How to Tell Your Founder / Leader Story

There’s a better way to tell your founder or leader story- a better way to brag.  A way that helps you hold your accomplishments high and use them to build trust.  And it starts with WHO you are. 


In this episode, we’ll walk you through the three steps to building a better founder or leader story.  


You want a better founder or leader story because it can do more for you.  It can build trust, credibility, and connection- three things that do a lot of heavy lifting for your dream, your initiative (and your venture if you have one).


Have an upcoming interview for a new shiny job?  Get a better story.


Listen now. 



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There’s a better way to tell your founder or leader story- a better way to brag.  A way that helps you hold your accomplishments high and use them to build trust.  And it starts with WHO you are. 

In this episode, we’ll walk you through the three steps to building a better founder or leader story.  

You want a better founder or leader story because it can do more for you.  It can build trust, credibility, and connection- three things that do a lot of heavy lifting for your dream, your initiative (and your venture if you have one).

Have an upcoming interview for a new shiny job?  Get a better story.  Here’s how:

Start with WHO you are.  Reflect on all of your accomplishments, awards, recognitions and adventures.  Look for the motivators and drivers that pushed or pulled you to those moments in your life and career.  

Have you always loved adventure?

Are you turned on by the impossible?

Do you love to understand how things work?

This is WHO you are and context for WHAT you’ve done.

Now list your accomplishments, awards, recognitions and adventures as evidence of who you are.

The story ends up like this:

I am [fill in the driver or motivation].

That is why [list the evidence in your accomplishments].

Done.  Less boring story.  More meaning.


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Check out all things Dia Bondi here.

Dia Bondi  00:04

I've noticed that it's a struggle for some of us to speak about our accomplishments in a way that doesn't feel cringy for us and I want to give you a way to do that.

 

Arthur  00:12

You don't want to brag about it in like a crass or like annoying way to people.

 

Dia Bondi  00:17

Exactly. And how do we know what's crass and annoying? It's hard to tell because what can feel like bragging to us to other people might just feel like wow, that's awesome. Hello, everyone, welcome to the Dr. Bondi show a big, huge, enormous podcast for you and your goals. I'm dia Bondi, and I'm in a mission to help you ask for more and get it speak powerfully and from who you truly are. So you can resource your dreams and get where you want to go in a way that feels and is right for you. And I'm joined as just like every time by my honor bestie Arthur Leon Adams, the third, aka Baby A Hello, baby. Hey, dia, what's going on? Well, not too much today is just you and me. Yeah, it's a no guest episode. And it's a no guest episode because it's, I want to spend some time talking to folks about how they can use their own sort of founder leader accomplishments story more strategically and in a way that aligns with who they actually are. I don't know when you think about your accomplishments in your life are there like when you look backwards? What are like things that you consider to be accomplishments?

 

Arthur  01:45

Um, let's see. I've gotten to tour all over the world with the rock'n'roll band and not have to pay my own money to do so and actually gotten paid to do it. That seems like quite an accomplishment. That's awesome. I'm having music that I composed or recorded being like big, you know, national TV commercials that aired during the World Series was a pretty big one, right? I mean, if we're just talking about professional accomplishments, there's other personal accomplishments like getting married and stuff. Sure that I did recently. Yeah, you did. That's right. How about you?

 

Dia Bondi  02:21

Well, I think about Yeah, accomplishments being you know, very personal to me. And, and as our listeners, listen, today, they can pick accomplishments that make sense to them, but I want to skew toward the ones that feel like braggadocious worthy, you know, brag sheet things that would show up on your resume. So are there for you maybe while getting married is a personal accomplishment? It's not one that you would put on a resume, but for damn sure, you know, having compositions that you put together for big national brands air at the world's, you know, on television, over big sporting event times like that is something you'd put on your resume.

 

Arthur  03:06

Yeah, it's it's on my About Me page on my web. Not my, not my way.

 

Dia Bondi  03:11

Exactly. Exactly. Not yet. Anyway. I mean, maybe like, Well, you got it was.

 

Arthur  03:16

We got pandemic, Mary. Yeah. So we didn't really have a wedding. We were stood at a at a you know, plexiglass counter at the County Clerk's office with masks on Oh, good,

 

Dia Bondi  03:26

but it's done. My you know, and it's like, it's the marriage, not the wedding that matters? Totally. Um, although I feel like you guys still did it the way you wanted to do it?

 

Arthur  03:36

Absolutely. Yeah. It was perfect. Honestly, we weren't even allowed to bring a witness. Yes.

