When the Theme of a Story Matters in Leadership

This is part two of a two-part series on the use of themes in storytelling for leaders.



Businesses large and small sit down and put together their 'vision' for the future. Their 'mission statement.' Their ‘core values.’ Time and time again, these statements talk about how customers are treated and how the company treats its employees.


And, in many cases, they deliver bad customer service and fail to meet the needs of their employees.


It’s a sweeping general statement, I know. And yet everyone reading this article worked at, or knows of, at least one company where the above was true.


But here is the point. Those statements of Vision, Mission and Values are the theme of the company. If you were to tell the company’s story, it would, ideally include elements of those statements.


Therefore when leaders talk to their employees – even if it is just a company update of the recent quarterly earnings, these themes need to be addressed over and over and over again.


For instance, if a company decides that 'empathy' is a value in their vision statement, but they have internal team and/or cross team communication issues, then perhaps the leaders of that company aren’t including elements of empathy when they speak to teams, individuals or the entire company. The questions I would ask are: “Are you modeling empathy when you speak to everyone?’ “Are you reminding your leadership team to do the same?” “Are you reminding your teams of the vision statements when possible?“


These vision and value statements are the themes of a company and companies fail their employees and customers when they don’t include these themes in their stories.

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