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Recently, a colleague approached me to speak to her professional association of marketers. I have a few presentations on leadership always ready to go, but as with every request, I like to get the pulse of the audience I’ll be speaking to and modify my presentation to hit the mark and speak to their issues and needs.

My colleague proceeded to share with me that many of her peers, who are marketers for professional service providers (CPAs, medical practices, law firms), face a frustrating challenge to find their leadership voice in their organization, given the highly credentialed individuals they are surrounded by. Even when in a leadership position, it can be a struggle to be a person of influence whose voice is heard.

As I considered the audience and the leadership practices of foresight andauthenticity that I’ve written and spoken about recently, a leadership formula for these professionals emerged:

Authenticity + Foresight + Storytelling = Your Leadership Voice

This formula applies to not only the marketers I’ll be speaking to in May, but to everyone who seeks to establish their voice in an organization and step forward as a leader.

As I’ve shared, authenticity stems from self-awareness and courage. Foresight is about seeing a little farther ahead than most others and making a better than average guess about the market and the direction things are heading.

Storytelling is the last variable in this leadership formula, and is truly a performance art. Next week we’re going to explore the power of stories to help you grow in your ability to lead others, and how you can expand your leadership capacity by learning and telling great stories.

In the meantime, consider the influence stories have already had in your work and life.

Can you think of a time when you heard a story that:

  • Bonded you to another person because their story was like yours?
  • Made you laugh because you found yourself empathizing or seeing your own frailties in it?
  • Helped you trust someone more?
  • Taught you a lesson?

What changed for you in the telling of that story?

Jeff HarmonJeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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