Inside outside leadership development: coaching and storytelling potential

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Purpose ‐ In this paper, the authors act as leadership development coaches who show that how a story is constructed, reconstructed and circulated in and through organizations make stories themselves active "players" in creating relationships. In turn, these relationships create leadership development opportunities. The authors also explain why some people need to listen to the whole story before they can draw conclusions about its parts, about why some people do not care about others', stories and about why some storytellers do not care about the characters in the story. The combination of these characteristics gives a more detailed view of storyselling that, necessarily, works with storytelling as tools used in coaching for leadership development. The purpose of the paper is to describe further the origins of storytelling and storyselling and their relationship to leadership development coaching, and to demonstrate how the movement of a story told and sold create leadership development opportunities. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This paper is informed by a psychodynamic understanding of organizations and examines a case study to illustrate the theoretical views that are advanced. Findings ‐ The employment of sociograms is found to be a useful way to chart and understand the relational dynamics of stories as quasi-objects and their fragile and ephemeral nature. The authors find that stories can be usefully considered as both quasi and transitional objects. Research limitations/implications ‐ Psychodynamic theory informs the process of storytelling and storyselling. The implied art of storytelling and storyselling derived from research analysis are the catalysts for understanding why and how researchers put forward their findings and conclusions in scientific study. Practical implications ‐ The pracademic approach evident in this paper makes theory more accessible and useable in the field of practice. One branch of psychodynamics informs storytelling theory as it applies to the practice of coaching for leadership development. Originality/value ‐ The paper's originality lies in the development of potential time and the application of this concept in the creation of leadership development opportunities and leadership development coaching.

Keywords: Coaching; Leadership; Leadership development; Storytelling

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 22, 2011

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