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Kylee Stone: Transforming Leadership Around the Globe

Photo courtesy of Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone is a descendant of the Wakka Wakka, and Kalali First Nations with 25 years in the business of storytelling and an intrinsic talent in the power of personal stories to create meaningful connections certified in the neuroscience of results. Kylee's mission is to disrupt the status quo on the traditional view of leadership and enable people with the courage to take action and direct accordance with their visions, values, passion, and purpose.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Kylee.

Passionistas: What are you most passionate about?

Kylee: I am passionate about the relationship between design and storytelling — so the design of storytelling and its ability to influence the way that we lead specifically, and more importantly, women’s ability to do that. And when I say that, because I do believe that as an indigenous person and I'll, and I'll reference that… our cultural background is fundamentally historic.

And what we know about storytelling is very different from a cultural perspective to what we know in the world today. But when we do look at that, fundamentally, the whole purpose of that really is, if you imagine sitting around a fireplace, for example, which, you know, from an indigenous cultural point of view is more around fire, where you would have people.

You know, there was no language for it as what we've created today, but certainly it was all about people connecting. It was just about the connection of people. And so when we look at that lens and we put that over the world today, you know, if we even dissect, I suppose, the entertainment industry — movies, you know, I love drama, right? I love a good story. But great drama is based on a great story. And when we look about our relationship to the story, I think there's always a real connection where, you know, if you go to a great film and you cry, there's definitely a great story in that. You know, there's an immediate connection with us as a human being. So for me, I like to be able to take that, in terms of its architecture, and apply it to.

Each of us has an individual understanding how that works for us at the level of human being, and then how that influences our strength, our character, our courage, and fundamentally the way we communicate so that we have the experience of being able to pursue what it is that is important.

And for me, what that means is being able for a woman to express and experience her own self-expression. In terms of leadership for me, that's very different from what I've been raised in. I say this whole thing about a new paradigm of leadership because in my generation, I was raised pretty much in a model where you've got companies that are designed basically out of the industrial revolution, right, where it's very much a command and control method. But I think for me, I'm not saying it's not about change, so I'm very clear, it's not about change now. I'm not here to change. I'm here to create something new. And when we create something new, we're not changing the old we're actually just at work on crafting a new future.

And that for me is really designed around women leading the way on that because I do think women are natural nurturers. They're natural storytellers. And I think that's where we can get a real transformation.

Passionistas: What is leadership transformation?

Kylee: Leadership transformation is two things. To firstly acknowledge it. So transformation is a new view. So if you think about a butterfly that was a caterpillar, it's still the same animal. It's actually still the same, right? In many aspects, it comes from the same core.

What once was a caterpillar, has a new view, becomes this butterfly. So transformation is a process of seeing a new view that opens up a new world. And so leadership transformation is about acknowledging what we already know about leadership and our own view. So one of the things too, to have a transformation in the area of leadership, you’ve first got to get out of the way. What do I already know? And how do I already relate to leadership that's constraining myself.

So for me, it was really confronting, I have lived inside of this paradigm where leadership is something that you do and you progress to, and you get some academic qualifications along the way. And then when you get those qualifications, you get into a position. And once you've got that position and you're accountable for people, you're released. Right? So I first had to get that my behaviors and how I was showing up was conditional on that, that's design.

And so when I got that, I noticed that actually I have to separate myself from that perspective and to acknowledge that I'm not a leader because of my credentials. I'm not a leader because I have the title. I'm not only a leader if I get into a position where I have accountability of people. I'm not that, not that, not that, not that. Okay. Well, if I'm not that, then where does it exist? Does my leadership in being a leader exist and that's this whole new world.

That’s the leadership transformation. It is the transformed view of who I am and what's possible as a leader in the world. And that's the part where I say, you know, using the storytelling stuff, it's really by design. It's by design. Who you are as a leader is by design. And I've interviewed hundreds of people in various leadership roles, not just in a I'm a CEO or I'm a founder, or I've spoken to people who are in leadership development. And I've spoken to people who've exuberated leadership as an athlete. And I can tell you, you ask them what their definition of a leader is and not one single person says the same thing. So, leadership transformation is about the individual acknowledgement of what's been constraining the view, and then by design designing what that looks like for you.

And so the design piece then is the same as story, you know, when you craft a story about how that new future is very similar. To brand story. And you know, this kind of brought in all of my background in building brands and media and storytelling was there very simply two things at the beginning level.

That is what is the future I see for myself. What is that vision? We call it a vision. And then what is the purpose for that vision? What is my why for doing that? And when you bring those two things together. Quite simply, if there is a universal view, it’s someone who has a vision for a future and is out to fulfill on it with purpose and connects people with purpose. They're not connected on anything other than the fulfillment of a vision with purpose. And how you do that is up to you. That's by design because what you want in the future you're committed to is going to be very different to the person beside you.

But when we do that individually and we do it collectively, it is very powerful. It mobilizes, it really aligns people on what's really at the heart of who we are, which is our purpose. Each one of us has a purpose. People mistake often that my why is about my why? Well now actually that's, it's your why, but your why speaks about others.

So my purpose is to create meaningful connections. It's about what happens out there in the world. It's not what happens in here. So in that aspect, it's a leader in the sense that you, you are clearly here in the service of others. And yet your view of others is not independent of you. It includes you. So there is no you and me, there's just who I am and who I am is who you are. There's no me and you there's just you and me, me and you.

To hear the full episode with Kylee Stone, click here.

Visit her official website for The Performance Code.


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