Changemakers: It’s the Story We Remember

Those of you who have heard me speak about KCFAA know I often speak about the great story that we have to tell. It’s a story that started 33 years ago and continues to evolve.  It’s a story of collaboration, vision, and the desire to bring together those who would most likely not come together.  And it’s a story of passion and dedication and what a small group of individuals can do to change our community for the better.

So as you might imagine, I was drawn to hear Dawn Fraser speak recently at the Dance USA conference hosted by the Kansas City Ballet. Dawn Fraser is a story teller and she spoke on the importance of storytelling for those who are in positions of leadership.  Her message was simple but profound, and something that I want to share with you.

She started, of course, with a story.  The story was about her and her brother’s history as runners.  She then deconstructed the story to illustrate what she sees as the value of storytelling and why stories matter.

Why Stories?

Stories have transformational power—they can change the way we see ourselves and the way we see others. As a leader, we use stories to enable others to achieve purpose in the face of uncertainty.  Since we live in uncertain times, the stories we tell allow us to communicate our values, and to inspire, engage, and persuade authentically.

Most importantly, as changemakers, we need to use stories because of the deep connection that happens in storytelling. People remember stories.

Stories can be powerful and for those of us challenged to lead they can provide a means to share one’s vision of where we are today and where we need to be in the future. It is through storytelling that true leaders create a narrative of the future that we can envision together.

— Harlan Brownlee