Last week I attended the Women’s Business Conference held by the National Association of Women Business Owners. There is tremendous sponsorship by very large corporations for this conference, and the speakers they sponsored were visionary leaders and “doers” at the highest levels. At this stage in my career, I respect better-than-average business leaders, yet I’m not readily impressed with the better-than-average business leader. What impresses me are the remarkable leaders, the highly intentional visionaries, the humble and resolute leaders. I was delighted to meet and listen to several such leaders. While I heard plenty of facts and figures, statistics and lessons, I would have to consult my notes for all of those interesting and important details.
You know what I’ve retained in my brain that I will use over and over again? Their stories! I learned about resilience and strength from Muffy Davis, 3x Gold Medalist Paralympian. I was reminded that confidence comes from our ability to fully use our skills by Dawnna St. Louis. I experienced how important it is to invest in technology to do what we do best, from Ron Cates of Constant Contact. I learned about humility and the power of home-grown relationships in getting in front of Fortune 100 companies from Jan Long. I learned about being intentional from Jeryl Mitsch, president of NAWBO-Indy. Their stories, and the stories of many others, have stuck in my brain. They were talked about by many of us in casual conversations over several days.
Stories bring the lessons to life. They make the learning visual and sticky. Stories stay in the very powerful emotion centers of our brains. Use more stories and people will remember you, too.