 

Dia Bondi  03:40

Good. Perfect for you guys. Okay, so yeah, that's what we're gonna be talking about accomplishments, your story and your accomplishments, both and the ones that are recognizable, and the ones that the world acknowledges as accomplishments. But other ones I have somebody who's participating in a program that we're running right now. And his accomplishments include, you know, building and exiting from a few companies. Now he's building another one. But another one of his accomplishments is having run in his in his middle age, adulthood, having run an ultra marathon. I mean, those are things that they might not show up in your resume in the work experience part, but they sure as heck are an accomplishment that is recognizable, impressive, and starts a conversation with the world about who you are. And that is the type of that's the type of resume kind of accomplishments I want to help you listener, leverage today and speak about in a way that helps you not pull punches, because over the last handful of years, I've noticed that it's a struggle for some of us to speak about our accomplishments in a way that doesn't feel cringy for us, and I want to give you a way to do that.

 

Arthur  04:48

You don't want to brag about it in like a crass or like annoying way to people.

 

Dia Bondi  04:53

Exactly. And how do we know what's crass and annoying? It's hard to tell because you know what can see like bragging to us to other people might just feel like wow, that's awesome. So if I give you a framework today to help you be able to brag with context that lets you own your accomplishments and stand up for them as evidence of who you are, you may find, you may find it very courage making and very much easier to talk about the work that you've done and and to give yourself some, I don't know if it's permission, but give yourself a platform for talking about your accomplishments in a way that actually advance you and aren't just about waving your fame flag in the sky.

 

Arthur  05:38

If you are into what we're doing here on the DIA Bondy show, there are a lot of ways that you can help support the program. You can like, subscribe rate and review on your favorite podcast app. And that will help us reach more people. You can do the old fashioned way by telling your friends about it or the new fashioned way, share it on social media. The other

 

Dia Bondi  05:59

thing that you can do is help us find guests that matter to you. If there's somebody you want to hear from who you think could be a great match for a show, please send us a note and make the introduction at deobandi.com.

 

Arthur  06:12

That's right. And you can send us any suggestions or questions by email or you can give us a call at 341-333-2997.

 

