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The Leadership Benefits of Performance and Storytelling

https://knowledge.insead.edu/leadership-organisations/the-leadership-benefits-of-performance-and-storytelling-8141

knowledge.insead.edu

The Leadership Benefits of Performance and Storytelling
Dramatic strategy moves audiences, empowers them to play a role and realigns them with a higher purpose. The scene is set in 2002 at the San Jose Convention Centre in California where software developers have gathered for the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

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Dramatic strategy ...

Dramatic strategy ...
  • ... moves audiences, 
  • empowers them to play a role and 
  • realigns them with a higher purpose.

The method was flawlessly employed by Steve Jobs who announced the MacOS 10, by staging a funeral for Mac OS 9. 

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Dramaturgical model of communication

Focus on communicating meaning by enabling followers to become emotionally invested in change by being part of the larger narrative.

This communication approach spurs its constituency through imagination towards a common goal. 

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Considerations for dramaturgical approach

  • Leaders should "manufacture" meaning.
  • Narratives are enhanced when storytellers bring the audience into the present

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Four phases to "manufacture" meaning

Framing: Use words that amplify values, stress the vision’s importance and, if necessary, disparage opposition.

Scripting: Assign protagonist and antagonist roles. The word “we” eliminates potential tensions.

Staging: Requires logistics, settings and props that imparts meaning.

Performing: Enact scripted behaviours and relationships.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Three-Act storytelling structure

Three-Act storytelling structure

One of the oldest and most straightforward storytelling formulas:

  • Setup: Set the scene and introduce the character(s)
  • Confrontation or “Rising action” : Present a p...

Five-Act storytelling structure

Also known as Freytag’s Pyramid:

  • Exposition: Introduce important background information
  • Rising action: Tell a series of events to build up to the climax
  • Climax: Turn the story around (usually the most exciting part of the story)
  • Falling action: Continue the action from the climax
  • Dénouement: Ending the story with a resolution.

Before – After – Bridge storytelling formula

  • Before: Describe the world with Problem A.
  • After: Imagine what it’d be like having Problem A solved.
  • Bridge: Here’s how to get there.

Set the stage of a problem that your target audience is likely to experience ( a problem that your company solves). Describe a world where that problem didn’t exist. Explain how to get there or present the solution (i.e. your product or service).

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Leadership literature

Leadership failures in government, business, and nonprofits have created a demand for leadership studies and literature.

Unfortunately, these materials describe u...

The morality tale

Leadership has become a kind of morality tale: Leaders are supposed to be authentic and truthful, paying attention to their employees' well-being and building trust.

Oversimplification

The moral framing of leadership does not consider the real complexities and difficulties that leaders face.

Sometimes, being pragmatic necessitates doing seemingly bad things to achieve good results. This means that leaders may have to act in strategic misrepresentation, contrary to their own feelings.

The humble narcissist

Researchers studied whether customer service employees were more productive under narcissistic or humble leaders.

The least effective bosses were narcissists. Humble bosses we...

Narcissist and humble leaders

Narcissists believe they're unique and superior, while humble leaders know they're flawed. 

The humble narcissist has grand ambitions but doesn't feel entitled to them. He is also willing to acknowledge his weaknesses and learn from his mistakes.

Narcissism and confidence

We're all drawn to someone who shows confidence - that is the reason that narcissists are more likely to be promoted or get elected to political office. But on its own, narcissism is dangerous. It tends to promote overconfidence and it dismisses the criticism.

Adding humility to narcissism prevents capriciousness and complacency. It helps you remember that you’re human.