The Best Leadership Stories Tell the "Why"

As a high school journalism student, I first learned the five W’s that make for good news stories–and the “Who, What, Where, When, Why”(and sometimes How)mantra has guided my writing since. In our Information Age, those guides to storytelling have become common reminders for writers in any endeavor to ensure they include the essential elements in any document they’re preparing.

Unlike a newswriter, who’s compelled to begin a story with the most important element among the 5 W’s and How, leaders, marketers and sales professionals always need to be guided first and foremst by the “Why.” The “Why” of an organizational story contains the most valuable part of the message; it conveys the end-user benefits of the organization’s products and/or services and clarifies the value of those products and/or services. The “Why” also underscores the organization’s core values, which attract and retain the most highly desired employees, customers and other stakeholders.

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