Are You an Irreplaceable CEO?

Are You an Irreplaceable CEO? 150 150 Linda Lorelle



There are tons of articles out there that talk about what makes a great leader. I read one today that hit me where I live because of one word: Story.

The CEO featured in the article is a renowned, beloved leader in his company for many reasons — his integrity, his approachability, his transparency, his work ethic, etc. But what stood out to me was his being described as a “masterful storyteller”.

High Five! Fist Bump!! Yes!!! A CEO who not only understands the power of story, but finds a way to engage his employees so that they get it, too. Each time he addresses a room, he insists that a different employee introduce him every time. And forget about reading a boring bio — the employee has to come up with a story about the big boss. As the article says, “it’s part of the lesson.”

When I work with CEOs on presentation skills, media training or a video project, story is always at the heart of our work.

Why? Because story is the best way to connect one human being to another. At the end of the day, business is about finding a way to connect with a current or potential client so that they’ll do what you want them to do — buy your product or service. But far too often, we focus more on what we do than on who we are and what drives our passion. We focus more on the message than the story, not realizing that the best way to get our message across is to share our story. And the more personal, the better.

Now, I’m not advocating that you cross the line of good taste, but I am advocating that you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to share some part of yourself. That’s what will make an impression. That’s what will break through the clutter. That’s what people will remember. And that’s why the author of the article I’m referencing calls GE Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt, “irreplaceable.”

“He’s a model of vulnerability, self-study and reflection,” she writes, “a masterful storyteller who articulates his success and failures with equal parts humor and passion.”

When you’re ready to retire, what will your employees write about you? What will be your legacy? It starts with your story.

About the Author: Linda Lorelle is best known as an Emmy and Gracie Award- winning journalist who anchored the evening news for nearly 17 years at Houston’s NBC affiliate, KPRC- TV. The Stanford graduate is now an entrepreneur, using the art of storytelling to create compelling, original video content for clients who understand the value of owning their story. C-Suite executives who want to brush up on their presentation skills also call upon Linda to share her expertise in public speaking and help them feel more at ease.


Linda is a highly skilled emcee and panel moderator who is able to seamlessly guide a conversation around any subject matter. She also enjoys engaging with audiences on a variety of topics as a keynote speaker, including her most recent theme: “Don’t Ever Underestimate the Heart of a Champion: A Journalist’s Journey of Loss and Transformation”.

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