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A 6-Minute Guide to Storytelling with Data: The “How We Got Here” Method

Can you tell stories with data like you can with words? Absolutely! In the video above, I'll show you one of my two favorite methods for doing that. Have a look, and then try it out yourself. If you'd rather read, see

Unto the Least of My Brothers: The Unforgettable Stranger I Met in a California Hot Tub

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

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Lead With A Story

Long-Term Strategic Planning Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Sometimes a long-term vision is so lofty or so aggressive it comes across as an unachievable dream, instead of a realistic vision. If that’s the case with your vision, congratulations on having such a worthy idea! But if people don’t believe your vision will ever happen, they won’t be motivated to help you deliver it. If you're in that situation, this story might help. In early 2010, I was asked to help lead a multidisciplinary team tasked with recommending a long-term strategy for Procter [read more]

Un-Stuffing the Stuffed Shirts

It's lonely at the top. Or, so I've heard. And the reason is that senior executives are often viewed as unapproachable and impersonal. And in a military setting where officers have to send troops into deadly combat, that irreproachable stature is probably necessary. But in a business environment, it can do more harm than good. Executives not viewed as accessible to the organization often find it more difficult to lead. And that was the situation for a senior executive we'll call "Carol." Carol [read more]

Parenting with a Story

The Shared Blanket: Life’s Most Important Lesson in a Single Story

Imagine you had to pick a single sentence to encapsulate all of the world's knowledge about how we humans should behave. What would it be? What one statement could capture several millennia of history's best thinkers, philosophers, and prophets on the topic of ethics and morality? I think you'd be hard pressed to do better than this: Treat other people the way you'd like to be treated." The Golden Rule. And that's probably why we call it the Golden Rule, and why it shows up in just about [read more]

Why I Wish I’d Never Bought That Fancy Red Sport Car

Jun-seo's father loved fine automobiles. He always drove nice cars himself, and went to all the high-performance car shows — a real car aficionado. So Jun-seo grew up with a taste for fine cars himself. Having his own fancy sports car someday was a goal he set for himself at a young age. But buying nice cars is expensive, so he knew he needed to earn a lot of money. So, at sixteen he started working as an amateur DJ creating custom mix tapes. This was before the days of digital music or Spotify [read more]

Sell With A Story

Defending Your Price Without Negotiating

{The 18th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories} One of the final, and most common objections buyers have to what you're selling is price. So, if you’re at the point that you’re negotiating price, congratulations. You've got a prospect interested in what you’re selling, and you’ve probably resolved every other objection they have. Of course, most salespeople have an explicit method for negotiating price. And if you've got one, and it works, great. Keep using it. Storytelling [read more]

Resolving Objections with a Story

{#17 in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories} As most salespeople have learned, the real selling doesn’t start until the buyer says no. That's why there are all kinds of methods salespeople use for handling objections. Some of the more popular ones are:   LAIR: Listen, Acknowledge, Identify Objection, Reverse It) LACE: Listen, Accept, Commit, Explicit Action) LAARC: Listen, Acknowledge, Assess, Respond, Confirm), and FFF: Feel, Felt, Found And some sales [read more]