5. WHOSE STORY IS IT?

‘You have to know exactly what you want out of your career. If you want to be a star, you don’t bother with other things.’

– Marilyn Horne1

Brands need storytellers, but they must accept that they don’t own them. It has been said that the most important resource your company has walks out the door at the end of every day. Sometimes they don’t come back. In the social media era that can mean they leave with a lot of the online relationships they have been ‘managing’.

But this was the case even before social media. When a client-facing employee departed a business, despite the legal department’s best efforts to constrain them with non-compete clauses and the like, that employee always took a certain amount of the business’s relationships with them.

This is the way of relationships. People are loyal to other people. Now as a Socialeader, when you share the social currency of your master narrative, it will attract a community not only to your business, but also very likely to you too. It’s easier to form relationships with other people than it is with a brand logo.

This poses a difficult dilemma for many employers. How to manage the balance and reduce conflict? Who should own the storytelling accounts?

The answer is: it is both your story and the company’s story. It’s a bit like yin and yang. Neither is a better path, so the wise must find the middle way. The good news is that social currency is very adaptable. It’s not hard for one story to serve two masters. ...

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