There’s nothing worse than the feeling that you’re spinning your wheels. I know because I’ve been there. It’s like a disease within any business—the work feels mundane, the conversations are not meaningful, and it just seems like everyone is phoning it in. There’s no depth.
The reason is this: Surface-level conversations create surface-level relationships. How can our employees find deeper meaning and purpose if we can’t find it within ourselves as business leaders and then share it with others? In my years of consulting, I’ve noticed that business leaders have a tendency to downplay their own stories. It’s probably due to some false sense of humility, but for some reason, they don’t see their journey as something worth sharing.
I think this is a problem. As a leader, your story is essential. Without it, you’re going to keep creating those surface-level relationships, which in turn creates employees who simply show up for a paycheck. What you may not realize is that your story reveals your purpose, and your purpose has guided your company to where it is today. How could that not be valuable?
And, on a much broader level, storytelling is innately human. We’re a storytelling people, and it’s by far the most effective way to understand very complex subjects. There’s a reason Jesus focused on parables. We connect with stories. By sharing your story, you can quickly and efficiently motivate your team and also remind yourself why you’re here in the first place.
If you’re still reluctant to share it with others, here are three realizations I’ve made about your journey and how it relates to others.
Your Story is Not About You
As I mentioned before, most people tend to downplay their stories out of a sense of humility. You’ll hear comments like, “Oh, you don’t want to hear that” or “It’s not about me.” And, the fact is, the second statement is very accurate. Your journey is not about you, at least not in the way you think it is. And, it’s actually more arrogant to withhold your story because you do think it’s all about you, which is why you’re hiding it.
Just look back on your journey. How much of it was completely of your own doing? It’s time to let go of the notion that we’re solely responsible for where we got today. Our journey isn’t a series of personal successes; it’s a series of moments where we respond and learn from them. To share those lessons is a very selfless way of looking at things.
There’s Motivation in Meaning
The elements of a great story are vulnerability and authenticity, which are the antithesis of those shallow conversations you’re currently plagued with in your business. Great stories immediately show the listener or reader something about themselves and draws them in, and the same goes for your own story. Use it to your advantage.
Whether they know it or not, your employees are on a search for purpose, and the by-product of finding it is motivation. By sharing your story, you’re going to unlock something within them. It may not be the exact same motivation you have for your calling, but human beings have an incredible knack for adapting a story to fit their own narrative.
In fact, this is the whole point of our OVRFLO process. We use proven techniques to uncover the purpose of your story and how it applies to your business. Once you do, you can use it to motivate your employees and create meaningful connections with customers.
Your Story is a Gift
I believe that we serve a higher power, and everything that “we’ve done” is actually a product of God’s good grace and power. So, from my point of view, it’s easy to see that my story is a gift. I didn’t earn it; it was given to me. Every time I have the chance to tell my story, it reminds me of what God has done through my life and the business.
Your story is contagious. It’s exciting to see other people get excited about it too. In those moments, you get a glimpse of God using your story to encourage others. Your transformation becomes a part of theirs, and that’s what it means to walk in your purpose. It was given to you for you first, and then for those you encounter along the way.
If you view your story as a gift, then it just makes sense to share it with others, right? You’ve been given something incredible—years worth of valuable insights, a deep motivation for your craft, and even a few things not to do. It’d be a shame not to share it.
It does take courage to share your story. That’s the entire point. Those real, deeper connections are made when someone has to go out on a limb, give something up, and take a leap of faith. And, while that may sound scary, it’s this authenticity that people are thirsty for. We’re all on this planet together, looking for a deeper connection to our friends, family, and the work we do. People need to know and feel that they’re here for a reason, and what they’re doing matters. Your story can give them that gift.