I have a confession. I have zero interest in ballet. Label me what you will, but ballet has never moved me much.
I was on my way home and heard a radio interview on MPBN with Linda MacArthur Miele, the artistic director of the Maine State Ballet. The reporter was so unobtrusive and allowed Linda to simply tell her story. I was hooked.
In four short minutes, I learned about Linda’s passion, her experience, her spirit, her commitment and her approach.
Linda summed that up nicely when she said, “You can’t be married to your choreography. You can’t say ‘I want you to do that step’ and the child can’t do that step well. You have to be willing to change that step because it’s not just about the choreography. It’s about making those dancers look the absolute best you can make them look.”
Stories Matter More Than…
Even if I loved the ballet, even if I went to every performance I am not sure I would have known as much about Linda as I did from hearing her story.
I get to appreciate who she is and what she is attempting to communicate through her craft. A craft I had previously no interest in experiencing.
Sometimes Listening is About Asking
I’ve been having an extended email conversation with my new friend, Corey. We connected after he replied to one of my emails. Tucked in his reply among several other items, he mentioned that a few weeks back his company “voted to add “love” to our other 6 core values: brilliance, joy, community, honesty, momentum, and growth.”
I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t let that one pass. There was a story there and I needed to know more.
I asked him one of my favorite questions, “So, what does that look like?”
What followed were thoughtful and deliberate explanations of what the core values meant and how his company lived them personally and with their clients. These weren’t canned responses. He shared his story and I appreciate and understand his approach more now than I ever would have if I never asked and never listened.
We’re often told to tell better stories and we should. I’m also thinking that we might benefit from listening for them. After all, how else would I have learned that ‘love’ is a core value that can be lived in business. Sometimes all you need to do is ask.
Heard any good stories lately?
Just a note: Our friend Joshua Fields Millburn partnered with us to launch two new courses at HBW. They are called How To Write Better and How To Write Better Stories. Please take a moment to check them out.
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