Dia Bondi  06:22

So today, we're going to talk about your story. And I'm going to share with you one of the corners of the something I call the platform map, which is a four part framework I developed for founders and leaders as an outcome of my one on one coaching engagements that I do. And right now we're running that in a program we're going to run a few times a year called the intensive which is designed specifically for VC backed founders. But the work inside of that could be useful to you if you are in a position where you can and want to find a way to more strategically and more powerfully tell your story in a way that can help advance your goals, your career, it helps people understand who you are as much as what you've done. I'm sharing this because your founder, leader career accomplishment story can be a strategic asset in the storytelling that you do in the world. And I want to give you a framework for that. So a few months ago, a client said to me, I'm so sick of my founder story, it's awkward. I don't know how to tell it anymore. Everybody tells me that I should highlight this, that and the other thing but all this feels like a stupid brag sheet. And for her it felt boring and disconnected from who she actually is. And it is true. For a lot of you, your founder, leader career story is boring. It reads like a like a tour through tour through Hollywood. We don't want just to have a description of here's what I did. And this is what I did next. And then here's what I did next to here's what I did next. It's not a rap sheet. It's evidence of who you are. And this founder, story founder, leader career story that you have, is a powerful tool to do three things. The three things it's really designed and should be designed to do. Number one, build trust and build trust, not through bragging, build trust through helping people understand two things, who you are, and what you've done as evidence of who you are. When we share a story that helps people understand who we are in connection with what we've done. It builds trust, you can call it credibility if you like, but I'm calling it trust. The second thing that it does is it helps build context for the accomplishments that you're about to talk about. And the context I've seen over and over again, once you have a context for talking about a particular kind of accomplishment, it makes talking about that accomplishment much easier. It gives you a reason to be talking about that incredible thing that you did that tier one school you graduated from that award that you achieve, that you gain from from your industry or recognition that you got from peers or an award you had at work or you know, a best selling status that you got to or whatever the thing is, that is the brag worthy thing. When it has a context, it's easier to talk about. And then lastly, it's the third thing that your story can do is it can build correct connection. It can build connection between the story you're telling right now and the current challenge at hand. Whether you're building a company, building a team, building a strategy, sharing a creative perspective. So these are the three things that I want to offer to you that that are the reason you might tell your founder leader career story, trust, build trust with who you are. Build context and connection between who you are, what you've done and what the challenge is of today. So let me walk you through the beginnings of what it means to put together your founder leader career story in a way that does what I've just talked about. Now, the objective here, the objective of this little exercise is to articulate a founder leader career story as a strategic asset that builds trust through contextualizing your accomplishments. I'll say that, again, to articulate a founder, leader or career story as a strategic asset that builds trust through contextualizing your accomplishments. So we've got to start with, what do you see just like what I asked Arthur earlier, baby A's accomplishments, what are the ones that you would list that are resume of bull, this is the moment to actually take inventory of your brag bubble moments, you're going to take a minute, if you're listening to this in the car, you might want to just take mental note, if you're walking the dog, stop and write these up on your on your phone, or you could of course, come back and re listen and take this inventory and write it down for yourself. But you want to make an inventory of the important accomplishments, accolades or experiences you've had in your career, academic, or maybe even athletic life. These accomplishments can be what you see as important complements, and what may be what others see as key milestones, or moments worth recognizing. Did you learn to fly a plane before? You're 20 years old? Did you run a marathon early on in your life? Did you? Did you win a spelling bee when you were 11 years old? Did you win a special award in a in a musical pursuit that you had? Did you graduate from a tier one school? Did you get recognition from your professors? Did you participate? Or were you selected to participate in a particular program that matters? Did you build an exit a company? So you're going to take whatever accomplishments that are both recognizable by the world and the ones that you see as accomplishments that are worth naming. And you're going to make that inventory? That's step one. Step two, is you're going to ask yourself this question. Once you have that nice inventory, it could be three things, it could be five things could be eight things could be 25 things, depending on how busy you were in the last couple of the last period of time. So the question now is to ask what inspired each of these accomplishments? What were you looking for, in each of these accomplishments? What were you inspired to do that led you to these accomplishments, whether they were recognitions that you didn't expect from others, but were tied to a particular activity or pursuit that you had? Or if it was an actual metal you were pursuing? So after you've listed your accomplishments, ask yourself, what inspired these accomplishments. And then the next step is for you to take a moment and articulate your drive. What drove you? And notice there's a little difference between what inspired you and what drove you? Are you a seeker? Do you love adventure? Do you love to challenge systems. So for example, Margaret is a data scientist and a founder of a technology company, and she's always taken up challenges that seem way too big. And then she looks at her proudest moments, the moments that are recognizable accomplishments she and others can point to, she recognizes that she has always been turned on by the impossible, that is a big driver for her. So the question then, is what drives you? For me, the things that I would recognize and others might recognize as accomplishments and my life and career has always been driven strongly by two things by adventure, and intimacy, the desire to have connected experiences with others in my work, and the drive to have incredible adventures, both in terms of the content that I got to grapple with, and the context in which I got to grapple with it. So once you've taken inventory of your accomplishments, and articulated really what drives you, you can put those two together in two halves of a framing who I am, and what I've done as evidence of who I am. And so if, for example, you are one like me, who is driven by the pursuit of adventure and connected experiences, that's who I am. And then you can add the second half, which is to say that is why and you fill in the blank for the accomplishments that demonstrate to us the evidence of who you are. So maybe you're someone who can start by saying, I am turned on by an unbelievable challenge that no one else wants to take up. That is why I fill in the blank. Maybe you Maybe what the who I am, could start with something like I am in constant pursuit of a creative expression. That is why I and then list all of your accomplishments that are evidence of that. Maybe you are someone who is fill in the blank. And here's what I've done. And that is why I have done fill in the blank. Do you see the pattern here? On the one hand, you tell us who you are. And then the other hand, you just share your accomplishments as evidence of who you are. This will help us do the three things that we want your founder, leader career story to do, helps us build trust and understand why you why this why now helps build context for your accomplishments, and allows you to talk about them tied to something that makes those accomplishments more meaningful, and builds connection between who you are, what you've done and the challenges that you have today. And why those experiences, it gives you an opportunity, at least to talk about why those experiences that are evidence of who you are, are relevant and important to the challenge at hand. If you have 25 accomplishments, you could very easily just pick three or four that are the most relevant to the challenge at hand, as you build a case for your audience, whether it's one person across from a table, in a boardroom, in a fundraising exercise or on stage, you have the opportunity to select the part of your story that is most relevant for this moment to help people understand why you why now, why this so there it is.

 

Arthur  16:42

Yeah, you know, it's interesting, as you were talking about all that I, I think I realized that I never really have explicitly thought or said out loud, like, what drives me, or like, you know, the things that drive me and how that relates to my accomplishments, but I was thinking about it while you were talking. And I would you get well, I suppose what drives me is the desire to build and create, and the desire to entertain. Yes, beautiful. And they totally line up with all the things that I do.

