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  • Writer's pictureUlrika Gustafson PCC LL.M

Crafting Your Leadership Narrative: A Guide for New Leaders



As a former C-suite executive, I understand the significance of establishing a compelling narrative when stepping into a new leadership role. Your story sets the tone for your tenure and helps your team understand your vision, values, and expectations. Here's a guide to help you effectively tell your story as you embark on this new leadership journey:


1. Reflect on Your Journey


Begin by reflecting on your professional journey, identifying key milestones, challenges and successes that have shaped you. Share experiences that highlight your growth, resilience and commitment to continuous improvement.


2. Define Your Leadership Philosophy


Clearly articulate your leadership philosophy. What principles guide your decision-making? What values are important to you? This sets the foundation for your team to understand the principles that will steer your leadership.


"Advice to my younger self: - Start where you are with what you have - Try not to hurt other people - Take more chances - If you fail, keep trying" – Germany Kent

3. Emphasize Your Vision


Communicate your vision for the team or organization. What do you hope to achieve? How do you see the future under your leadership? Paint a vivid picture that inspires and aligns your team towards a common goal.


4. Highlight Your Values


Share the core values that drive your leadership style. Whether it's transparency, accountability, or innovation, be explicit about the principles that will guide your actions and decisions.


5. Connect Personally


Humanize your narrative by sharing personal anecdotes that have shaped your leadership style. This could include challenges you've overcome, mentors who've influenced you, or even hobbies that bring balance to your professional life.


6. Acknowledge the Team


Recognize the strengths of your new team and express your excitement about working together. This fosters a sense of unity and collaboration from the outset.


7. Address Challenges Proactively


If there are challenges or concerns associated with the leadership transition, address them openly. Transparency builds trust, and acknowledging potential obstacles demonstrates your commitment to addressing them head-on.


8. Invite Feedback


Create an open dialogue by inviting feedback from your team. Let them know that their perspectives are valued and that you are open to continuous improvement.

Remember, your leadership story is an ongoing narrative that evolves with time. Regularly revisit and update it as your journey progresses. By crafting a compelling and authentic narrative, you set the stage for a positive and collaborative leadership experience.



Ulrika Gustafson LL.M PCC is a Certified Executive Coach, former C-suite leader and partner of HAMILTON THERRELL Executive Advisors, an international advisory group of experts in leadership and organizational transformation. She advises CEOs and coaches senior executives on succeeding in demanding environments.

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