How to Look Up When You’re Facedown: The Rising Strong Process in Organizations

  • Katarina VeselkoEmail author
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)


We are storytelling animals—story-making is natural to us. This chapter is less about telling business stories and more about living them. Are we as good at living the stories as we are telling them? Do we live the stories we tell and do we tell the stories we live?

This article deals with the less popular part of our business stories—falls and failures. It leans heavily on Brené Brown’s work around the Rising Strong™ process, which is a storytelling approach to getting through adversity.

Storytelling is so natural to human brain that it can’t be avoided. If we don’t actively engage in creating stories that serve us, our brain still makes up stories that are meant to protect us, but very often fail us. Following the pattern of the Hero’s Journey, we explore how and why our business stories often try to disregard the hardest part of the process. We take apart the outdated idea that our business lives are somehow less emotional than our private lives. Rising Strong is a story-based process of dealing with falls and failures in private and business lives. Dealing with facedown moments and rising from them are essentially emotional and spiritual practice, no matter where the fall happens. Diving into the emotional struggle midst-fall, we can explore the narratives our minds create when they lack information and discover the dangers of these stories for our future. This is far from easy, because the Rising Strong is a deeply vulnerable process. There are many challenges we need to overcome to get engaged with our stories, as both our nature and our corporate culture play against letting ourselves being vulnerable.

We follow the Rising Strong process through all three stages, the reckoning, the rumble, and the revolution, using smaller- and larger-scale real business examples of the process at work. In the reckoning, we point out the important questions to ask ourselves to begin the healing process. In the rumble, we present the “shitty first draft,” a method of exploration of difficult situations; and we touch upon the most common rumbling topics in the work place. The revolution is the final stage, and this is where our futures are rewritten and organizations are transformed. This is where the story we want to write comes to life.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.O. K. ConsultingLjubljanaSlovenia

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