Raise The Bar: Defining Your Leadership Narrative



Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. It’s a day of remembrance for those who have given their lives in the service of our country. The day is to honor their sacrifice.

Today is also the nominal first day of summer. It’s when we begin looking forward to vacation time at the beach, in the mountains, at the lake, or trips to visit family. Between now and Labor Day, Americans bask in the glow of summer fun.

Not a lot of attention is paid to how we will move ahead in our careers during the summer. That is usually reserved for after Labor Day, when folks decide that as the end of the year rapidly approaches, they may not be on track to meet their professional goals.

In breaks from all your fun in the sun, you might want to consider what it takes to define your leadership narrative. Regardless of where you are in your career – looking to achieve the next level, from tactician to strategic decision maker; or as a senior professional trying to show that you can provide value to an organization – you need to tell your leadership narrative – the story of your unique value – what you love doing and do better than anyone else.

Leadership can be a confusing concept to many folks. They feel that to be a leader, you have to “be the boss;” be in charge of a unit — a team, a division, an organization. I believe leadership is quite different.

Leaders raise the bar; they make an impact; they influence others to be bigger than themselves. Leaders are people who influence the actions of others or the direction of organizations. You don’t have to be at the top of the organization to be a leader.

Raise The Bar

A useful framework for determining your leadership narrative consists of four elements: Purpose, Clarity, Focus and Strategy. These elements can be customized for you to identify and articulate your unique value.

This framework is the Raise The Bar program I use with clients:

  • Purpose:  Your why — the cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do. Simon Sinek says that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” (If you haven’t seen his TED Talk, check it out; it’s one of the most watched.)


  • Clarity: What you’re really good at, better than anyone else. What you like doing; what you don’t like to do.


  • Focus: The story you tell about yourself and the value you bring — to others and to yourself.
  • Strategy: Execution. How to get there from here.

Together we develop clear, concise, crisp (not canned) stories that convey your value; how you achieve that value; and examples of those achievements. We then develop strategies that help get you to where you want to be.

Your leadership narrative is imperative to finding work that provides meaning and enables you to have lasting impact your organization and your community.

What’s Your Leadership Narrative?

Can you provide a crisp narrative about your leadership value? Can you supply brief stories to support your narrative?

Send me an email, I’d love to hear your leadership narrative and how it will raise the bar in your career.


Photo credit: Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_mrgao’>mrgao / 123RF Stock Photo</a>