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How to use Storytelling for Values Based Leadership


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Many of us have those “special” family stories—you know, the ones you’ve heard a million times that have been passed down from generation to generation.


For me, the one that always comes to mind is when my grandfather traveled to New York and met the Rebbe, one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century. 


My grandfather was born in Russia during the communist regime, and in 1979, he and his wife fled to Israel. There, he worked three jobs just so that he could save extra money and one day go to New York to meet the Rebbe, who was instrumental in helping them escape.


After months of hard work, my grandfather had finally saved enough money and traveled to New York during the High Holidays that year.


When it finally came time for my grandfather to meet the Rebbe, the Rebbe asked him if he had bought his wife a gift. Dejectedly, my grandfather replied that he had spent all his savings to come to New York and couldn’t possibly afford to bring anything home.


Without pause, the Rebbe gave my grandfather the name of a jeweler where he could buy a gift—and when the Rebbe tells you to do something, you listen.


When he returned to Israel, my grandfather gifted my grandmother a set of precious pearls he had bought from the jeweler the Rebbe had recommended. She wore those pearls proudly until her very last day, and after she died, they were passed down to my mother.


When I was a kid, the tale of my grandfather’s journey to New York was just a story, like the ones I read in books. At the time, the only special meaning it held was that it was about my family.


It wasn’t until I became an adult that I came to realize the value in the story and why my family chose to repeat it again and again: showing love  and appreciation for the ones we care for.


You see, storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to influence, teach, and inspire—not just in your family, but also your school.


When you understand how to leverage the power of storytelling, you can use the stories that happen within your school as anchors to teach values so they become woven into the fabric of your center. This will create a ripple effect that extends beyond you and your team. 


It’s a tool that has the potential to impact both the culture of your center and your community in a profound way—one that no amount of training ever could.


That’s why in this week’s episode, I’m diving into storytelling and how you can leverage it in values-based leadership. It’s the first of a 3-episode series that explores how values are taught in homes and schools and how they help you build a legacy.


Join me for a conversation about:

  • What makes storytelling such a powerful tool in shifting your culture
  • Why values play a key role at home and school
  • Translating values into decision-making
  • The transition into leading from your values (HINT: It’s messy)


Each one of us has stories that paint a picture of who we are, where we come from, and where we’re going. Learn to use your school’s stories to shift the culture of your center and create a lasting impact on your community.


Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

We’ll be diving even deeper into the power of storytelling at the 2023 Summit of Excellence, which centers on building legacy through values-based leadership. Although this year’s summit is limited to members only, it’s not too late for non-members to participate! 

If you’re interested in attending the event but aren’t yet part of our Owner’s Only HQ and Director’s Inner Circle membership programs, fill out an application today. As a member, you’ll not only have the chance to attend the Summit of Excellence, but you’ll also benefit from the community, high-level coaching, and mentorship that our programs offer.

Click Here to Listen on Apple Podcasts

Click Here to Listen on Non-Apple Devices

More about the show:

If you are an Early Childhood director or owner, prepare to transform your school and life with the Schools of Excellence podcast. Tune in each week to learn from Chanie Wilschanski, the founder and host of the Schools of Excellence Podcast and a mom of 4 little kids. Each episode will be packed with tools and strategies – equipping you to build schools with higher staff retention, teacher motivation, parent partnership, collaborative culture, and beautiful quality of life.

Every week, Chanie shares the truth about the journey to excellence, the strategies that are working TODAY, and the mindset about the critical decisions and choices that you make every day which impact yourself, your teachers, parents, family, and children who you serve every day.

In addition to weekly solo episodes, she’ll also be inviting industry leaders and the changing makers of the landscape of education to give listeners the inside knowledge of what it takes to sustain excellence.

Don’t miss an episode, subscribe today for everything you need for your leadership journey!