This year marks a major break through for NSL – our dream of becoming a premier teaching and coaching center in the ways of narrative is about to come true. New Story Leadership was so named as a deliberate strategy to say that our special method of storywise change is not just applicable to conflict zones such as Israel and Palestine. It applies to so many other aspects of our culture, where we see leaders so trapped inside an old story that they lead us backwards into the past, not towards any future that is fresh and different. We have been here before. Back in 1862, President Lincoln sent a Christmas letter to the Congress and in it, he had little good news to report. The Civil War was going badly and the nation was adrift. Instead of subscribing to the old wisdom of “Keep doing what you are doing, only do it better!”he wrote:
The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country.
What Lincoln realized was that ideas and stories chain the mind and are just as dangerous as the chains of slavery. In fact, there can be no new birth of freedom unless we overthrow what he called the “thralldom” meaning the seduction, and false security of old stories that enshrine and protect the status quo. It is what we teach at NSL as our basic presumption that says- don’t be fooled, stories are never innocent, stories are about power- A story defines and discloses a world. Those who want to be agents of change have to grasp the core lesson of every revolution since Adam and Eve-
“Those with the power do not want change
Those who want change, do not have the power. “
If that is the diagnosis, what is the treatment?It is training and coaching a new generation of global leaders to learn and apply a whole new set of skills, based on a set of radical assumptions about the way power works in the 21st century. Up till now, those with power and wealth could enforce their will, that might was right and “All power comes from the barrel of a gun” Not anymore. The secret of this new story of power is -the power of the story.