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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

How to Hire Top Talent Without an Interview

"Be slow to hire and quick to fire." That's the conventional wisdom in human resources. Take the time to make sure you've got the right candidate before making an offer. The result is a lengthy process that starts with a detailed online application and multiple rounds of interviews spread out over weeks. Some companies even augment that with their own special tests that resemble the GMAT or SAT tests, designed to weed out weak candidates. But Scott Wintrip has a different idea. Scott believes [read more]

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]

Parenting with a Story

Forest Fires, Missing the Boat, and Sleeping in Our Clothes: 11 Life Skills Learned Through Our Mediterranean Vacation Disaster

I'm writing these words from a tiny, hot, and unglamorous airport hotel room at the Charles De Gaulle airport outside Paris with no luggage, no change of clothes, and no air conditioning. I should be home in Ohio right now. But instead, I'm hunkered down with my family at the end of a 10-day vacation having missed our connecting flight home from Barcelona. All that running through the airport got us nothing but sweaty clothes, which was too bad, because they're the only clothes we'll have for [read more]

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]

Sell With A Story

5 Ways Great Salespeople Get Buyers to Tell Their Most Important Stories

This series is dedicated to helping you tell better sales stories. But your first objective in a sales call shouldn’t be to tell any of your stories. It should be to get the buyer to tell you their stories. If you don’t hear their stories first, how will you know which of your stories to tell? You wouldn’t trust a doctor who wrote you a prescription without listening to you explain your problem, would you? Of course not. Then why would a buyer accept the recommendation of a salesperson who [read more]

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]