Tuesday May 07, 2024

Episode 31 - How to inspire and motivate people through story with Sandy Dang

Do you want to inspire and motivate people? Want to build a community, or rally people around your cause? Need to get buy-in (and potentially funding) for your idea, mission, or organization? 

If so, this episode is a must-listen, featuring Sandy Dang.

Sandy Dang is a social entrepreneur, leadership trainer, community organizer, and management consultant. She is the Co-founder and Principal of Co-lnnovate Consulting, a company that provides leadership training, capacity building, and strategic planning to companies, foundations, and nonprofits.

Born in Hanoi, Sandy left Vietnam when she was ten years old. After living in rural China and Hong Kong refugee camps, Sandy resettled in the United States at the age of thirteen. 

Sandy went from a childhood without books and very limited education, to being the only kid who didn’t speak English in her school, to becoming an internationally recognized speaker, leader, educator, and master storyteller. Most of all, Sandy has used her experiences and stories to empower others.

For more than a decade, she served as Founder and Executive Director of Asian American Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (AALED) an organization that supports refugee families through a broad array of educational and social services. Sandy was also appointed by President Obama to serve as Executive Director of the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF).

These days, Sandy teaches leaders — especially community organizers, and founders of mission-driven organizations — how to use storytelling to enhance their leadership capacity, and inspire and motivate others. She serves people all over the world, and works in both the US and Asia, including Vietnam and Thailand. 

In this episode, you’ll hear Sandy’s inspiring story, and gain all kinds of useful intel about powerful, purposeful storytelling. Themes we explore:

– Storytelling as a survival tool: Sandy details how she used storytelling to get support, gather resources, build community, and navigate life in the US (even when she was just learning to speak English)

– Using your story to help others: Sandy shares how she used her story to build her non-profit, going from $15,000 to over $1.7 million dollars in its annual budget

– The truth: Why the heart of storytelling is truth-telling, and how honesty and authenticity are essential to build connection, community, and support

– The healing power of storytelling: Why telling your story might be one of the most healing and important things you can do for yourself, and for others

– The power of public narrative: How to translate your lived experience into a story that demonstrates your values and makes people feel inspired and motivated to join your cause

– Taking control of your own story: Why leaders need to share stories about themselves; how to use your story to build trust; and the problem with letting other people decide your story for you

– The three stories all leaders must have in their arsenal — plus, Sandy’s process for putting the stories together into a cohesive narrative.

– “This will only work in the US, not here”: How to adapt the concepts of personal storytelling for a more community-oriented mindset, and how to work around concerns about humility and bragging

– Tips for trainers, coaches, facilitators, and leaders: Sandy distills her advice into her #1 takeaway.

Practical advice, heartfelt insight, and an inspiring and uplifting story…this episode has it all. 

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