What Role Does Story Play in Independent Leadership?

HomeBlogWhat Role Does Story Play in Independent Leadership?

I sit writing this on July 3, 2021 on the eve of our nation’s celebration of independence.

Throughout history, independence has often been shown to be an achievement that is hard-won.

Yet, to me, independence is a natural process that we are to go through as humans; to own and fully step into our sovereignty. It is not something we should have to fight for, but is, in fact, a birthright.

As we are human BEings, we are here to choose, for ourselves, who we want or came to be. The conditioning from our outside world that developed to keep us safe, secure and in control has also led us to identify and see ourselves as dependent and needing to DO certain things in a certain way in order to feel valuable and connected to others, and indeed to ourselves.

This has steered us further and further from our sovereign place, which is where genuine connection resides. To have true connection to and with our own authentic beingness IS our ultimate desire. It is only from here that we can live and lead most favorably and valuably, and connect with others most legitimately.

Recently, I have found myself becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the focus that has been placed on the role of story. For most of my coaching career, I have helped clients strip away their reliance on story. We have spoken about the importance of looking beyond their narrative to discover the truths about who they are and of what they are capable. It is from these truths that they have begun to unleash their potent and powerful selves into the world most truly and completely. It is not their story that is significant; it is them.

However, as we look into the world and listen to the messages, they are about story boards, story branding and workshops devoted to how best to craft and deliver your story. This has me sensing an incongruency that has me wondering if we are missing something deeply fundamental.

Often, when we place our emphasis on story, we begin to work from the belief that goes something like this: for others to truly see and connect with you, it is necessary to share your personal story effectively and vulnerably and do it in a way that is well considered, but comes across as unrehearsed and natural.

But is this true?

Is it possible for us to simply BE natural and who we are in each moment without story?

Is it achievable to connect and have others want to connect with us by plainly being with them openly without agendas or the need to know facts or history? Without needing a narrative?

Think about young children playing on a playground. When a new child joins another or group, do they feel the need to introduce themselves, tell a story and build connection first?

Of course they don’t.

About school age is when we become habituated to the concept of ensuring that we know what boxes we fit into and how to express this in a story. After the age of 5, we cease to simply BE and start to become our story.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do believe there is a place for story, but I don’t feel it is from where we are meant to BE with others or with ourselves.

What I’m inviting each of us to do is to consider how young children present themselves and go out into the world. They allow themselves and others to truly show up as they are, in the moment.

They gravitate towards who and what inspires, moves and interests them, and they are boldly curious about things around them and exist in the moment. They do all of this from a place of BEING, not because they are working from a story.

When it comes to our most successful and aligned form of personal leadership and our greatest level of performance, we accomplish this not by crafting and attempting to orient ourselves to our story, but by simply being who and what we are in that present moment.

In this time, when we are all striving to explore and determine what it means to be sovereign, while also being supportive and understanding of others as they do this for themselves, I invite you to dig deep and be more selfexpressed. Embrace your OWN independence, as this is what you are truly grappling to discover and possess.

Ask yourself, what are the patterns that have been enslaving you within the restraints of false thoughts, beliefs and practices? What stories have you been telling that have arisen from these thoughts, beliefs and practices?

Choose to free yourself from them now. Give yourself permission to be MORE than your story and choose to celebrate your OWN Independence Day!