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Genuine Stories Create Extraordinary IMPACT

Tell YOUR story

On an ideal day, before starting work I’ll meditate, write in a journal and read a devotional. If feeling really crazy I’ll exercise. It helps to begin the day with solid footing and elevated aspirations.

Yesterday morning I read the Bible verse, “Give your contributions privately. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you.” Matthew‬ ‭6:4‭ Regardless of your beliefs, that wisdom rings especially true in this age of social media and personal branding. Too many people (in my not-so-humble opinion) wear their ‘altruism’ overtly publicly which begs the question: for whom are they doing it? (Someone with proper grammar please tell me if who or whom is correct there.)

Now here I am with a dilemma. Do I keep my experience yesterday private or do I share it publicly because I was profoundly moved? Let’s first go back….

Eighteen months ago, I was invited to speak at the Toastmasters District 32 Spring Conference. I spoke without PowerPoint slides which I rarely do, The images connected with my stories are powerful and essential (in my not-so-humble opinion). But the event was close to home and I welcomed the chance to share my experience simply. And that was that.

A year ago, I had the opportunity to coach an executive in preparation for a speech she was to give at a fundraising event. During one of our calls I learned that she had an incredible, transformative story that fit her message…but she had never told an audience. Gently, careful to not be exploitative, I told her that this was gold. To her great credit she trusted me. Over the next few sessions, through tears and laughter, we crafted what became a remarkable speech that impacted the audience.

Fast forward to this year, Thanksgiving week….

Out of the blue I received a text message from a gentleman who had been in my audience eighteen months ago. The text took my breath away. He said that he had been deeply moved by my story…and he never would have imagined that eighteen months later he would be in the same position. You see, Michael texted me from his hospital bed. We talked for an hour and a half on the phone that night.

Yesterday, I had the deep honor and privilege to spend five hours at the Seattle VA Hospital visiting with my new dear friend. December 11th will mark four months in hospitals for him. Same as me. Except Michael doesn’t know how long he’ll need to stay in the hospital. His attitude and spirit are extraordinary. He already recognizes that he will someday be sharing his story. Maybe someone like him will unknowingly need to hear it.

Michael and I didn’t tweet, take selfies or do a ‘check in’ at the VA. We simply ate homemade cookies and told tales of the dark humor sort that only a fellow survivor can appreciate.

I’ll let Michael share his own story when and where he is ready. Here’s the big message that I want you to hear: Tell YOUR story. Someone really needs to hear it. You may not know who, when or where – but that person is out there and they are waiting for you to speak up. Genuine stories create extraordinary IMPACT.

I help organizations build whole-hearted communities through ‘half-assed’ leadership. We work together in three ways: speaking, consulting, and executive coaching. Step up from the ordinary…. Contact me today.

2 replies
  1. Becky
    Becky says:

    Elisa, I truly believe you will never know while on this earth how many people you have impacted by telling your story and being real.


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