“Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealised, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character.” – Richard Branson

I once had the opportunity to attend a Women of Influence luncheon series, which featured Lorraine Mitchelmore, Shell Canada President and EVP of Heavy Oil, as the guest speaker. Lorraine knows a thing or two about success, and speaking to a room full of Calgary’s top female business leaders on a Monday afternoon downtown at the Westin, she told her story as well.

From a small town Newfoundland upbringing with four brothers, to one geophysics degree and two master’s degrees, a career in oil and gas that has taken her far across the globe and back again, to leading one of the biggest companies in Canada ( all while balancing an incredibly active sporting life with her husband and two young daughters), Lorraine has achieved a great deal.

She told the room about learning at a young age to speak up for herself, and to do so loudly: a lesson learned from growing up in a household with two older and two younger brothers. She told the story of how she learned in University to get comfortable putting herself in uncomfortable situations, and how this has driven her ambition throughout her career.  She spoke about her endless curiosity in understanding the way things work, their function, and how this philosophy of prioritizing learning first will always lead to the job and career you desire.

You all have a story to tell, something that happened, or a crossroads you came to that put you on the path to your greatest successes. There’s a story there, of how you were inspired to do what you do and why you’re so passionate about it. That is your personal brand story, and it’s a great story to know and tell because it helps understand what motivates you and what your true purpose is as you move through life. And guess what? Every company has a story to tell as well.

Lorraine’s story is part of Shell Canada’s story now. Lorraine is very clear on her purpose and vision for the company, and it’s a culmination of all of her experiences and beliefs in her life so far. Her story shaped her, and now it influences how choices are made within the company.

Uncover the story, and you uncover WHY people and companies do what they do.

That’s powerful stuff. Stories resonate with people, and your story is one that should be told and shared and experienced. That kind of authenticity from a company is rarer and rarer these days, and interacting with a company that has a compelling story of WHY they do what they do breeds loyalty and true attachment in your clients’ minds.

At Sandbox we love having these types of conversations with CEOs. We help uncover their stories of what got them into this business in the first place, oftentimes even helping them remember what it was that first truly inspired them, their original vision for their company and the goals they had. We can help you reach those goals, and then set even greater ones.

Interested in hearing the story of Sandbox’s founder? Check out Rod’s video here.