A few months ago, I was meeting with several key leaders at Lifeway, asking them about their perception of our work, what we/I could improve on… and from each person I talked with I got at least one great leadership tip. One friend suggested, “Tell your story better”.
This friend went on to share with me what Childhood Training and Events is known for: We meet our objectives and budget goals, and seem to work hard, but we are most remembered for a damaged truck. One summer, we drove a 12 foot truck under a 10 foot bridge. That story and pictures from the event were used as an analogy by our vice president before about 800 employees. Needless to say, everyone knew of the damaged truck. People constantly stopped me in the halls to ask how happened and if they could get a copy of the picture.
So the question is: what do you want to be known for? Are you working towards those goals? More importantly are you telling your stories of success? I am not a naturally gifted communicator, although I work hard at it. Because I like numbers and they tell a great story, I tend to “talk the numbers” a lot. Talking numbers is not a bad thing. Numbers are quantifiable and can tell a great story of growth and how well you manage your budget. However, what people remember are stories: stories of people, stories of what God has done in their lives, stories of how God is using people in your ministry to make a difference, and stories of how your ministry is making a difference in people’s lives.
So the next time you are asked to report on your work, take 1 minute to talk numbers and 5 minutes to tell stories of what God is doing. Better yet don’t wait for someone to ask you to report, find ways to share.