Story Leadership Initiative

The Story Leadership Initiative offers Try Stories for a Change workshops. These programs share the craft of story with organizations to build involvement and boost commitment on all levels- including community volunteers, staff, trustees, and boards of directors.  This initiative is based upon Marshall Ganz’s Public Narrative Project from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Try Stories for a Change is:

  • a leadership storytelling tool that deepens working relationships within groups and is designed to boost volunteer involvement.
  • Using  simple and fun storytelling activities and coaching sessions, each participant crafts a story that includes three components;

1. why the work is important personally
2. why the work is needed in the world, and
3. how can people can become involved.

  • These stories act like bridges with other people, helping them express the values they already share with you, through getting involved.

Public Narrative was developed after years of studying how leaders motivate others to action.  Ganz describes the process using Moses and Hillel (interesting, no?).  Let’s listen in:

“The questions of what am I called to do, what my community is called to do, and what we are called to do now are at least as old as Moses’ conversation with God at the burning bush.  Why me? asks Moses, when called to free his people. And, who – or what – is calling me? Why these people? Who are they anyway? And why here, now, in this place?
As Rabbi Hillel, the 1st Century Jerusalem sage put it, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am for myself alone, what am I? If not now, when?””  (from a 2008 Grassroots Fund report)

Just In:  This workshop will be featured at the New England Narrative Conference: Giving Voice:  Narratives for Social Change.  I will be on a panel sharing how I brought leadership storytelling to youth in transition.  To register, click here: To learn more about the Story Leadership Initiative and the Try Stories for a Change workshops might help your organization, please click here to contact David.


-CD’s Available-

The Birth of Love: Tales for the Days of Awe includes David’s retelling of ancient mythology, Old World Yiddish tales (set in the Berkshire foothills), medieval folktales and other stories first told at High Holiday services.


The Life and Times of Herschel of Ostropol: The Greatest Prankster Who Ever Lived brings to life the spirited and light-hearted Herschel, a beloved folk character from the Ukranian village of Ostropol. This CD is jam-packed with lively re-tellings of traditional folk stories, old world Yiddish tales, and introduces Ida, Herschel’s strong-willed, quick-witted and beloved wife. Filled with warmth, humor and excitement, this CD provides fun and pleasure for the whole family.