Telling Our Story
Have just returned from a week in the states which included attending AFSME leadership training. The training was hosted by Harvard and delivered by Marshall Ganz. One method was using narrative to capture and develop leadership potential. I have to quantify this by pointing out that this is a very simplistic summary of a very complex and thought provoking method.
The telling of the story, the narrative, breaks down into different parts but the most important consideration is that it has to be our story, told as it happens and equally important it has to be relevant and it has to have urgency. Hence the complexity. Here’s an attempt at a real example…
I have been (as have some of you I’m sure) watching the unfolding political events of the last few weeks and it felt a little like the end of a Dr Who episode where you hide because you know its going to be scary but you can’t help watching at the same time. I have also noticed a change in how the PM contenders approached the election and I saw a different campaign, did you? I saw spreads in Hello! magazine, interviews on Piers Morgan as well asthose live debates. Through this I feel I have heard some of their story. The final outcome is still unknown, a bit like those maths formulas: xy2=sum of conservative + liberal democrat.
One unknown quantity is still guaranteed in all of the papers and news reports. Our economy (meaning our jobs and income and the tax we pay across all of our workplaces providing all of the services we do for each other) still needs some work. Now we have two people making our decisions, maybe two heads are better than one but which one gets the final say? The value of us making sure that we have some say in what happens in every one of our workplaces is critical today because when have you or I ever faced this in our society?
The time to get our friends and family to join our unions and be active in our workplaces around the country is never more urgent than now. We have to make sure that all decisions affecting us and our jobs and income and taxes and services are influenced by us. So, I am going to go and make sure my friends and family are all in unions, will you?
This method works better spoken than written, and you will see that there is always room for improvement. The lessons learned from our american friends will be developed into a training course which the TUC Orgainising Academy will be running in the autumn, keep a watch on our website for further details.