Barowsky School of Business
International Journal of Business Communication
We asked 30 top executives (CEOs, COOs, and Presidents) to describe their paths to and in office. Our purpose was to explore how executives practice leadership in the way they discuss their experience. We identified three structures that interviewees used: the full proof, a thesis statement backed by evidence; the narrative plot, a trajectory toward a goal; and the signature story, a defining leadership experience. We argue that structuration proves leadership; that is, full proofs and narrative plots communicate dependability and signature stories convey realism. We also constructed paradigmatic narratives or representative experiences of leadership, which suggest an experiential curriculum of leadership. Our findings show ways of working with experience in order to communicate leadership.
Copyright The Authors 2019. All rights reserved.
O'Connor, Ellen S. and Lucy, Denise M., "Proving Yourself: How Top Executives Relate Their Leadership Experience" (2019). Barowsky School of Business | Faculty Scholarship. 2.