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Storytelling: A Leadership Tool

September 7, 2023 @ 5:30 pm 9:00 pm

Storytelling: A Leadership Tool

September 7, 2023, at 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Hilton Hotel


Members Complimentary
Non-Members 850 ETB | Men 500 ETB

Storytelling: A Leadership Tool

There once was a place where all the women in town go to rest, play, laugh, cry, and tell each other stories. It was a place where they all felt they belonged and were able to take off all their masks being themselves authentically. They make their imperfect circles to tell their stories, letting go of all their pain and sufferings, settling down into their core sinking and simmering in their inner peace and joy. They laugh, they cry holding back not a drop of tear of sadness or joy. This place is called AWiB.

Now, if you are reading this you probably are imagining & wondering what the place looks like, picturing the imperfect circles of women, maybe even almost listening to their laughter and cries. Storytelling is powerful!

It is customary that AWiB dedicates the month of September to Art. This September for the monthly networking program, AWiB presents “Storytelling: A Leadership Tool”.

Storytelling is one of the most organic, oldest forms of communication and even pre-dates writing. It may sound like it’s a complex process but it is actually the simplest way to make real connections, communicating visions and igniting change.

Stories come in different forms: poetry, songs, movements, plays, fables, riddles, jokes, tales, anecdotes & proverbs. They have the power to capture & engage attention, align the emotions of the teller and all listeners, and prompt imagination & empathy.  Stories are powerful tools that can be used to deliver the right message, at the right time to the right audience creating the impact that is needed. Stories not only appeal to our minds but also our hearts.

Humans are emotional beings so appealing to our emotions when delivering any message can be highly influential. Whether it’s in a business setting, with family or friends, using a story to deliver explanations, information, and education is like planting seeds in the hearts of the audience, it stays in their memory and they will be likely to repeat it to themselves or others again and again. Through well-crafted and well-presented stories, you can motivate, influence, inspire and move others into action.

Stories are the bridges between our inner world and our listener’s inner world. Through storytelling we understand ourselves and also those we interact with improving our social skills, making friends and expanding our networks. Storytelling structures and organizes how we view ourselves as well as others.

Among the many benefits of storytelling are:

  • Communicating visions and creating messengers out of your listeners
  • Igniting change: People tend to swallow stories more smoothly than dry cause and effects or actions and consequences.
  • Improve problem-solving skills: Through storytelling we offer ourselves the opportunities to try out different actions that might have different outcomes.

In addition, storytelling is a crucial skill for entrepreneurs and businesses because it is highly beneficial when it comes to:

  • Getting more customers, clients, and followers
  • Attracting ideal team members
  • Promoting products and services

Tips to integrate storytelling in conversations and presentations are:

  1. Use true stories whenever possible—be authentic and vulnerable
  2. Use heroes, conflicts, and puzzling problems
  3. Omit irrelevant details, create momentum and add a surprising element
Talking Points:
  1. How to embed storytelling in the very essence of organizations, businesses, and social entrepreneurs?
  2. How do we use storytelling to relate to different types of audiences?
  3. What is our story as a nation? How do our individual stories cumulate into one whole story?


Aida Ashenafi is a filmmaker with over 18 years’ experience in the media business in both the United States and Ethiopia.  A graduate of Ithaca College with a degree in Film, Photography and Visual Arts, Aida started her professional career in New York City working in the music business at Jive Records. 

In 1995, Aida co-founded Sauce Entertainment, a New York-based production and post-production company.  Sauce independently released two features:  the romantic comedy, “I Think I Do” and the documentary, “Media Noche.” Moving back to Ethiopia in 2000, Aida joined Cactus Advertising & Marketing.  After Cactus, Aida established Mango Production, a media company that creates media strategies and manages corporate communications for a select client list.  She currently serves as Mango’s Managing Director.

participation with children and based on their experiences and ideas.  Aida’s submission, “Amran’s Film,” was nominated for the Chicago Film Festival, was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and has been screened at numerous festivals worldwide.

Aida has worked in Ethiopia producing music videos, shooting documentaries and corporate videos for a variety of local and international clients.  Her most known project in Ethiopia is with Yegna (Girl Effect/Nike Foundation).  Aida is generally recognized as one of the leading figures in developing the capabilities of the Ethiopian film industry, bringing expertise and professionalism to her projects.

Steadman Harrison, MA/MTS, is a visionary leader at the helm of Lead Beyond Inc, a reputable organization based in the US. Steadman’s profound mission centers around democratizing leadership development, ensuring it’s within reach, budget-friendly, and actionable for leaders across the globe.

At the core of his responsibilities lies the strategic growth and forward-looking direction of an innovative incubator situated in both Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Nashville, Tennessee. This dynamic venture extends its influence across 50+ countries, boasting additional established hubs in Nigeria, India, and Thailand. Steadman’s expertise also extends to the international stage, where he operates as a distinguished consultant in leadership training and organizational development.

Drawing from a three-decade-long career dedicated to advancing leadership paradigms for the betterment of societies worldwide, Steadman stands as a Senior Leadership Solutions Associate at the esteemed Center for Creative Leadership. His work embodies a passion for nurturing leadership, evident in his role as the Senior Capacity Development Advisor for the European Centre for Electoral Support, an EU-backed initiative located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Here, he expertly applies meticulously researched methodologies for cultivating leaders within the realm of governance and democracy.

His extensive portfolio spans 70+ countries, impacting the lives of over a million individuals throughout the past decade. Steadman Harrison stands as a beacon of transformation, with roles as a trainer, facilitator, consultant, teacher, and futurist, leaving an indelible mark on global leadership development.


Kemer Temam is the general manager of Barsebe Industries PLC, a family-run business. She is a dedicated young woman who strongly believes our main mission in life as humans is to bring change and leave a better world for all with whatever capacity is provided to us. Kemer holds multiple positions in family-owned businesses engaged in the export and manufacturing sectors. This includes her previous position as export manager at Yesea Import & Export. Kemer served as AWiB’s Board Member from 2020 – 2022 and was AWiB’s President in 2021

In addition to her educational background in Business Management and Economics, her skills in effective time management, task prioritization, and effective delegation have helped her perform efficiently at work while maintaining a great work-life balance.


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