Words of Wisdom for
Leadership, Learning, and Life in
Exactly 99 Words


99-Word Stories by ,
Creative Learning Director of
The Flirefly Group.
© 2011 Brian Remer
Updated Dec. 2011

Why just 99 words? As a leader you need to communicate critical information, creative ideas, and a commanding vision. If it doesn't have punch, it won't inspire so why waste words after you've made your point?

Use these short stories with your team to spark new thinking about the role of leaders in your organization. And, when those brilliant ideas emerge, please

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Empowerment Dance  
Taking a Stand on Meetings  
Seeing the Big Picture  

Empowerment Dance

Linda was a great boss. More like a coach than a supervisor, she helped me strive for my potential and offered me opportunities to learn and grow professionally and personally. Acutely aware of power differences, she didn't discriminate between me and her office assistant, Isabel.

One day, Isabel confided, "Linda's always trying to get me to go to these fancy retreats but I just want to stay here and type."

Wow! You can offer to empower but people have to be ready and want to make changes for themselves. It's a complex dance. Who leads, who follows?


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Taking a Stand on Meetings

In some organizations, no one is allowed to sit during meetings. The idea is that if we have to stand, we'll finish the meeting and get back to business. Problem is, this assumes a limited use for meetings: giving orders or reporting. Both could be accomplished as easily in an e-mail!

If the meeting is to analyze, create, learn, solve, celebrate, then make a place for conversation. Spread the table with linens, flowers, coffee, and snacks and have a meaningful conversation.

Shape the environment to your needs. Don't force people into your well-oiled machine.


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Seeing the Big Picture

I needed to find my way through a large, unfamiliar metro area. Fortunately I was able to borrow my sister's car equipped with a GPS navigation system. With this handy device I sliced through city traffic during rush hour with ease. I just kept one eye on the readout and listened for the prompts.

But the trip wasn't without anxiety. Several times, the gentle metallic voice gave instructions that were counter intuitive. At 65 mph it was very disconcerting!

I realized that discrete instructions don't always make sense if you don't know the whole picture.


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