A great way to get recognized and remembered is to tell an interesting story related to your work experience at your company. It may be for a chuckle or to share a solution. Everyone has at least one such story.
Good stories come from just about every activity, from dealing with customers, to products, competitors, other employees, you name it. Somewhere inside of you is a great story ripe for the telling. So, go ahead and tell your story.
Great companies grew out of events years ago that have become today’s stories. Those stories get told over and over again. For example, 3M has a rich history of product innovations and rich stories to go with each of its innovations. It doesn’t discard or bury the stories dating back to its founding. Instead, it adds the new stories to the old stories to make story telling an even richer experience.
At the time, those stories didn’t seem interesting or magical. At that time, it was about an individual or a team struggling to solve a problem. Only after time passes and the significance of the solution takes hold can we appreciate the degree of importance, the degree of greatness, of the story. 3M’s innovations were all accomplished by individuals or small teams working on localized matters. Over time each of their solutions touched a global marketplace: “SCOTCH” BRAND Tapes, Masking tape, abrasives, retro-reflective sheeting, “POST-IT” Brand Notes, adhesives, and many more. As another example, APPLE, at its origination the Jobs-Wozniak team, overcame insurmountable odds to make the most memorable personal computers.
Decades ago business consultants encouraged executives to parade in front of employee town-hall sessions to tell their stories. But those executives missed the point by a mile. Unless that was the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, speaking about how they did it, there was little substance in executive ego stories to connect the employee let alone to become written into the corporation’s history. Remember. The great stories are in the hands of the employees who with limited means solve insurmountable problems or in the course of their daily jobs encounter interesting circumstances.
What might have worked much better would have been a parade of employees telling their stories and showing how those stories aligned with the inherent culture, value, ambitions, goals, of the current day company. That way, at a minimum, lessons can be learned and shared…employee to employee.
If you are an executive, go ask your employees about their most interesting, exciting, memorable, challenging, stories. Don’t take the spotlight. Give it to your willing employees. Let them speak about their story. After a period of time you may discover nodes upon which similar stories begin to converge. Those nodes will surface as some of your company’s most powerful culture-shaping stories.
If you are an employee not in management ranks, I would encourage you to try to find ways to tell your story, in interesting ways, during your presentations or meetings with other employees and especially with management. Everyone loves a good story. Everyone easily remembers a good story. Don’t be bashful about sharing your best corporate stories with your peers and colleagues.
Those very same, or similar, stories eventually become the life-blood of a company.
Help keep your company strong. Share your story.