Steve Jobs’ Hero’s Journey
As the heroic journey of Steve Jobs proves, a perfect protagonist who embarks on his own adventure without fears, conflicts, challenges or even initial defeats will not become a crowd favorite.
A story is not a pitch. If managers want their audience to empathize with them, sympathize with them and support them, they need precisely these credible stories of a person who experiences both highs and lows.
Stories of experience – Shared experiences weld together
To use stories for better collaboration, professional experience stories are helpful. Especially in companies that are so large that you can’t know or see all your colleagues on a daily basis, or in small separate teams working on different projects, the power of collective stories can do wonders for problems.
In the same way, a shared experience can weld a team even closer together. Be it when you create positive experiences together in the first days or also when you start again together after defeats:
SpaceX had two failed rocket launches behind it. The third launch was scheduled for August 02, 2008. The rocket lifted off, but after the second ignition, the rocket exploded again. CEO Elon Musk, until then not known as a great speaker, stepped in front of his 350-member team.
He had always known that it would be difficult, but despite everything, they had achieved something that only a few other countries had managed, not to mention companies. The first launch was successful, he said, and now it’s time to get back up and continue there. “I, for one, will never give up – ever,” Musk said. According to legend, most employees would have followed the founder to hell with just a bit of sunscreen after this speech.
Stories that stay in the memory
In order to ensure that your vision reaches your employees, you have to formulate it in such a way that it remains in their minds. In their book “Made to Stick,” the brothers Chip and Dan Heath call this overcoming the curse of knowledge. Above all, it’s about formulating the core of an idea that makes it as easy as possible to understand something.
“The United States should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth“, John F. Kennedy proclaimed on May 25, 1961, in his first address to the U.S. Congress. A statement that immediately stuck with each and every congressman.
If he had phrased the same content as follows, this significant vision would certainly not have been ingrained in people’s minds: “Our mission is to become an international leader in aerospace through team-centric innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives.”
Such inspiring speeches as those of Satya Nadella, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or John F. Kennedy are not just spontaneous, but the result of well thought-out storytelling. Storytelling is a tool that every leader must first learn for him or herself in order to apply it in daily interaction. The goal of executives and managers is to be listened to, believed and trusted, so that words can ultimately lead to action.
Whether in front of the assembled team, at a conference or when getting to know the new team members. Storytelling makes vision and ideas stick in people’s minds longer and builds a connection with the team. Leaders who want to empower, motivate and lead their employees must therefore become storytellers.
Learn how to use storytelling to convince employees of new strategies and how to use the hero’s journey as a strategy tool.