STRATEGIC NARRATIVE INSIGHTS
Defy the Norm: The Stages of Building Narrative Power
Over the past week, I've had a profound insight that refined my understanding of narrative power.
I've come to define Narrative Power as "the leadership ability to defy the normal when the normal is wrong."
Each of us, entrepreneurs, aims to create change in some form. Whether it's reshaping our community, challenging the norms of our industry, serving our clients in ways that haven't been explored, or simply redefining our personal path, our businesses become the vehicles for these transformative journeys.
In this context, Narrative Power can be subtle, a mere whisper in your mind, a sense that something isn't right. Or it can be bold and overt, like a public declaration of your intention to change, followed by decisive action.
This power, whether a quiet intuition or bold action, fuels change, setting entrepreneurs, their teams, and markets on a mission. And as I wrote before, when you position your business as a business on a mission, you operate from a higher degree of confidence because a higher purpose drives you.
I want to guide you through a quick self-reflection process to help you identify where you are on your journey of creating and strengthening your narrative power.
What follows is hopefully not merely a theoretical exercise but a practical tool to help you experience a bit of my thought process when I help mission-driven entrepreneurs.
I invite you to reflect on your journey and identify the levels of your narrative power. These levels are not strictly linear, but each represents a significant milestone in your journey to build narrative muscle as an entrepreneur.
The Seed Stage
This is the stage where you first identify a situation that needs to change. You see something that you disagree with, something that, in your eyes, is unjust, inefficient, or simply not as good as it could be. This is the stage of thinking, imagining, and dreaming. You may not have a business yet, or perhaps you have a company, but you don't yet offer a product or service that could address the change you have in mind. Reflect: What situation triggered your drive for change?
The Pioneer Stage
At this stage, you've taken the leap of faith. You've decided to build something to address the situation you identified. You're either alone or with a small team. The risks are high, and the path is uncertain, but the promise of making a difference fuels your motivation. You're constructing something new. Reflect: What motivated you to leap into the unknown?
The Community Builder Stage
Now, you have followers and maybe a team. You've gained confidence in communicating your vision and aligning your group around it. You've started to build a community around your mission, creating a ripple effect that's beginning to make waves in your industry or field. Reflect: How are you nurturing your community and aligning it with a holistic vision, not just for your business but also for your environment (community, market, or the whole world)?
The Disruptor Stage
At this level, you are no longer just a participant in your field but actively reshaping it. Your business is not just about selling a product or service; it's about promoting a new way of doing things, challenging the status quo, and demonstrating that there is a better alternative to 'business as usual.' Reflect: In what ways are you challenging the status quo in your industry?
The Change-Maker Stage
This is the level of narrative power where your singular perspective has gained widespread recognition and acceptance. You've gone beyond disrupting to actively changing the landscape of your industry. You've created a meaningful, tangible change, not just for your business but for your community, your industry, and perhaps even the world. Reflect: What tangible impact has your mission had on your community or industry?
So, where are you on this journey? What level of narrative power have you achieved, and more importantly, where do you want to go next? Remember, it's not about the size of your business; it's about the impact you create.
I created MetaHelm to help you at every stage of this journey. Whether you're just starting to dream about making a change or you're an established disruptor looking for ways to amplify your impact. I am ready to support you.
The world needs more mission-driven entrepreneurs, and I am excited to see what you'll do next.