The Story Principle: The Inspiring Language of Leadership

Jun 23 2021

By Kevin Cashman; originally posted on his Forbes blog:  Pause Point on June 23, 2021. 

Stories are the language of leadership that can move both heads and hearts to go beyond what people thought was possible.

A personal story. My phone rang at 2:00 am – rarely a good sign. Startled, I wondered who it was and what bad news awaited me. Sitting up in bed, I reached for the phone. Putting it up to my ear, I heard my mother’s shaken voice saying, “There’s been a terrible accident. Your father is unconscious. He’s in intensive care. Kevin, you have to go to the hospital.”

I reacted, “No way. I’m not going.” I’m not proud of my response, but it was honest. It represented the reactive way I felt. I knew that my mother couldn’t handle going either. She and my dad had been separated for some years.

She insisted. “This is your father, Kevin. You have to go.” Grudgingly, I pulled on my clothes and drove to North Memorial Hospital. The entire drive I held onto my resentment, resisting what awaited me. When I walked into intensive care and saw him – bruised, bloody, unconscious, vulnerable, and attached to a web of cords and devices – unexpectedly, I felt something different. Resentment, at least partially, fell away. My mind said, “No,” but my heart was surprisingly saying, “Yes.” In this conflicted state, I moved forward and held his much too cold hand. As I did so, I remembered his familiar smell and our common DNA. While he was not a great father, I understood that he was my father. His story and mine were intertwined.

Read More

See More Posts

Playing the Numbers

Playing the Numbers

By Jonathan Dahl; originally published by Korn Ferry in Briefings Magazine.   If you type the number 2022 into a search engine, you may discover that those who follow meaning in numbers see good things ahead—success among them. Given that we’re toward the end of the...

read more
Whiplash Leadership

Whiplash Leadership

By Russell Pearlman; originally published in Briefings magazine. For most organizations, it began in mid-March 2020.  Not just the pandemic and the slew of business lockdowns, of course, but the round after round of decision making. The first wave of decisions had...

read more