Leading the narrative; taking control of your own storySep 14, 2023
Who is controlling your narrative?
As a leader what are the stories that are being told about you? Controlling your own narrative involves shaping and managing how others perceive you, your actions, and your team or organisation. It's about crafting a consistent and positive image that aligns with your goals and values. This is crucial because perception others hold of you can significantly impact your ability to lead effectively and achieve your objectives.
Often I hear from leaders, that they are not comfortable talking about their own efforts, sharing what they feel they are doing well or talking themselves up. They consider it as just doing their job. Leaders who come from this place can also tend to have a negative view of people who are comfortable self-promoting!
The problem with this is that if you are not filling the space of your own narrative, you are leaving it open for someone else to do it for you. Depending on who that person is and your relationship, the stories they are telling about you may not align with how you see yourself or what you are trying to achieve.
Sharing stories about yourself, your experiences and learnings over your journey can help you to build relationships and influence, as well as put you in a position to achieve your big goals.
Here are some other reasons to start taking control of your narrative:
- A positive narrative can attract talent, partnerships, and promotion, while a negative one can hinder growth,
- Controlling your narrative gives you the power to shape opinions and persuade others to support your vision and decisions,
- A strong narrative reinforces your long-term vision and helps people understand the broader impact of your leadership over time.
Controlling your narrative is about effectively communicating your intentions, values, and actions to build trust, inspire, and drive positive change.
If you are a leader that likes to leave the talking up to someone else, here’s how to start being a part of the conversation about you:
- Effective communication is at the heart of controlling your narrative. Craft a clear and consistent message that aligns with your goals, values, and vision. This message should be tailored to various audiences, including your team, stakeholders, the leaders above you and your industry.
- Define your brand. Develop a personal brand that highlights your unique qualities and strengths. Consistently present yourself in a way that reinforces your brand, whether it's through your appearance, presence, or communication style. This branding helps shape how others perceive you and your leadership approach.
- If something hasn’t worked out how you would like at work address inaccuracies and misconceptions promptly to prevent false narratives from taking root. Engage with both positive and negative feedback in a forward looking, constructive manner. In challenging times, be proactive in addressing issues, sharing your perspective, and outlining your plan to address any concerns.
All of these points rely on consistency, authenticity, and transparency across all of your conversations.
Learning how to articulate and share your stories to weave your own narrative is an important leadership skill. Having the ability to showcase your accomplishments and the positive impact you've had provides evidence that reflects your leadership's effectiveness.
If you are not controlling your own narrative its time to get over yourself and start influencing the stories being told about you.
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