Tears of pride welled up yesterday as I watched a corporate video. A corporate video!

Diane Gage-Lofgren, our national VP of communications and PR, had asked a poet/performance artist  to bring life to our communication team’s new vision statement. A stroke of genius. I will forever have a visual and resonant image to add soul to our vision: To be a model for communication excellence as Kaiser Permanente is a model for the future of health care.

sekouHow did Sekou Andrews do it? By story, of course. He became Health Care. He was big, powerful, essential. He was the most important issue of our day. “But no one seems to be impressed with all this,” he said. “Because to the average American I am intimidating, extraneous, inaccessible and even bewildering.”

And he himself had no voice. He needed us to tell his story. He needed us to tell it in 140 characters, in video, in wikis — whatever it took and wherever the audience. And we communicators at KP have the special responsibility and opportunity to tell his story on behalf of an organization that is “offering a solution to the leader of the Free World.

I could see myself in the story — as the hero, of course. “Not observers. I need visionaries who can see as far as I can reach.” He needs me. I’m in.

And that’s how leadership storytelling works.

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