Motivating change – a lesson from 2 train rides

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I recently took a course on storytelling. It was an eye-opening experience to learn techniques and skills involved in the art of storytelling to encourage change. How stories can motivate and mobilize people are often ignored, perhaps because storytelling is considered a “soft” skill. But I realize that it is usually not the facts, numbers or data that compell me to act. Of course those are important; but what moves me beyond my inaction is the power of people’s stories, like those told by the survivors of atomic bombings.
In the course we were encouraged to take note of stories as we think of. So here is one!

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Secret of Leadership and Power

Leadership“Violence can destroy power; it is utterly incapable of creating it.”
– Hannah Arendt

The concept of leadership can mean different things to each person.  People have various styles of leadership.  So what makes someone a leader, and how does he exert influence, or power, on others?

When I heard about Arendt’s theory of power in a class, I was first surprised by the seemingly paradoxical standpoint.  Arendt says that violence is an indication of the lack of power.  But use of violence and force is often associated with power, as we see in ever-increasing military forces in the world today. Continue reading