Crafting Your Leadership Story
Everyone has story. Strong leaders use their stories to inspire and engage others. In fact, leaders recognize the defining moments in their lives and communicate those lessons in words and actions. Everyone’s life is filled with experiences – traumatic, frustrating, or exhilarating – that can be the source of valuable learning. Stories create real human connections by allowing others to get inside our minds and our lives. With their human protagonists, dramas, climaxes, they engage listeners in an emotional and intuitive level that is rarely touched by purely rational argument.
Presenting your leadership story takes courage, but inevitably, someone will want to hear about who you are and the story behind what is important to you. Opportunities to share your story will surface frequently. It may be during a job interview; it may come from a counselor or family member during a conversation about your career and future; or it may be part of an early conversation you have with someone whom you are establishing a new relationship. Be prepared to take advantage of such opportunities.
Using the attached Written Assignment Template, write your leadership story. After you have provided a 2 to 3 sentence introduction to your story, identify and consider the the following chapter “headings” in your narrative:
- Chapter 1 – The Early Years: Recall your formative years. How did your early personal experiences and family circumstances shape who you re today?
- Chapter 2 – Angels and Heroes: Describe two people who have made a difference in your life … one from your personal life and one from your work life. What “leadership lessons” did you acquire from each person?
- Chapter 3 – Leadership Courage: Think of time in your life when your values were significantly challenged. How did you resolve or work through the situation?
- Chapter 4 – Your Legacy: Everyone says it differently, but what do you think is the “true joy of life”? What personal values or wisdom would you want tto pass one to those you care most deeply about?
While this paper can be written in first-person (subjective), you will need to support your thoughts, ideas, perspectives, etc. with scholarly sources (objective).
NOTE: The paper should be a 5-7 pages in length (excluding the title page, reference page, and any appendices) and include at least five (5) peer-reviewed, scholarly references.
Click on the “Week Two Assignment” link above to submit your assignment.
Remember to cite/reference all outside works in proper APA style (6th edition).