The Power of a Story and a New Saturday Serial:
One of the lessons Rich and I learned in writing Practical Lessons in Leadership, was the power of stories for making points and stimulating good quality leadership discussion.
After writing the narrative for the book, we thought it would be nice to give the leadership content some additional context, and we formed a fictional company, Apex Integrated Technologies, Inc., complete with characters, strategic and operational issues and a lot of people challenges. In other words, it’s just like every other business in the world.
Our intent for including these stories in Practical Lessons was to provide fodder for discussion around the core chapter content. A mini-fable introduces each chapter and the discussions questions tie things together at the end. We also crafted our own perspectives on the questions and situations and make those available as a free download from my website.
According to feedback from readers…particularly companies and managers who have adopted Practical Lessons in Leadership as a tool for their book clubs and leadership development activities, the story approach works. The cases and questions add a richness and an element of reality to the practical leadership content found in the chapter.
It’s time for me to extend this idea to the blog.
The idea of leadership or management fable isn’t new…Lencioni, Goldratt and many others have popularized the approach in book form. My approach will be a bit different, blending an old publishing technique (the serial story) with the simplicity of hitting the submit button on my blog. Think Dickens and Little Nell meet modern publishing techniques!
This forthcoming Saturday series will explore current and vexing leadership issues from the perspectives of a variety of characters working in different but connected (competitors, partners, suppliers, customers) organizations in a mythical business ecosystem. And yes, each episode will end with some key questions about how to deal with the situation. You as readers are the consultants, advisors and coaches we will be looking to for your best guidance.
Life is a series of experiments, and I personally like the feel of this one. While I can write nearly endless posts about the issues of leadership and management, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to make the topics interesting, relevant and engaging. And yes, this is a nice convergence of my passion for management and leadership writing and my desire to write fiction. I’ll be learning how to write narrative on your time here. Thanks for you help! I’ll see you soon with this new Saturday Management Serial.
At last count, there are at least 476,890 articles about managing, coping with and surviving the younger generation in the workforce, all written by people over 40. I own a few of those articles. (Note: I made the number of articles up, however it feels about right.)
It’s time to shift things around a bit and gain some insights from individuals looking at the word from their own early career eyes, and describing what they are seeing and experiencing. I have a suspicion we will all learn something in the process.
I’m working with a young and capable professional who is busy attempting to navigate his way through the world, and who has some thoughts to share on what it’s like to be living what all the 40 plus pundits are writing about. He’ll lead us off on this mid-week series, and I’m anxious to recruit a few additional “columnists” to help us all learn and grow. It seems like a ripe time to start a healthy dialogue across the generations on this important topic.
Coming really soon!
As always, your ideas and input are welcomed. Thanks for reading and tolerating my experiments in management and leadership writing!