The Power of Story Telling

Forbes Contributor Rodger Dean Duncan writes:

“No doubt about it, the best speakers are good storytellers. The best writers are good storytellers. The best leaders are good storytellers. The best teachers and trainers and coaches are good storytellers. It might even be argued that the best parents are good storytellers.”

To get your point across as a leader, it’s important to enhance your message through the use of story telling. It sounds silly though doesn’t it? Our adult concept of storytelling typically involves the memories of the fairy tales and fables as told by our parents at bedtime. As adults, we consider storytellers a little loose with the truth, a good story doesn’t necessarily mean an honest one! How about a good honest story though, an important message that’s enhanced by the emotional connection we create through the telling of the story. To share your message in an engaging manner is a powerful tool to influence those around us.

For me it was the stories I read as a child about fighter pilots airborne jousting during WW1 and WW2, the comradery, the challenge of 1 v 1 aerial combat. The romantic side of flying, specifically as a fighter pilot, built a connection that to this day, 40 years after my first aviation related reading experience, endures and defines most of what I do. At the bar after a week in the Squadron, the stories of wins and losses recounted. This forged a deep connection as a team and sense of purpose that was well defined and reinforced each and every day. Through story telling we pushed ourselves to the very edge of our capability, we wanted to be like those we admired most.

As a teenager, one of the most important stories I ever experienced was that of Maverick and Goose, through the movie Top Gun. I’m not going the lie, (SPOILER ALERT) the reality of the fighter pilot is quite different to the movie, not that I knew that at the time! In a few months Top Gun 2 will be launched to a new generation of potential military aviators! Inspired by the speed, the noise, the frenetic pace and challenges of operating at the very edge of human performance. For you, I hope you enjoy the story, whether it’s true or otherwise, it’s how it makes us feel and what it makes us do that’s most important.

Enjoy this seven minute video behind the scenes of TOP GUN 2.

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