We found an awesome story about a man named Jim who turned his job grey:
“Forty years ago, a young mathematician named Jim Bangel was hired by P&G in the research & development department. Like all R&D employees, Jim wrote a monthly memo to his boss detailing the results of his research over the past 30 days. These memos are usually dry and detailed and filled with the kind of language only a fellow chemist or engineer would appreciate or even understand.
After many years of writing the same type of memo as all of his colleagues, Jim decided to do something different.
He decided to write a story. He named his main character Earnest Engineer. In the story, readers go to see and follow along as Earnest learned something. It included dialogue between Earnest and his boss and peers. And it always concluded with the lesson learned. The lesson was the same as the conclusion Jim would have written about in the more traditional memo. But the story was much more compelling – and certainly more readable. As a result, other people started asking to read his memo – even people working outside his department.
After several such monthly memos, Jim’s cast of characters began to grow. Each had an admittedly cheeky, but telling, name. Characters like Ed Zecutive the president; Max Profit the CFO; and Sella Case the sales director. With the growing cast of characters, the circulation grew wider as people in other functions began to see themselves in the story and learn something relevant to their work.”
After five years, Jim was appointed to a new role. He became the company’s official storyteller. He continued to write one memo a month only now he was using his skill to inspire and spark change within the entire organization. His memos were now being eagerly read every month by 5 – 10,000 employees, including every senior executive in the company. The CEO would even occasionally ask Jim to write a story on a topic he was trying to get across to his team, because he knew people would read Jim’s stories.”
Jim had gone from statistician in R&D to one of the most influential people at the company, all because he injected his personality into his work. We love how this story illustrates how folding what makes you happy into your profession can make all the difference – even at a Fortune 50 company!
This story was taken from Lead with a Story by Paul Smith.