Telling the Story

Telling the Story : The Heart and Soul of Successful Leadership

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Description

How to master the art of narrative leadership


Telling the Story shows how leaders affect our understanding of what is possible and desirable through the stories they tell. It opens a door into the world of narrative leadership: what stories are and how they work; when to tell a story and how to tell one well; and how the language and metaphors we use influence our actions and change how we think about the world.



Explains how narrative leadership shapes and defines what s possible on an organizational level



Written by a renowned consultant on the art of narrative leadership



Challenges leaders to consider how narrative can influence and help create the kind of society they envision
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 28mm | 619.99g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1118617169
  • 9781118617168
  • 814,203

Flap copy

"Mead's book makes me feel hopeful and inspired about the future, and my own role in helping to shape it. His grounded, practical wisdom reminds us that stories have always been the way forward for humanity, and it is time for us to take more concerted action to counter the dominating master narrative of our most recent history. You will find his words a balm for the soul, evoking a meaningful walk in the woods with a wise elder."
--Doug Paxton, Faculty and Co-Director of the Leadership Center, Saint Mary's College of California "The title of this book says it all, this is a heart-felt and soul-full book taking us on a journey where we can discover ourselves and achieve leadership success. It is only by finding and acknowledging our authentic truth that we can inspire others to follow. If you want to find out what it takes to be an inspiring and successful leader, step into this world of story."
--Jacob Tas, Executive Director of Operations, Action for Children

"In many spheres of my life, I have learnt that getting the basics right is the platform on which success is built. Geoff's book turns the spotlight on one of the basic activities of leaders and leadership teams - that of storytelling. The book comprehensively covers the theoretical and practical aspects of storytelling. The case studies and associated experiences of other leaders provide rich detail and inspiration. The book is a catalyst for self-improvement which in turn produces better organizational outcomes and a more successful future."
--Sir David Varney, Formerly-Chairman O2, CEO BG, Commissioner HMRC

"This is surely a 'must read' for anyone in a leadership role (which is pretty much everybody!). Geoff's ability to explain narrative leadership is unsurpassed and his passion for storytelling comes through loud and clear in his writing. Understanding and using narrative has completely transformed my approach to leading an organization and influencing others with great success.

Telling the Story will inspire you and equip you to use your inherent storytelling ability to influence those around you in a powerful and memorable way. I could not recommend this book more highly!"
--Libby Hackett, Chief Executive, University Alliance
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Back cover copy

Telling the Story opens a door into the world of narrative leadership, showing how leaders affect our understanding of what is possible and desirable through the stories they tell and embody. This book will help executives, managers and concerned citizens to identify what stories are and how they work; when to tell a story and how to tell one well. It offers a challenge to consider the purposes behind our stories: what are we leading for? It will help practitioners identify their own authentic story and use this to lead convincingly.

Using tips, exercises and examples, Telling the Story will help leaders build on their own current practices using the vital art of narrative leadership.

This book is both practical and thought-provoking, to encourage leaders to consider the big stories of our time and how we can use our own stories to create and take responsibility for the kind of future we want.

"Geoff Mead is a master of both the theory and practice of narrative leadership. Telling the Story is refreshing in its frankness and insight. It left me feeling challenged, energized and inspired to think about the stories I want to live and tell through my own leadership. Wonderful reading for anyone who wants to enhance their positive impact on the world."
--Lindsay Levin, Founder and Managing Partner, Leaders' Quest
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Table of contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Foreword xv


