Friday Fable. A Recommended Reading

Posted by jlubans on December 01, 2017

There are good reasons, every now and then, to leave that arid and windy plain of leadership studies. Find a green oasis and settle in among the palm trees. Reflect.
Literature of all sorts, including fables, helps us to make sense of what goes on in the workplace.
Fables, simple stories packed with wisdom, can help us better understand others and ourselves.
Annette Simmons' book, “The Story Factor: Secrets of Influence from the Art of Storytelling” helps explain the power of story telling in our sense making of life.
One of my former students asked me to edit a book about young professionals and their first years at work.
Of the examples she sent me, most read like annual reports – not exactly a little book to put on one’s nightstand.
A few of the young authors – and here’s my point – told their story: How and why they got into the business and how they were doing.
I was much more interested in those stories than I was in the objective factual statements of achievements.
We respond to stories in ways we do not understand. How and why does a metaphor – a simple allusion to some event in an unrelated way – inspire me and help me to better understand some action?
Simmons' point is that stories (and fables are stories) can carry powerful messages and help us connect with other people. Stories help others understand us. We reveal who we are - just like any other human - and that helps make the sought after connection.
I told my former student to focus on the stories – the more personal the better. Avoid, always, the repelling style of the impersonal annual report.
Speaking of stories, I often use the “Human Compass” as an ending activity in my seminars and classes. The activity derives from the Native American tradition of the “Medicine Wheel” involving the introspective bear, the soaring eagle, the loving mouse and the plodding buffalo along the compass points of our lives.
When everyone has his or her say the Human Compass usually goes well; taking time for that to happen is essential to its effectiveness. I use the compass to help focus participants’ thoughts, individually and collectively, on where they’ve been and where they want to be; a thoughtful summing up and beginning.
Twenty four days to Christmas! Avoid the panic, order your copy of "Fables for Leaders" by John Lubans before the holiday postal stampede!
Find Fables at any number of Internet vendors, including Barnes & Noble, Amazon, BookBaby, and Powell’s Books.
The behemoth Amazon is linked here. Amazon has the book in stock and ready to ship, as does BookBaby.

© Copyright John Lubans 2017
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