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“. . . unto the least of my brothers. . .”

It wasn't the experience I expected twenty minutes earlier when I stepped into the hotel hot tub. I stopped to pause on each step for a few seconds to get used to the heat. I looked up at an almost full moon and a

Expert Interview Series with John Mattone

I had the honor of fielding some interview questions from John Mattone recently about business storytelling. We got to talk about: how storytelling addresses common business and leadership challenges examples of

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Lead With A Story

3 Bad Jokes and 1 Important Lesson in Courage from Comedian Drew Tarvin

Professional comedian and self-described "humor engineer" Drew Tarvin recently completed a nomadic tour of the U.S. performing in all 50 States. His book The United States of Laughter: One Comedian's Journey Through All 50 States details his funny, harrowing, and poignantly insightful experiences in each State. I recently caught up with Drew and asked him to share his experience in the state of Florida where he did something on stage that he'd never done before. And it taught him a lesson about [read more]

“Do the stories I tell at work have to be true?”

As a storytelling coach, I'm often asked, "Do my leadership or sales stories have to be true?" My perhaps surprising answer is, "No, they don't. You can completely make up a story you tell at work, but only under one condition. And that condition is that you tell your audience you made it up. Otherwise, you're just a liar and you'll eventually get caught. But a well-crafted fictional story, just like myths and folktales, can be a very powerful way to teach an important lesson, even though the [read more]

Parenting with a Story

Facing Down the Demon of Perfectionism

Giving up isn't always a bad thing. There are many legitimate reasons to give up on any task. Maybe you’ve accomplished enough of it already. Maybe the cost of continuing outweighs the benefits of succeeding. Or maybe you’ve just lost interest in the goal. But there are some bad reasons to give up as well. One of those bad reasons is a demon that’s haunted Shawn Spradling most of his life, and it's probably haunting you, too. I interviewed Shawn in his office at Center Pointe Christian Church [read more]

A Dying Mother’s Gift to Her Children

When I was fourteen years old, my mother was diagnosed with an advanced case of pneumonia. For four months, her doctors tried every treatment known to cure it, none of which had any effect. Then they realized why. She didn’t have pneumonia. She had lung cancer. They’d been misled by the strangely uniform and checkered pattern on the X-rays. By the time they had a proper diagnosis, it had progressed beyond their ability to treat it successfully. They gave her six months to live. At the still [read more]

Sell With A Story

Give Your Sales Team a Company Founding Story That’s Not BORING!

Nobody ever quit their job and started their own company for a boring reason. And that's why one story every salesperson should have in their arsenal is their company’s founding story. It introduces the prospect to the person who started your company and helps them see and feel why it was started in the first place. Understanding the passion that founder was pursuing helps the prospect see your company not just as an impersonal corporate machine, but as a collection of human beings on a [read more]

How to Fix That “Salesperson” Reputation That Preceded You

Humans have a habit of judging people before even meeting them -- often just based on what they do for a living. And unfortunately, just working in sales is sometimes enough to create rather powerful -- and negative -- preconceptions. And until you can get your prospect past those preconceptions, your job will be much harder than it should be. So, you can wait for months while those ideas gradually fade away when your behavior doesn't confirm them. Or, you can disabuse your buyer of those [read more]