Introduction: Turning the Page 1


Narrative Leadership 2


Once Upon a Time 4


Why We Need New Stories 5


About This Book 8


Water on the Rock 10


SECTION ONE: FOUNDATIONS 13


Chapter 1: Why Stories Matter 15


Swimming in a Sea of Stories 15


Imagining Ourselves 18


Imagining Each Other 19


Imagining the World 21


Changing the Story 26


Bonus: Life of Pi 27


Summary 28


Chapter 2: Rethinking Leadership 31


Making Common Sense 33


Case Study: The Force Review 38


Conclusions 40


Bonus: Erin Brockovich 42


Summary 43


SECTION TWO: ON STORIES 45


Chapter 3: Stories in Our Bones 47


Logos: The Science of Storytelling 49


Mythos: The Story of Storytelling 53


Bonus: Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner 60


Summary 61


Chapter 4: The World of Stories 63


Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy 63


Finding the Plot 71


Bonus: Big Fish 74


Summary 74


Chapter 5: How Stories Work 77


Information, Argument, and Story 82


Bonus: An Inconvenient Truth 87


Summary 89


SECTION THREE: NARRATIVE LEADERSHIP 91


Chapter 6: The Art of Narrative Leadership 93


Vinoba Bhave 98


Developing Our Capacity to Lead 105


Bonus: Alchemy in Action 109


Summary 110


Chapter 7: Know Thyself 113


The Storied Self 114


Being and Doing 117


Bonus: Groundhog Day 127


Summary 128


Chapter 8: Only Connect 131


Creating Communicative Spaces 132


Listening to the Story 138


Conversation Matters 139


Whose Stories Count? 141


Bonus: Local Hero 144


Summary 145


Chapter 9: Stand for Something 147


Leading Minds 148


What Is Your Story? 152


Bonus: The Man from Hope 161


Summary 162


SECTION FOUR: STORYTELLING 165


Chapter 10: So You Want To Tell a Story 167


What Kinds of Story Work Best? 176


Where Do I Find Stories to Tell? 179


Bonus: Made in Dagenham 181


Summary 181


Chapter 11: A Good Story Well Told 183


Castles in the Air 195


Bonus: The Simple Shapes of Stories 197


Summary 197


Chapter 12: On Your Feet 199


Story Coaching 200


Introducing Stories 205


Holding their Attention 206


Making Sure You Can Be Heard 210


Finding the Right Language 212


Bonus: The King s Speech 214


Summary 214


SECTION FIVE: TIME AND CHANGE 217


Chapter 13: Time and Narrative 219


Learning from the Past: The Told Story 222


Standing in the Present: The Unfolding Story 232


Shaping the Future: The Imagined Story 236


Bonus: The Insider 241


Summary 242


Chapter 14: Storytelling for a Change 245


Don t Think of an Elephant 246


Empires of the Mind 251


Bonus: The Foresters 261


Summary 262


Chapter 15: Life in the Fast Lane 265


Modern, Post-modern, and Hypermodern 266


The Medium and the Message 270


Storytelling in a Global Village 272


Signs of the Times 275


Bonus: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room 282


Summary 283


SECTION SIX: BETWEEN STORIES 285


Chapter 16: Heart and Soul 287


Missing the Boat 289


Ambit and Ambition 292


Two Countries 296


Narrative Wreckage 299


Welcome to Wonderland 301


Bonus: Beasts of the Southern Wild 304


Summary 304


Appendix: Additional Resources 307


Index 311
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Review Text

"With Mead's experience running a narrative leadership consultancy, the book is an insightful contribution to the field of leadership." (Elite Business, May 2014)"Mead's tips on how to speak clearly and honestly are as good as anything on the market, and this book is as rich and absorbing as the most compelling yarn." (People Management, June 2014)"...it does a good job of explaining how the language and metaphors that we use through the telling of stories can influence our actions, and change how we and others think about the world." (Talk Business, June 2014)"This book sets out a solid foundation for the role and position of story-telling and weaves it into a modern narrative around leadership explaining how the oft-over-looked human elements of organizational leadership can be sustained through the sense-making of stories." (Developing Leaders, August 2014)"...an informative and interesting book for leaders and management consultants wanting to expand their horizons to include story and storytelling in their toolkits." (Facts & Fiction, August 2014)
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Review quote

With Mead s experience running a narrative leadership consultancy, the book is an insightful contribution to the field of leadership. (Elite Business, May 2014)




Mead s tips on how to speak clearly and honestly are as good as anything on the market, and this book is as rich and absorbing as the most compelling yarn. (People Management, June 2014)

it does a good job of explaining how the language and metaphors that we use through the telling of stories can influence our actions, and change how we and others think about the world. (Talk Business, June 2014)




This book sets out a solid foundation for the role and position of story-telling and weaves it into a modern narrative around leadership explaining how the oft-over-looked human elements of organizational leadership can be sustained through the sense-making of stories. (Developing Leaders, August 2014)




an informative and interesting book for leaders and management consultants wanting to expand their horizons to include story and storytelling in their toolkits. (Facts & Fiction, August 2014)
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About Geoff Mead

Geoff Mead is the founder of Narrative Leadership Associates, a consultancy focused on the use of storytelling for sustainable leadership (www.narrativeleadership.com). As an organizational consultant, keynote speaker and workshop leader, he has taken his work on narrative leadership into the boardrooms of blue chip companies, universities and government departments, for the past two decades.

After a successful police career, life took a different turn when he discovered the magic of stories and began to explore their power to liberate the human spirit. Now, he performs traditional stories and runs story-based workshops in the UK and as far afield as Spain, Canada and Japan. His first book
Coming Home to Story: Storytelling Beyond Happily Ever After was published in 2011 by Vala (www.valapublishers.coop).

Pursuing various academic and research interests, he has been awarded an MBA, a postgraduate diploma in Gestalt psychology and a PhD in personal and leadership development, resulting in his appointment as a visiting research fellow at the University of Bath. He has also designed national public service leadership programmes and served on the faculty of the Prime Minister's Top Management Programme.

Geoff has four children, five grandchildren and an entirely unreasonable love of Morgan sports cars. He divides his time between his partner s house in the Cotswolds and Lyme Regis, where he lives and writes in sight of the sea.
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