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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


Lead With A Story

How to Earn Trust on Day One

In July of 1999, the New York Times and CBS conducted an interesting survey. They asked, “Of people in general, how many do you think are trustworthy?” The average answer was 30 percent. Then it asked, “Of people you know personally, how many do you think are trustworthy?” The average answer shot up to 70 percent! Those simple questions illustrate what common sense and your personal experience will confirm. If people don’t know you, they default to not trusting you. “I don’t know him. He [read more]

Two Leadership Lessons from an American Author’s Walk Across Spain

This week my guest is Victor Prince. He's a leadership trainer and author of the books, Inside the Box and Executive Farm. My last discussion with Victor was about lessons from the 2009 presidential inauguration. And I spoke previously with his co-author, Mike Figliuolo, about their book, Inside the Box. But today, Victor joined me to talk about his new book, The Camino Way: Lessons in Leadership from a Walk Across Spain. A couple of summers ago, Victor hiked the ancient Camino de Santiago [read more]

Parenting with a Story

Justice, Conscience, and Backyard Fireworks: An Independence Day Ethical Dilemma

Every culture has a code of conduct by which behavior is measured. Some is written in our laws, and we often learn of those expectations in formal schooling. But much is left for subtler forms of influence. We generally learn those from our own gut reaction and from the reaction our behavior elicits from other people. In his 1902 publication The Seven Cardinal Virtues, Reverend James Stalker describes three schools of justice we use to regulate our behavior: justice of the law, justice of [read more]

Showing Up — The First Strategy of Successful People

Woody Allen once said, "80% of success is showing up." Here's what that looks like in real life. In this case, the life of a 16-year-old high school student in New York. In most cases when you try to be self-reliant, people around you will encourage you. But it’s not always that way. Sometimes being self-reliant means doing something even when other people tell you it will never work. That’s exactly what Emily Chang had to do as a teenager. Emily grew up in Pittsford, New York. By her [read more]

Sell With A Story

Sales Story #4: How to Relax and Take the Stress Out of a Sales Call

[This is the 4th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories salespeople should have in their repertoire.] In conducting my research on storytelling in the sales space, I read dozens of books and interviewed sales and procurement managers at over 50 companies around the world. One of the more unexpected, and quite frankly, amusing, uses I found for storytelling was to help the salesperson relax and take the stress out of the sales call. So, this isn't a story you tell to the buyer. [read more]

Sales Story #3: Your Personal Motivation Story

(This is the 3rd in a series of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories salespeople should have in their repertoire.) In 2008, Wharton management professor and social psychologist Adam Grant conducted a very telling study. He and two research assistants went to an outbound call center where a fund-raising organization was raising money for a university. They divided the callers into three random groups. Ten minutes prior to starting their shift, the first and second groups were asked to report to [read more]