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My Storytelling Destiny

The first time I am introduced to the idea of storytelling is back in 2012.

Ryan Smith, my boss at Samsung, mentions the term to me, alluding to the fact that it would be a valuable skill and would aid my career development. He tells me that stories are one of the best ways for people to relate to my experiences, similar to how we use similes and metaphors in everyday conversations.

Photo taken with my Samsung colleagues
A picture with my Samsung colleagues (from left to right: Ryan, Ted, Wayne)

My conversations with Ryan pique my interest, so I begin researching local coaches. When I say everything happens for a reason, I mean it. A few weeks later, it is destiny that I stumble upon Arina Isaacson, a professor at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a world-famous public speaking coach.

Arina and I exchange a few emails and speak on the phone before I convince myself that she is the coach for me.

The next weekend, I drive 90 minutes to see Arina face-to-face for the first session. I am both excited and nervous to speak in front of her. My guard rails are on high alert. Expressing vulnerability and opening up about my highs and lows is not something a regular practice for me.

Regardless, everything seems to click. Before the end of our first session, I am already starting to feel less anxious and my guardrails come down. It is smooth sailing from this point forward.

Once I learn to harness this superpower, I begin applying it across various business situations, including all-hands, customer meetings, 1:1s, job interviews, and more. It completely transforms the impact of my communication. It is the reason why I have been promoted as a senior marketing leader multiple times.

It's no coincidence that some of the best leaders are also amazing storytellers.

Seek out Challenges

There's a saying that resonates with me, both as a storyteller and as a coach.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

People do not grow when they live within their comfort zone. Growth happens when you seek out those opportunities that challenge you. You can tell how challenging it is by how far it takes you outside your comfort zone. Experiment and put yourself out there.

Here is an analogy to put storytelling into perspective. Storytelling is no different than lifting weights. You gain muscle strength by repetitively pushing your limits. The more you practice storytelling, the more effective and confident you become. It's that simple.

Your Storytelling Destiny

Every leader has a unique story, a distinctive voice waiting to be unveiled and shared. By developing leadership storytelling abilities, you’ll learn how to weave your experiences, insights, and vision into narratives that not only inform but inspire and motivate those around you. Remember, the stories we tell shape our identity as leaders. And they have the power to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary,

It's time to fulfill your storytelling destiny!

David Ghodsizadeh is the founder and storytelling coach at Storytelling 4 Success.


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