Understanding Leadership Identity Through our Own Stories

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Recently, Wei Zheng, Alyson Meister, and Brianna Barker Caza published a study in Human Relations titled "The Stories that Make Us: Leaders' Origin Stories and Temporal Identity Work." They wanted to provide insights into how stories of origin play a key role in leaders' understanding of their own identities and roles as influencers. They explored how leaders (92 men and women) made sense of becoming a leader (what they called origin stories) and doing leadership (what they called enactment stories). The authors argued that how an individual tells their own stories of origin and how they believe they enact leadership reflects how they perceive themselves—leadership identity. I was most interested in this article because I knew the results had strong gender implications. Here are some of my core takeaways from this report:

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