and Julie DuncanTeen-Friendly Volunteer Projects for the Summer
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Three Ways To Appreciate A Good Leader

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent
in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

Most of the time, we do not have the liberty or convenience to choose our bosses. And as sad as it may sound, it seems like great leaders are hard to come by these days. Some superiors can be too tough, which can command obedience but also instills fear. Some are too lenient, which can establish rapport, but then breed underachiever. The search for a good leader can be frustrating, so to realize you are under the wing of someone with commendable management skills can feel like winning a lottery. With all the amazing things good leadership brings, the least you can do is show your appreciation. The following are a few ways to show your dream boss how grateful you are to be under their mentorship:

Do more than required.
For a boss, to see his or her staff religiously doing their duties is already an achievement. But if you wish to further give your leader a reason to do better, you may want to show more effort in the work you do. Going above and beyond will show leaders that the people they manage are worth the effort. Aside from  encouraging leaders to keep doing their job well, you are also empowering the whole team. Choosing excellence over mediocrity surely makes the job of a leader easier. In the end, the ultimate person who benefits from your actions is you.

Organize an appreciation day.
What can you do to increase the tribe of good leaders? Organizing an appreciation day can go a long way. This will be helpful because a leader needs a dose of encouragement and motivation to stay competent as well. It can be as simple as throwing a surprise party or get-together. Team members can do something special, such as prepare the leader’s favorite dish or buy a gift the leader always wanted. It is also a great idea to give thank you messages.

Offer a solution.
Leaders have huge responsibilities on their shoulders, so it is a requirement to be disciplined and persevering. Aside from ensuring the smooth flow in a group, leaders are also tasked with solving any problem a team may encounter. With all the hard work involved, one of the best things a team member can do is ease some of the burdens a leader has to face. Aside from making sure that you do not create any trouble for the leader, you can also think of ways to make things easier for the whole team. If the team has an existing dilemma or problem, you can suggest ways to overcome or solve it. By doing this, your boss will truly be thankful to have you in the team.

To be under a great leader is a wonderful privilege because you will gain valuable skills and at the same time, discover your potential. You can expect an excellent leader to push you to be better, inspire you to grow and achieve more than you think you are capable of.  So, if you know a great leader, do the world a favor by finding ways to express just how much you value their presence.

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Ways To Appreciate A Good Leader
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Are Your Leadership Skills Future-Ready?

Leaders of today are under much greater pressure than ever before. Aside from the usual tasks of overseeing the development of a team and creating strategies to meet a goal, leaders also need to keep up with rapid technological developments. With machines threatening to take over many jobs, advancements such as artificial intelligence and automation pose a potential threat to future leaders. They can’t afford to sit around and wait for the future to unfold. Great leaders prepare for the future by taking steps to further enhance their skills and abilities. The following lists some of the hard and soft skills that will make leaders indispensable even in an ultra-modern world.

Technological Savvy

It is safe to say that now and even into the future, turning away from technology is no longer an option. More than ever, leaders are eager to learn and embrace new technology in order to benefit their team. They eagerly keep track of the latest applications or software that are relevant in their field of work and take steps to understand how they works. Some of the hard skills that experts say will be in-demand in the future include cloud computing, UX design, and mobile application development.

Virtual Management Skills

Technology has made communication and collaboration possible with anyone, anywhere in the world. To take advantage of these benefits, leaders need to know the tools and apps that will help them manage a virtual workplace. They also need to develop the skills that will allow them to deal with a team coming from multicultural backgrounds and industries. As remote jobs become more popular, leaders need to have a more organized and systematic way of leading their teams and executing on business strategy.

Critical & Creative-Thinker

In the future workplace, where analysts are predicting that monotonous and repetitive jobs will be fully automated, a leader should prepare to train and encourage their team members to exercise their creativity. As the world gets increasingly competitive, the ability to think out of the box becomes more necessary. To keep abreast of new developments and stand out from the rest, you cannot afford to stick with the methods and processes that your team is accustomed to. You will lead the growth of the whole team (including yourself) by committing to conceptualizing and trying new innovations.

Leaders of the next generation are strategic thinkers because they think ahead. They do not just settle in following the trend. Instead, they change the rules of the game by presenting fresh ideas. They do not just stay updated with what is the latest, but also predict what will happen next by studying forecasts and insights.

Emotional Intelligence

The onset of a highly sophisticated world can be very stressful and demanding. Leaders need to be able adjust with major changes in the workplace and help their team cope with these changes. This requires a leader that can easily adapt to any situation. They know that there may be times when they need to adjust their leadership style for the betterment of the whole team. They also know how to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their team members. All of these tasks will require leaders to exercise emotional intelligence and develop related skills such as flexibility, empathy, patience and humility.

Great leadership is an endless quest for learning and innovation. Even if you are already on the peak of success, you constantly look for ways to further improve and stay ahead. With a mindset that is geared towards continuous learning, a leader can rise up to any challenge and stay relevant no matter what the future brings.

Brad and Julie DuncanAre Your Leadership Skills Future-Ready?
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