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Step into Your Leadership Story of Thriving

Most leaders I know want to be on the side of leading thriving for themselves and others. Yet, doing so means challenging old ideas they hold about what it means to lead and rewriting their leadership story so that wellbeing is a priority.


Leading a thriving work culture isn’t only about what you say and do, although the people you work with are watching both. It’s about your perceptions of who you are—the deeper stories defining, sustaining, and propelling how you live and lead.

Like everyone, your story of leadership, what some call your leadership origin story, is shaped by your experiences, upbringing, cultural worldviews, primal beliefs, biases, and other internal and social factors. This story likely evolved unconsciously over time, without you giving much attention to it. As British author James Allen once said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”

Fortunately, you possess a uniquely human capacity: The ability to become aware of how and what you think. To consciously unearth the narratives driving you and write healthier stories to guide your future. This is a superpower!  And through it, you can decide what kind of leader you want to be—and make thriving central to your leadership narrative.

The question is: What leadership story do you want to step into?


We’ve been exploring the power of story with the leaders we support. Here are three excellent talks to begin exploring your leadership story:

  • Where Does Your Sense of Self Come From? A Scientific Look. For ages, theologians and philosophers have told us that “self” is an illusion. This mind-expanding talk by award winning science writer Anil Ananthaswamy sheds light on how the experience of Alzheimer’s, foreign limb syndrome, and other mental and physical conditions invite us to challenge our stories about who we are.
  • You Don’t Actually Know What Your Future Self Wants. In this fascinating talk, journalist Shankar Vedantam shares that when we look back at our past selves in comparison to who we are today, it seems clear that we’ve become different people. Yet, we have a difficult time imagining how different we may be in our future. We fall into the illusion of continuity, believing that our lives will simply be an extension of who we’ve been. We don’t stop to wonder what our future selves might want.
  • How Changing Your Story Can Change Your Life. In this humorous talk, psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb highlights that we are all unreliable narrators of our own lives. We use stories to make sense of our lives, but those same stories often keep us stuck.

Exploring your own leadership story is a chance to gain perspective about yourself, plus shape the kind of leader you want to be to uplift people amidst the complex circumstances our world faces and to benefit all of humankind.


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