What’s Your Personal Narrative?

Accountability Contribution Purpose


Key Point: Each of us ultimately stand for some things. When we act on our beliefs, we begin to write our individual narrative or story. This includes our personal mission, purpose, values and essence of being. Even if we are not conscious of one, we’ve all been living and writing an implicit narrative. However, we have to be very self-aware and present or this narrative can be deceptively hard to identify.

There is a reliable method to narrative discovery. Block out time to write down “war stories” – the anecdotes that best capture experiences, successes, failures, and our views of the world. These recollections often contain the kernels or themes of what matters most to us. By looking at the stories we tell, to ourselves and about ourselves, we begin to see patterns and shapes.

I have introduced a concept (with the help of many) for developing and capturing personal narratives in the company I’m Chief People Officer at. My belief is that by recording stories and anecdotes, people will accelerate their personal learning. Perhaps as importantly, they will begin to harness their unique voice or narrative. This application will help them discover common themes that will provide a distinct personal platform of contribution… Maybe even a legacy. I haven’t used the term narrative but the onboarding at our corporation is, “The Story Begins.” What’s your story?

Character Moves:

  1. Just write. Instead of wondering what you should write about, just reflect on and capture the war story of the day, week, etc. If you don’t have a software application like we have given our associates, just use a “black and red” book or scribbler. I literally have a few hundred of them filled with illegible musings and reflections. Even with analogue systems like these scribblers, patterns and ideas of your personal narrative emerge.
  2. I have written about the importance of developing positive habits many times before, but somehow you need to build and develop a system of routinely recording your experiences. When you do, you will be delighted to see themes about what you believe and stand for evolve. This will give you an explicit platform for expressing your voice, story or narrative.
  3. I have been around too many people who can tell me what they are against or don’t like. But the people who give me great energy have consciously created a narrative and stand for something. They live it. And eventually they have, or will become thought leaders or at least vessels of explicit communication. Their unique themes that represent who they really are will emerge in an authentic spotlight for others to see and appreciate.

Having a narrative in The Triangle,