 

Dia Bondi  17:16

Yes, the things that land on your land. Yeah.

 

Arthur  17:19

Mm hmm. Ever since I was a kid playing with Legos, you know, and then getting my first video camera, and then picking up guitar and starting to write songs. I mean, so making videos and songwriting became the main ways that I create and entertain.

 

Dia Bondi  17:37

It's amazing to me that when I work with folks, all the time, I hear that phrase, you just said that, you know, actually, I've been doing this since I was a kid. Right? Fill in the blank, you know, I'm working with founders who say, Yeah, I built an exited a couple of companies. But this all really started when I was really driven to learn to code when I was 11 years old, I did this thing. I hear people saying, like I you know, it started so early for me, because I was told I couldn't. And so I did when I was 11, I learned how to, or I figured out that I wanted to, or I put in the time to fill in the blank, and that that keep those themes keep showing up over and over again. And it's what takes a resume and a brag sheet, and turns it into a story for us. Yeah, and it helps us know you. And when we're in relationship, and we know you better, it is easier to have more meaningful trust infused conversations. And it it more readily positions you as the right person for this challenge, because you're driven by the thing that has produced a whole bunch of experiences that are relevant right now.

 

Arthur  18:51

Yeah, I even remember, I mean, something that I don't even think about very much. But I remember when I was maybe in third fourth grade, I made as part of a class project, a documentary about a local landmark in my hometown. And we like used cameras, we like went in a plane and shot aerial footage. We did all this stuff. And yeah, that was when I was a kid.

 

Dia Bondi  19:14

That's great. Yeah, that's great. I mean, I can look, you know, I can look back at when I was a kid, I, you know, it was funny I for how much stuff I do now and how many things I've done in my life adventures I've had when I was a kid, you know, my mom used to tease me that I didn't want to do anything. Right as it was I frustrated everyone in the house that I didn't want to do anything. And the thing is, is that I did want to do stuff. I just wanted to do things that had more adventure and more connection in them. I didn't want to just do them for the sake of doing them you know and I just this balance when you think of, you know of adventure you think of at least I do I think of you know going out on you know on a Sunday Low trip somewhere. It has a very, you know, adventure. I know it can happen in collectives and with intimacy, but it has a very, like, you know, I don't know, like, going out into the unknown by yourself feeling right? it conjures up these metal use these images or these archetypes of, you know, space travel or of pioneering solo or you know, trekking by yourself through fill in the blank, right. But I, I wanted to do all those things, but I wanted to do them in a way that deepen my connection with other people. Not just because I was told to do them. So yeah, I that has never gone away. For me this balance of adventure and connection, adventure and connection, it's never gone away. The big thing for me, you know, is that these stories of everyone's accomplishments, you know, they're not wrong. We don't have to artificially manipulate them so that they manipulate our audiences, we have to use them in a way that builds trust. And the way we do that is to put context to our accomplishments to bring people closer and into our worlds. And, and when we do that, we can take something that doesn't look even like, you don't have to be 30, under 30. You don't have to have graduated from the best school in your community, you don't have to have won a gold medal to itemize the accomplishments in your life that are tied to who you are, because that context makes them meaningful. So I just, it's an invitation for everyone listening who looks at parts of their resume parts of their life and says, Well, that's not fancy enough. That's not big enough, that's not shiny enough, and says no, there. It's actually evidence of who you are. And when we speak from a place that is tied to who we really are. That becomes compelling.

 

Arthur  22:00

Well, hey, write in. Hello dia Bondi communications yours.

 

Dia Bondi  22:04

I want to hear. Yeah, I would love to hear from audience members who said, here's who I am. And here's what I've done is evidence of that. What? That's beautiful. Yes. If folks are inspired to do that, we'd love to hear you and baby is not wrong. It's Hello at Deobandi calm. All right.

 

Arthur  22:20

Well, I think. I think we've recorded another one

 

Dia Bondi  22:24

in the camp in the camp.

 

Arthur  22:26

All right, we'll see you next time.

 

Dia Bondi  22:27

See you next time everyone.

 

Arthur  22:32

This podcast is a production of Dia Bondi communications and is produced and scored by me are thoroughly on Adams the third. You can like share rate and subscribe at Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Find us at DIA bondi.com or follow us on Instagram at the DIA Bondi show. Want to shoot us a question for the show? Call us at 341-333-2997 and maybe you'll hear your question answered on a future episode.


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