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What’s Your Story?

Your Story

I recently facilitated a Leadership Retreat for the Managing Partners of a law firm. We focused a great deal on improving interpersonal communication and creating more work/life balance.

The legal profession is a rewarding, but very demanding profession. Managing partners are often stressed out and burned out. One of the partners shared that she was in a constant state of “fight or flight”.

During the retreat, we did a very powerful exercise having each participant reflect on the beliefs or stories they each had regarding work/life balance. They then spent some time writing a new story envisioning both a personal and work life that prevented burnout and promoted well-being. Each person created a Leadership Development Action Plan with specific action steps and accountability to improve desired behaviors.

“The most important story you will ever tell about yourself is the story you tell to yourself.” ~ Jim Loehr, The Power of Story, Free Press, 2007


Stories that don't work happen to everybody. Each of us operates with a variety of organizing principles, or “stories,” that swirl around our brains. They often prompt us to work harder and faster, even though we're not getting any closer to achieving the life we want.

Even the most successful people, with brilliant professional histories, carry old stories in their minds. One of the most commonly shared (and seriously flawed) beliefs is that simply spending time on something will generate positive results. If you buy into this premise, then you’re probably rushed much of the time.

High-quality, focused energy is necessary to achieving results. As performance psychologist Jim Loehr writes in The Power of Story (Free Press, 2007), “…the key to almost all of our problems, more fundamental even than poor energy management, is faulty storytelling, because it's storytelling that drives the way we gather and spend our energy."

Indeed, energy is the most precious resource we possess—the heart of the solutions to our most pressing problems and needs. The stories we tell ourselves, however, cause us to lose valuable energy, leaving us too tired or stressed to perform at optimum levels.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop executive presence? Leaders with highly developed executive presence tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Are the stories that I tell myself creating more energy or making me more stressed out?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who value work/life balance.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged and work/life balance is an important value. You can become a leader with executive presence who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to, write to, or call 415-546-1252.

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