Teaching Leadership With Storytelling And Practice

“Leader” is not just a title for the CEO or the vice-president, or the director. Everybody leads. We are leading our own daily lives making the choices to get out of bed and to do good things on a daily basis.

Jeff Chavez of Authentic Development explains, “I’m leading if I go to a cubicle all by myself for 10 hours a day and work on coding. I lead that process, and so my decisions within that one-man process are no different than the broad scope that we often think of as it relates to leadership. So, everybody leads.”

We have to be clear in our message. We need to identify leaders and give them opportunities to grow within the organization even if, on their first impression, it may seem that they don’t have the toughness, maybe they don’t yet have some of the skills. Jeff Chavez teaches that it’s imperative to give people an opportunity by delegating things to them, challenging them, inspiring them through storytelling and the way that we lead in our daily actions.

We help our teams gain confidence by learning to not be afraid of things through the process of teaching. 

With 365 days in the year, you can begin to layer into your organization immediately, a cultural shift based on some basic principles, some basic truths that when repeated and when demonstrated and practiced, your culture will begin to look much like the greatest agile organizations in the world.

You’ll need to model those who have done it well. There are no shortage of examples if you do homework and you want to find them. You can improve within your team through repetition and keeping this front and center through practice.

When Jeff Chavez of Authentic was in seventh or eighth grade he started freestyle wrestling. John Smith, at the time, had won gold medals for the U.S. in wrestling in 3 Olympics in a row and he was unbeaten in over 150 matches. He did that primarily with one perfectly executed move, the single leg takedown. He practiced and studied that single leg over and over and over again. Just one move, consistently. It led him to multiple gold medals. So there’s really something about that process of repetition and practice that can make a major impact and sustain major cultural shifts.