I have been on vacation. A Playwright’s retreat I have attended the last week of June every year since 2015. Shortly before leaving for the retreat, a friend texted me to thank me for recommending the Aaron Sorkin show, “The Newsroom” to him. Which prompted me to re-watch “The Newsroom.” For about the fifth time.
Politics, aside, as a writer and storyteller, I love the quick pace of Sorkin’s dialogue. And I find myself wanting to be in the middle of that newsroom, jumping on the phone, fielding questions from Jeff Daniels, responding in a sardonic or witty way or just plain telling colleagues to “shut up" when they bug me.
Then I become aware that if this was a real workplace, the HR team would be super busy with complaints.
In this world unless you do something against society at large, you are accepted for who you are. Warts and all. I want to work at this place and live in that story.
I want to live in an Amy Sherman-Palladino show. Where the comebacks are quick and witty, and the quirkier you are, the more you are accepted in the town of Stars Hollow.
And even though parents don’t always approve of what their children do, they don’t turn their backs on them and after a while they figure out that having a daughter like Midge Maisel is a true blessing.
I want to live in those stories. I’d like to think I could keep up with the minds of Lorelai Gilmore and the comedy of Midge Maisel.
When I tell others about my love for these writers and these stories, I have an instant connection to those people who also love them.
And that is what stories do. They create connection.
For instance, I now have a slightly deeper connection with a friend who I have known for a while after discovering her love for Lorelai and Rory (and that she thinks the town of New London, CT is Star’s Hollow). The husband of a dear friend, who I seem to only manage tortured conversation with becomes more interesting when I find out that even he loved the tales of the of those Gilmore Girls of Stars Hollow.
What stories are you telling within your organization that create connection and team building? Where the people who work with you or for you are accepted, warts and all?
Just like I want to live in Stars Hollow and work in the newsroom of ACN, people want to stay at your company when the leadership story you tell, is one of connection and acceptance.
Stories are powerful. Tell the good ones.