Am I inviting you to tell lies?
Building a strategic narrative is for sure an exercise in dealing with the truth. I see this with all my clients and the participants of The Strategic Narrative Workshop.
I say “dealing” because the virtue of telling the truth can also be perceived as a disadvantage.
For instance, people are not always ready to hear the truth. Everyone wants authenticity. But authenticity is hard.
As a business leader, it can be tough to admit inconvenient facts, and it is scary to realize that truth might make you come across as weak.
Truth can hurt you and others. That’s why it requires courage to tell, especially when saying why your company is taking a new direction, why it’s going to be acquired, why it’s not performing as well as it could, or why it was truly founded.
It’s tempting to think that a good story will save you because there is social pressure to look like someone we are not. The word “storytelling” can sometimes have the taint of “lie”. Parents sometimes ask children, “Are you telling me stories?” when they mean, “Are you lying?”
But building a strategic narrative is not about lying. Instead, it is about learning to tell the truth in a way that serves a cause.
“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”
― Mahatma Gandhi