I just spent a week in Nashville for some of the best marketing and lead generation training I have ever been to with Storybrand. If you are familiar with hero cycle, this will make sense. If not, read about it here. It was all about the power of story and how most of us make the mistake of positioning our companies as the hero of a story instead of the guide.
The training was all about the power of story and how most of us make the mistake of positioning our companies as the hero of a story instead of the guide.
I couldn’t help applying the principles to parenting and educating our families. It’s something that really hit me a couple of years ago when I went back and read one of my childhood favorites with my kids. The Belgariad by David Eddings was probably one of the first complete books I read as a teenager. I identified so much with the hero who has an amazing mission to accomplish and doesn’t know he is the hero of the story. His aunt Poll is the guide who set boundaries, challenges him and helps him discover who he is and what he has to contribute.
While I understood her role was significant, I truly expected to identify with the boy who was the hero of my youth. But that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I completely identified with the guide as I went through. The one responsible for providing the steady stream of opportunities for growth, exposure to challenges for the hero to solve and a safe place to land when the hero takes risks and they encounter failure.
Trust in the guide is earned, it can’t be demanded. The hero submits to the mentoring of the guide because of the empathy and authority the displays. The guide leads by example.
The guide is the one who stays steady, the hero of the story is the one who goes through a change or transformation.
The guide shares in the joy of the hero’s success.
This is new lens for me to see parenting and education my children through. What is the example I am setting that they will want to follow? Do they see me improving myself? Do they understand that there is a clear plan to follow to self-improvement and life fulfillment? Do they see and understand what is essential to a happy life? Or am I confusing the message with noise and non-essentials?
Storybrand teaches that “If you confuse, you loose.” That stories are the filter to understanding and clarity. That the guide provides a clear plan for the hero to follow.
Our kids see how busy we are. They see us running and planning and executing. But do they have a clue to why? The guide provides a clear picture of what success and failure look like. But are we clear about what success or failure are? Or are we like most brands who are unclear with their messaging and leave most people wondering what it is they really do and why you should purchase from them. Are our kids clear about why they should follow our guidance?
Sometimes I think all it takes is for us to use our words. We need to clearly articulate what we are doing and why we are doing often. We assume that our kids just get that we want them to be happy and have the skills to be fulfilled, contributing adults. But they just hear us telling them to “paint the fence” – Karate Kid (awesome example of guide or mentor engaging with the hero)
Are we taking the time to have the conversations that tie it all together? I think too many times we just take it for granted that they get it because we suffer from the “curse of knowledge” and fail to have the crucial conversation that ties it all together.
I am going home from this training with a new determination to pay attention to clarity in everything I do. In business, in conversations, but mostly in parenting and mentoring and guiding my own children.