Management Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a management writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.


This exercise is adapted from Leading Out Loud by T. Pearce (2003); it is designed to give you an opportunity to begin or revisit your work on your personal leadership story.


Practice: Crafting Your Leadership Story

As discussed in the Module 3, this module in many ways reflects the more traditional definitions and purposes of leadership and organization, emphasizing the importance of having a strategy that creates competitive advantage and aligns activities in support of the organizations’ vision.

Everyone has a story. Strong leaders use their stories to inspire and engage others. Leaders recognize the defining moments in their lives and communicate those lessons in words and actions. Everyone’s life is filled with experiences—traumatic, frustrating, or exhilarating—that can be the source of valuable learning. Stories create real human connections by allowing others to get inside our minds and our lives.

Presenting your leadership story to others takes courage, but inevitably, someone will want to hear about who you are and the story behind what is important to you.

Write a short draft of your leadership story. Use the following chapter “headings”:

  • Chapter 1: The Early Years. Recall your formative years. How did your early personal experiences and family circumstances shape who you are today? What early messages, lessons, or values were inculcated during this life phase?
  • Chapter 2: Angels and Heroes. Describe two people who have made a difference in your life—one from your personal life and one from your work life. What “leadership lessons” did you acquire from each person?
  • Chapter 3: Leadership Courage. Think of a time in your life when your values were significantly challenged. How did you resolve or work through this situation?
  • Chapter 4: Your Legacy. Everyone says it differently, but what do you think is the “true joy of life”? What personal values or wisdom would you want to pass on to those you care most deeply about?
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