Have you ever gotten a sense of déjà vu while reading a book or watching a movie that’s otherwise totally new to you? Obviously you have— so many stories are built on the same foundations of archetypes and tropes. Stripped of complexities, all stories are basically the same: an individual ventures into the unknown to acquire something they desire.
That’s not a new idea— Joseph Campbell broke the door down in 1949 with his book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Odysseus, Christ, Captain Ahab, Gautama Buddha, Jane Eyre, Luke Skywalker… different names and faces, different times and places, but all the same story. Not only that, the same effective story. What Campbell called “The Hero’s Journey” has resonated with humanity for millennia, and is the root for so many stories that we cherish.
So why wouldn’t this apply to public speaking? Any muttonhead can tell you that good speeches tell a story. This infographic will show you exactly how Campbell’s 17 Steps can lead to storytelling success. It doesn’t matter if you want to discuss Martin Luther King’s march to Selma, why you deserve a raise, or Walking Dead plot summaries. The Hero’s Journey can apply to almost any presentation.
Many people believe leadership is something that's conferred along with a title or attained when you direct a team of people, but true leadership is never about authority or power. It's about helping others grow, and that's something anyone can do.
If it's your desire to influence and have an impact on others, you have leadership qualities. And if you can inspire people to do something they thought they couldn't do, demonstrate how the impossible is possible, believe in someone when they didn't believe in themselves, you're already a leader.
People don't set out to be great leaders, they set out to make a difference. It's never about the role or the title, but about influencing others, helping and supporting them.
Suppose you’re confined to a nursing home. You’re elderly, you’ve lost much of your mobility, and your faculties are deteriorating. Along comes a Harvard University social psychology professor named Ellen Langer who takes you away on a retreat, where everything is transformed into the way it looked and felt when you were 25. Radios with vacuum tubes play rockabilly and Perry Como, a hardcover copy of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger sits on a Danish modern coffee table (the movie won’t be released for several years yet), the clothing is au courant for 1959, and the conversation covers recent events like Fidel Castro’s invasion of Havana. The staff treat you like you’re in the prime of physical health, making you carry your own suitcases upstairs even if you haven’t recently lifted anything nearly that heavy. You know, at some level, that this is all a fictional recreation. But as it comes alive around you, you find yourself paying attention to your environment in ways you haven’t done in years.
The story of leadership is often told through the lens of a single leader and a singular act -- Martin Luther King rallying crowds at the Lincoln Memorial; Eleanor Roosevelt leading the creation of the declaration on human rights; Henry Kissinger setting foot in Beijing.
Reframing a problem helps you see it as an opportunity, and Seelig offers three techniques for finding innovative solutions:
1. Rethink The Question
Start by questioning the question you’re asking in the first place, says Seelig. "Your answer is baked into your question," she says.
Before you start brainstorming, Seelig suggests you start "frame-storming": brainstorming around the question you will pose to find solutions. For example, if you’re asking, "How should we plan a birthday party for David?" you’re assuming it’s a party. If you change your question to, "How can we make David’s day memorable?" or "How can we make David’s day special?" you will find different sets of solutions.
Have you ever felt you were losing your way? Cut adrift on a raging sea? I know I have. When I was reaching the top of Honeywell, I was working 24/7. Having succeeded in turning around a series of troubled businesses, I was tasked with even more turnarounds.
Chances are there was a point—maybe there were several—in the past year when you found yourself sitting angrily at your desk wondering why you had to do so much of the work yourself. You silently cursed your colleagues under your breath as you polished off yet another aspect of that big project. If it weren’t for you, you thought, the entire office might collapse under the combined weight of all its slackers.
The same thing might happen at home, too. Spouses and partners routinely fight over who takes care of the chores, and everyone feels like they're doing more than their fair share.
And yes, it's certainly possible that you actually are pulling your own weight and then some. Maybe you're surrounded by freeloaders and are the only halfway responsible person in the bunch. But there's a pretty good chance you aren't, despite your perceptions to the contrary. Here's why.
Recognising the inevitability of failure in today’s complex work organizations is vitally important. Those organisations that catch, correct, and learn from failure before others do will succeed. Those that wallow in the blame game will not.
There was a time when leaders thought their role was to exert power over others. No longer. Today's best leaders recognize their leadership is most effective when they empower others to step up and lead.
After in-depth interviews with 170 world leaders and classroom discussions with 6,000 executives and MBAs in Authentic Leadership Development (ALD) at Harvard Business School, we've learned three essential steps to building your self-awareness.
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