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Telling the Story: The Heart and Soul of Successful Leadership Hardcover – 18 Apr 2014
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With Mead s experience running a narrative leadership consultancy, the book is an insightful contribution to the field of leadership. (Elite Business, May 2014) Mead s tips on how to speak clearly and honestly are as good as anything on the market, and this book is as rich and absorbing as the most compelling yarn. (People Management, June 2014) it does a good job of explaining how the language and metaphors that we use through the telling of stories can influence our actions, and change how we and others think about the world. (Talk Business, June 2014) This book sets out a solid foundation for the role and position of story-telling and weaves it into a modern narrative around leadership explaining how the oft-over-looked human elements of organizational leadership can be sustained through the sense-making of stories. (Developing Leaders, August 2014) an informative and interesting book for leaders and management consultants wanting to expand their horizons to include story and storytelling in their toolkits. (Facts & Fiction, August 2014)
From the Inside Flap
"Mead′s book makes me feel hopeful and inspired about the future, and my own role in helping to shape it. His grounded, practical wisdom reminds us that stories have always been the way forward for humanity, and it is time for us to take more concerted action to counter the dominating master narrative of our most recent history. You will find his words a balm for the soul, evoking a meaningful walk in the woods with a wise elder." — Doug Paxton, Faculty and Co–Director of the Leadership Center, Saint Mary′s College of California
"The title of this book says it all, this is a heart–felt and soul–full book taking us on a journey where we can discover ourselves and achieve leadership success. It is only by finding and acknowledging our authentic truth that we can inspire others to follow. If you want to find out what it takes to be an inspiring and successful leader, step into this world of story." — Jacob Tas, Executive Director of Operations, Action for Children
"In many spheres of my life, I have learnt that getting the basics right is the platform on which success is built. Geoff′s book turns the spotlight on one of the basic activities of leaders and leadership teams – that of storytelling. The book comprehensively covers the theoretical and practical aspects of storytelling. The case studies and associated experiences of other leaders provide rich detail and inspiration. The book is a catalyst for self–improvement which in turn produces better organizational outcomes and a more successful future." — Sir David Varney, Formerly–Chairman O2, CEO BG, Commissioner HMRC
"This is surely a ′must read′ for anyone in a leadership role (which is pretty much everybody!). Geoff′s ability to explain narrative leadership is unsurpassed and his passion for storytelling comes through loud and clear in his writing. Understanding and using narrative has completely transformed my approach to leading an organization and influencing others with great success. Telling the Story will inspire you and equip you to use your inherent storytelling ability to influence those around you in a powerful and memorable way. I could not recommend this book more highly!" —Libby Hackett, Chief Executive, University AllianceSee all Product description
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I'm struck with just how generous the information in this book is. Rather than offering glimpses or propositions, Geoff has rolled open the considerable weight of his experience and offered it up to share. Reading this is rather like receiving a serious master class in narrative leadership - for this field, which is dogged with the tag of soft or fuzzy, - the clarity offered is startling and very welcome.
For any leader or coach who is interested in authentic connection, gathering the collective intelligence of their people and galvanising action, this book is a must. I just wish I'd had it years ago. I suspect many other practitioners in the coaching and change arena will be doing the same as me, buying this book for their clients and saying - this is the space I can help you with.
The book is well organised and written in a style that is suitably authorative while remaining accessible to the non-academic reader. Chapters are arranged into sections and the reader can select parts to read through, study in depth or merely scan and return to some time later. On the whole, this aspect of leadership is worthy of study and certainly seems workable in practice, providing the stories are within the focus and context of what you are needing to do, but a key point of the book is about getting people onside and being able to work for the benefit of all: in this way we might all become narrative leaders.
In this, it was not much different in format from my accountancy text books. I have qualifications in business management and a degree in psychology so I could relate to the detailed subject matter. I did worry that some might find it turgid and more text book than manual.
If you are serious about honing your leadership skills, you will enjoy this book.
As an example of "telling your story", I noted almost all of my accountancy lecturers related a brief personal story about themselves. For example, one told us of her study methods while she was a Marks and Spencer manager, another about his online shopping habits, another about how his dad took him to his treasury office when he was a lad, etc. I began to think it was part of their training to communicate more effectively.
It really worked. We were all riveted by these nuggets about the person behind the teacher. I look forward to putting some of it into practice. Even us dull chartered accountants have a story inside of us.