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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


Lead With A Story

You’re a Leader, Not a Comedian — You Can’t Get Away With That

It's okay to be funny in the office. In fact, I think a sense of humor is critical to success in life and work. But at work, you're a leader, not a comedian. You don't have the same latitude as a stand-up comic on stage. And to confuse the two can be costly. To sort through the difference on my podcast this week, I spoke with professional comedian and humor-at-work expert Drew Tarvin. (Click play above for the whole conversation.) Normally when I have a guest on the show, I have them share [read more]

What To Do When the Unwritten Rules Rule

Every company has two different sets of rules: the official rules written in the policy manual, and the unspoken rules that everyone actually follows. A classic example is working hours. Company guidelines might say that quitting time is five o’clock. But if everyone else works till six and looks at you funny when you leave at five, you’ll pretty quickly start working till six. Now, a more modern example involves flexible work arrangements, or FWA. Those are things like reduced working [read more]

Parenting with a Story

The Gift We Love to Receive But Hate to Give

Not too long ago, “ropes” courses were all the rage. Remember those? Outdoor team-building programs where people climb through trees on ropes and ladders. The idea is that going through some hardship together builds camaraderie and team spirit. So learning the value of patience was not what Dave Orewiler expected from his nine-day ropes course outside Asheville, North Carolina. But that’s exactly what he got. Dave was a human resources executive from Long Island, New York, at the time “in [read more]

How to Build Confidence in New Situations

I think all parents want their kids to have a healthy sense of confidence, especially when they're going into a new or unfamiliar situation -- like attending a new school, or moving to a new neighborhood. Wouldn't it be great if there was a proven way to do that in exactly those situations? Well, it turns out, there is. And it's a method professor Art Shriberg had success with every year with his new MBA students at Xavier University. In the past three decades, he’s worked with literally [read more]

Sell With A Story

A Two-Roads Sales Story

{The 15th in a series of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories.} “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood." That's the opening line of one of Robert Frost's most famous poems, The Road Not Taken. It describes a difficult choice the narrator has to make between two different paths, and how important it was that he chose the right one. I've called this particular type of sales story a "two-roads" story not because it's a poem. I'm not suggesting you write poetry for your prospects. Although it might [read more]

A Customer Success Story with a Twist

Customer success stories are probably the most common type of sales story. And they deserve to be. That's because buyers trust what other customers have to say much more than what a salesperson says. So, your customer success story, even if you're the one telling it, is far more credible than just your opinion. But, unfortunately, what often passes for a customer success story, isn't one. Not because it isn't a success. But because it isn't a story. A positive testimonial is not a success [read more]