A Troubled Nation Needs ...


That’s the subhead for a Wall Street Journal column crafted by Peggy Noonan earlier in the month.

It triggered over 700 posted comments which says something about the topic.

After her preamble that patriotism is alive and well even as the country struggles to find its mojo, we get to the heart of the matter:

“Are those running for president aware of the fix we’re in? I’m not sure they are. For one thing, if they knew, they wouldn’t look so dementedly chipper. And they wouldn’t all be talking about The Narrative. Which is all I heard once I came back East.”

Love the phrase “dementedly chipper” (a nod to cult movie Fargo I believe).

But to her point and I think it’s worthy one, its weird how politicians including President Obama have embraced THE Narrative as the latest magic wand.

The core shouldn’t be the story.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the core should incorporate the policies and thinking of the politician.

Then, it’s up to the politician to articulate his/her ideas to the relevant audiences.

Here, effective storytelling can absolutely be an asset … as a means of communicating, not the basis for economic reform.

If we rewind the tape to Barack Obama, presidential hopeful, his ability to connect with America can partly – some would argue largely – be attributed to his skills as an orator.

The man can tell a story.

Here’s the problem and it’s one that applies to politicians, business executives or anyone in a leadership position.

You can’t tell a story about a story.

In the literary world, they call this fiction.

It works in novels.

Not so much in real life.

Leave a Reply