May 14; Every Leader Is A Story Teller;
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Five: Hiring; 14 May

Then Jesus said to them,

“Don’t you understand this parable?

How then will you understand any parable?

Mark 4:13

Every Leader Is A Story Teller

Vignette

“What’s the story?” is the question commonly asked by the elite (expensive) consultants at McKinsey & Company. The question helps the firm to develop world-class recommendations for clients. Here’s how it works.

Every problem or opportunity can be condensed and explained and understood in a short narrative. We should use a short tale because,

  • A parable is a specific story that has broad applications.
  • The arc of the narrative, the story line, is simple to tell and remember.
  • The story focuses attention.

Jesus used parables to teach eternal lessons. This question can also help in the hiring process.

The job interview is a sales presentation where we match up the candidate’s experience with the needs of the organization. But the match-up is seldom perfect. The new person in the new position will face challenges that the hiring manager may or may not know, but he must be confident that the job applicant has the potential to excel.

The narrative can persuade the hiring manager that the candidate’s past experience provides a transferable skill to the new organization. All story lines have three simple parts divided into a three-act play.

Act I is the Problem. Act II is the Solution. Act III is the result. In every job interview, Your Business Professor will ask, “Give me a short example of a problem you faced, a solution you devised and the result of your initiative.”

Here is one of my favorite responses from a job seeker,

I was working at a 7-11 as a cashier.

When faced with a sudden snowstorm, [Problem]

I contacted my cousin who has a snowplow on his truck and we cleared the parking lot so that customers could get to the store [Solution].

This provided customer safety and increased the store’s daily sales – triple the same-day revenue from the previous year [Results].

What manager would not hire this applicant for almost any level in his organization? The story line helps the manager to remember and concentrates attention and next moves on getting this kind of initiative onto his team.

Will storytelling always work? Maybe not. Even Jesus had trouble with his disciples. They were sometimes slow to grasp the expanded meanings of his vignettes. Mark 4:13 says, Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? How did Jesus help them to comprehend his instructions? With another parable.

So follow Christ’s example and have at least one story to tell in your job interview.

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