Summary of Your Leadership Story

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Negative stories about corporate leaders can damage their reputations and undermine their leadership impact. Leaders can’t lead without their colleagues’ regard. Monitor what people think of you, and be ready to replace whispered negative hearsay with positive facts. Prepare to tell a good “leadership story” about yourself in words and deeds. Marriott vice president and leadership development expert Timothy J. Tobin teaches you how to develop and convey your story. His worksheets, self-questions and resource appendix are very useful. Although some of his ideas may seem hard to implement – like asking your colleagues to assess your leadership and finding ways through your actions to tell a great story about yourself without blowing any faint reputation for a respectable level of humility – his message is solid: Leadership isn’t something you just do; it is something you must reflect on carefully. getAbstract recommends his advice to emerging and experienced leaders and to those who want to know more about how to shape their reputation.

About the Author

Timothy J. Tobin is VP of global learning and leadership development at Marriott International.



Having a Positive “Leadership Story” Is Critical

All leaders have leadership stories whether they know it or not. Your leadership story is “the collection of events, perspectives and behaviors that represent who you are as a leader. It evolves from your unique experiences.” And it makes a difference in your career. Take Bill, a competent corporate leader who believed in delegating. He trusted the members of his team and was confident they could handle their assignments. As part of his job, Bill “reviewed and tracked his company’s financial statements, as he thought he should.” Yet, due to his delegating style, he relied on the fiscal experts in his company to manage the details of everyday financial operations.

One day, during a meeting that Bill didn’t attend, another executive asked one of those experts if Bill knew about the firm’s current financial reports. The expert’s answer indicated that Bill didn’t get involved in the details. Quite to Bill’s detriment, this negative description about his supposed lack of interest in financial details quickly became an unattractive aspect of his leadership story.

After he became aware of this blot on his reputation, ...

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    L. P. 1 year ago
    Showing people who you are is more reliable than trying to tell people who you are. I enjoyed reading this summary.
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    M. M. 1 year ago
    Great content! Be the author of your own leadership story . Keep always aware of review and rewrite your story. And best of all, don’t let people write YOUR story, have the control and Own it! And as always, what you do is more important than what you say! <br>#getabstract #getmotivated
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    A. A. 1 year ago
    Very useful summary. 10-15 minutes of time to get the core of the book. No time to read every book so I like summary...learnt how story-telling important a leader.
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    1 year ago
    Going to buy the book. Really like the idea of writing my own story
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    N. C. 1 year ago
    A very interesting read, and certainly more about the actions you take to build your story than how you tell it. The story unfolds naturally from your actions. This is equally as useful for current leaders looking back over their story so far and picking out what they've done right/should continue and what they ought to change, as it is for those just starting out their career and planning how they will build their story as they go.
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    J. J. 1 year ago
    Indeed interesting. I agree with others that "living" your story is more importend than telling it. And thinking about the story you want to tell and the "story" you "lived" already can shape the story of your future.
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    W. N. 1 year ago
    An interesting perspective. I agree with other comments about leadership being more of who you are and what you do, rather than ‘telling’ your story.
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    G. O. 1 year ago
    “When writing the story of your life, do not let anyone hold the pen” Harley Davidson
    In creating your leadership story (beyond the 10 steps offered by Timothy), you must be intentional with clarity of goals in sight. And at the instance of Stephen Covey – begin with the end in mind. Step 9 was the all-time for me – Action speaks. Leadership is by being and not by doing as I gleaned from John Maxwell
    Beyond the comparative types of leaders recorded by Timothy: looking at Ken Blanchard, Bill George and Nelson Mandela; I dare say, the art of leading is synonymous to service and must reflect in your story. Quite frankly, direction is more important than speed in this leadership story adventure. Yet, another summary that is getting me motivated. #getMotivated #readingchallenge #getAbstract
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    S. C. 4 years ago
    Perceptions by team tend to define your story irrespective of your intent behind actions. This abstract provides a way to align who you want to be as a leader with your actions.
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    S. K. 4 years ago
    I like it. Tell your leadership story and change it daily. A little comedy in your story doesn't hurt.
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    J. P. 5 years ago
    Lots of value in this abstract, and I'm sure, in the book. For me, some of the steps are too "me" oriented and overt--like the 360 and enlisting others. I think the real power of a leader is in step 9: Actions Speak Louder Than Words. But a good leader is also deliberate, calculated and thoughtful--internalizing much of what is written here, so that the actions are on point and authentic.