Language of Leadership LO17390

Richard C. Holloway (
Thu, 12 Mar 1998 10:31:59 -0800

Replying to LO17385 --

Dear LO'ers--

I shared this thread with a friend and associate--I thought her response
worth sharing . . .


Need to think on this one a bit. I think working with the stories of the
people in the organization is one of the most powerful things you can do
around stories. Assisting folks in telling their story by offering a
framing question or theme, setting a safe environemnt for sharing, and
using skillful facilitators, storytellers, actors, artists, poets and
musicians is essential-people who know how to honor stories and bring to
life their drama. David Whyte's the heart aroused might be a good
literary resource or Jonathan Rosen (San Francisco) who directs
Tranformational Theater, or there is a group called Quiet Riot that will
be presenting at the AQP's 20th Annual Spring Conference in late April at
the fabulous Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee!!!! Locally in the
Northwest there are several good groups that can assist with
organizational storytelling, like the Heart Sparkle Players (Olympia),
Laughing Crow Productions (Olympia), Sara Rucker & Associates also
affiliated with Thresholds (Olympia), Matt Smith and Ed Sampson of
Seattle. I guess the moral of my story here is it's the stories of the
partners or associates (also known as employees) that can lead to the most
fundamental change in an organization. Yes, the stories of leaders are
essential and the symbols and metaphors their stories contain can inspire
and lead. On a day to day basis I would argue that people need to get a
hold of their own symbols and metaphors for behavior to change,
perceptions to shift, and assumptions to dissolve or to work toward
developing shared stories.

Sara Rucker

"A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot
afford to be fooled." --James Baldwin

Thresholds--developing critical skills for living organizations Richard C. "Doc" Holloway Please visit our new website, still at <> <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>