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Leaders must embrace storytelling

INSEAD professor Gianpiero Petriglieri on the changing dynamics of leadership

Leaders must embrace storytelling as a way of creating meaning in work, according to Gianpiero Petriglieri, associate professor of organisational behaviour at INSEAD.

Petriglieri was speaking at the Corporate Research Forum (CRF) annual conference in Vienna. “Stories are one of the most powerful technologies humans have devised,” he said. “Leadership is an act of embodied storytelling.”

According to Petriglieri, the meaning of leadership is: “A person or group willing, able and entrusted to articulate, embody and help realise a story of possibility, for a social group, at a point in time.”

He explained that stories help to expand emotional intelligence and cognitive abilities. “Leadership used to be about standing out, now it’s about forging connections,” he said. “The challenge is making leaders more portable, while staying connected. We need to humanise leadership.”

Petriglieri also spoke at the the Thinkers50 event on 9 November in London. Read about the big ideas from the event.