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I’ll Tell You Mine. What’s Yours?

One of the many gifts I’ve received from the African American community is the gift of story. We love hearing stories. We love telling stories. Stories help us form a sense of identity, build pride in our community, make connections across surface-level differences. Story is the powerful medium through which we teach and learn about the past, understand the present and prepare for the future.

Of course, the love of stories isn’t unique to the African American experience. All humans love stories, they can be a powerful base upon which to build rapport and credibility. How do you share your story, and with whom? Has it become part of your leadership identity? If yes, how? How does your narrative directly connect to what people know about you as a leader

If you haven’t given much thought to your story, I strongly encourage you to do so now. Any intentional leadership journey should begin with self-awareness: understanding who you are, where you come from, where you want to go and why. 

To model, I’ve prepared a short video with my story. No, it’s not complete. It only gives the background. What comes next is the current piece of my journey–and yours.

The big questions for us at this juncture are:

  • How do I want my story to end?
  • What adventures do I want to have in between?
  • And what role will I assume–hero, perhaps?

Good luck with your reflective work. And please check outHot Yoga, Coconut Water and Eustress: 10 Strategies for Bringing Intention to Your Leadership Practice for more guidance as you continue along your leadership journey.


DeEtta Jones

DeEtta Jones is an invited speaker, equity, diversity and inclusion strategy consultant and author with more than twenty years of experience working with people from around the world to on personal effectiveness and building workforce capacity.

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