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The Power Of Story To Find Value

As business leaders, entrepreneurs and marketers we’re used to leveraging the power of story to describe value. We mostly use stories as a tool for telling. Because we believe the way to succeed is to be more vocal and visible, we create campaigns, sales letters, videos and press releases. We craft headlines, posts and tweets in an attempt to create awareness.

All the while we’re missing opportunities to use stories to make us more aware, to notice and to listen out for what the world is waiting for or wants from us. Yes, it’s possible to use a story to portray us as the hero, but it’s also a powerful tool for finding out how to be one. By harnessing story in a counter-intuitive way to listen rather than trying to be heard, we discover what’s missing. We suddenly see how we can create value and find opportunities to succeed by serving in ways others have overlooked. This is how a groundbreaking hospitality company was born, not by building more hotel rooms, but by creating a greater sense of belonging, and why a book about tidying up has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 109 weeks.

The amount of noise in the world, the data and cues we’re meant to pay attention to can feel like navigating a strange city in a blizzard. But when we allow ourselves to stop for a second to get our bearings we often find the right path. Just as in the stillness that follows a storm, the snow settles on branches and surfaces, reflecting light, bringing everything into sharp relief and revealing details we just hadn’t seen before.

Image by Linh Nguyen.

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