Expect any anecdote you tell to be tested and retested, especially if you are a politician. Barrack Obama is a storyteller par excellence and so when he recounts a story you can bet there is an army of doubters checking out its validity. Here is the anecdote in question reported in the New Republic.
“You know, I’ve heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon–supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And as a consequence, they didn’t have enough ammunition, they didn’t have enough humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.”
The same is true for organisational leaders. Don’t get lazy. Don’t think you can slip one past without employees noticing that you are garnishing the facts. Good stories are retold and good stories are checked out. Authenticity is the key.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:
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