StoryDriven

Author: Nelson Coulter

I recently read Story Driven: You Don’t Need to Compete When You Know Who You Are by Bernadette Jiwa (2018).

In this book, BJ speaks to the importance of us as individuals and as organizations to not only “know ourselves” but that that knowing is absolutely essential to our being able to connect with others (whether personally, collegially or transactionally).

My top takeaways:

  • Our best service posture is achieved when we learn to be responsive rather than reactive.
  • Having a clear sense of purpose and identity is essential to being able to have impact (aka mattering).
  • The best organizations (and people) don’t matter by winning, they win by mattering.
  • Losing is the result of what we sacrifice in order to win.
  • The use of powerful reflective questions is the best starting point for understanding our Story.
  • The Story-Driven progression:
    1. BACKSTORY: Our journey to now.
    2. VALUES: Our guiding beliefs.
    3. PURPOSE: Our reason to exist.
    4. VISION: Our aspiration for the future.
    5. STRATEGY: The alignment of opportunities, plans and behavior: how we will deliver on our purpose and work towards our aspiration, while staying true to our values.

My favorite quotes:

‘The greatest way to live with honour in this world is to be what we pretend to be.’ —Socrates (p. 1)

‘The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. —Steve Jobs (p. 3)

“Clarity of intention is where your story starts.” (p. 42)

“Mahatma Ghandi said, ‘Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’” (p. 53)

Our days are consumed with measuring up in all kinds of arbitrary, superficial, ungrounded ways. What would happen if we spent as much time reflecting— wondering about and working on the inside, nurturing the things that make us who we are? (p. 145)

This book is going on my list of recommended readings. Nuff said!

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