Leaders Always Tell Stories

Leaders always tell stories.

I've spent the last several days working with several of InterVarsity's rising leaders.  One of them was the famous J. Alex Kirk (who blogs over at piebaldlife.blogspot.com).  Alex tells stories all the time.  Put him up in front of a group and a story will come out.  Sit next to him at lunch and he'll rivet you with a story.  Ask him to be quiet and - you guessed it - story.

Alex's story-telling skill and his leadership influence are woven together.

Leaders always tell stories.

Some leaders tell the wrong stories.  They tell boring stories, demotivating stories, confusing stories.  Some of us have a lot of work to do in this arena.

The choice isn't to tell stories or not to tell stories.  The choice is to tell right stories or wrong stories, attractional stories or boring stories, inspiring stories or demotivating stories, actionable stories or confusing stories.  Do it well or do it poorly.  Not doing it isn't an option.

Leaders always tell stories.

Joshua told a very important story in Joshua 24.  God's people had pushed through the land and were about to be called to recommit themselves to the Lord, to put aside strategies designed to manipulate the gods and to trust God to provide and protect.

Joshua recounts the history of the community is such a way that it's unimaginable that anyone would choose the gods of the land over the God of Israel.  But he still gives them the choice.

By the time Joshua's done telling the story, the people choose to serve God, even knowing the cost.

As leaders, we have long lists of things we want people to do.  If you aren't seeing the results you want, are you telling the right stories?

As leaders, we have long lists of things we want people to value.  If values don't seem to align, maybe you aren't telling the right stories.

As leaders, we want the people we love to love the God who loves them.  If that isn't happening, what stories are we telling?

Leaders always tell stories.  What stories are you telling?

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