Stories can change what you do, how you act and what you think. So it’s not unreasonable for great leaders and CEOs to use storytelling to inspire, persuade and motivate. Storytelling strengthens communication and makes complex ideas understandable for us all. It put things in context and helps to explain and educate. It can enhance the relationship between teller and listener, feed the imagination and strengthen belief.
Storytelling can create legends.
One great storyteller was the late Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop. Anita was a legend and an amazing entrepreneur. She travelled the world listening to stories from tribes, communities and employees.
Anita listened and talked not just about skincare and cosmetics but about human rights and environmental issues. She used these stories to show how to do business, sell innovative products and help consumers understand what they were buying into.
With Anita, customers could be part of a movement. They could change things. Anita believed in the power of words, images and action. She inspired and mobilised people through explanation and education.
The Body Shop was built on communication. Internal communications were as important as external and every available space, from bags to windows, was used. Anita was a pioneer of activism PR at just 17 years old. She wrote books and used PR for everything she and her company did. Nearly everyone knows the story.