Leading with Inspiration

Originally published to Korn Ferry Institute on September 24, 2017.  

In his book, “Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader in Life,” Senior Client Partner Kevin Cashman writes about how you have to grow yourself as a person in order to grow yourself as a leader. In this excerpt, Cashman explains how to use stories to inspire action. 

Stories elevate the mind and the heart to go beyond what is, to mobilize us and others to reach new possibilities. Annette Simmons, group process consultant, understood this dynamic when she wrote, “People do not want information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith—faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell.” Science has demonstrated that stories, especially stories that sustain our attention with a narrative arc and some tension, have the unique force to move us intellectually and emotionally at the same time.

In “Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling,” Harvard Business Review, scientist Paul Zak explains that his lab discovered more than a decade ago that the neurochemical oxytocin is necessary for humans to feel safe. Zak says, “It does this by enhancing a sense of empathy.” Our brain produces more of it each time we experience kindness and trust.

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What Now? Diversity and Inclusion in an Age of Trump — Post #3: Corporations have a Unique Opportunity to Provide Spaces for Dialogue and Healing

By Andrés Tapia, Senior Partner with Korn Ferry’s Diversity, Inclusion & Workforce Performance Practice.

Originally posted on LinkedIn.com on November 15, 2016.

CEOs have been calling me since the bombshell results of the US presidential election. They seek a sounding board for how best to respond as leaders of their organizations. They know that inside their corporate, store, plant, and factory walls flow the full crosscurrents of a polarized citizenry stoked up by poisonous rhetoric.

But they are unsure of how best to lead in these dangerous times. Do they just hope that employees will keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves while they are at work? They quickly recognize this head-in-the-sand approach will not be sustainable nor helpful but they hesitate to encourage the alternative of inviting expression from people across a wide political spectrum for understandable fear that this would only devolve into mirroring the rancor on the streets, cable news, and social media.

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