New Book Distills Leadership Stories Down to 3 Types

Annette Simmons (The Story Factor, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins) tells us of six kinds of stories that can be told in organizations; Steve Denning (The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling) lists seven; Paul Smith (Lead with a Story) describes stories for 21 business challenges.

But in The Three Stories Leaders Tell, coach and consultant Christine Cavanaugh-Simmons has distilled the stories organizational leaders can tell to just three types:

  • Who am I?
  • Who are we?
  • Where are we going?

I love the fact that book is set up as a workbook – Cavanaugh-Simmons – calls it a “guidebook” – in a workbook-style size and shape. A typical chapter contains an introduction, a reflection, worksheets for several exercises, questions for reflection, tips, examples, a place to record learning about the process, “go deeper” suggestions, and a checklist for tracking impact.

The book is designed in user-friendly fashion with plenty of space for writing, inspiring quotes, and illuminating graphics. The Appendix offers further resources and a dandy bibliography with the work many story luminaries.

Purchasers of the book can request a passkey to a Practitioner Community Wiki.

See the The Three Stories Leaders Tell on Amazon.

Description from the book’s Amazon page: “The Three Stories Leaders Tell is designed to give leaders practical methods for using stories to lead. This guide translates what fuels the power of stories into a wide range of step-by-step techniques for storytelling. Since storytelling is social, the guide also gives how to’s for team and organization wide engagement. … The reader will be able to understand what makes each narrative unique as well as how to craft each narrative with the desired level of involvement and impact. Whether you are a leader, a leadership and organizational development professional, or an executive coach, you will find this guide to be an easy-to-follow resource for one-on-one or group leadership development efforts.”

Cavanaugh-Simmons’s company is CCS Consulting, where she works with leaders and organizations that want to project a memorable identity, drive positive change, and rapidly cascade strategy through the stories they tell. Cavanaugh-Simmons uses stories, storytelling, and narrative process to coach executives and organizations of all sizes through post-merger integration, branding, leadership development, visioning, and strategic planning.