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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

POSTS & PODCASTS

Lead With A Story

Loyalty and Leadership: An Unholy Alliance

Loyalty is one of those things that sounds like a good idea or an admirable character trait, until you think about what it really means in a real-world situation. One of the creepiest moments in my working career was when my team got a new boss and in our first meeting with her, she looked at us all sternly and said, "loyalty is very important to me." And she made it clear that what she meant was our loyalty to her, personally, as the leader. It was a surreal moment -- like something out [read more]

Tough Feedback? Talk to My Agent. Receiving Performance Feedback Like a Pro

There's an endless amount of advice available for how to give tough feedback effectively, but very little on how to receive it well. One person who learned how the hard way is Gail Hollander. Gail has been in the advertising business for 25 years, and has worked in several of the most prestigious agencies in New York. She’s helped grow successful brands in several industries, and delivered some of the most recognizable ads on television today. Gail’s role through most of her advertising career [read more]

Parenting with a Story

One Sure Sign You Need New Friends

For most people, especially young people, hearing one person demean another is a particularly juicy piece of gossip. It’s therefore one of the hardest to keep from sharing, especially from the person the insulting comments are about. They sometimes justify it by telling themselves, “I’m just being a good friend by telling her. After all, I’d want to know if someone said something mean about me, wouldn’t I?” Would you? Consider what happened to Mandy. Mandy was a high school senior. She [read more]

Ambition, Regret, and College Applications: The Conversation I Wish I’d Had 30 Years Ago

What colleges did you apply to in high school? Did you apply to colleges at all? Do you regret those decisions now? And what would you do differently if you could do it over again? Those are the questions I would have liked to have asked my future middle-aged self when I was a teenager. And I suspect Kelly Olson wishes she had, too. When Kelly was in high school, she took all the college entrance exams that might be necessary: the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. And she did very well. So well, in fact, [read more]

Sell With A Story

The Mysterious Brown Bag: Closing Your Toughest Sales Challenges Using Emotional Intelligence

My guest this week is sales guru Jeb Blount. He's one of the very best-selling authors of books about sales and has written over 10 of them. He joined me on this week's podcast to talk about his new book, Sales EQ: How Ultra-High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal. We had a great conversation, in which he shared a fascinating story from his book, about a 23-year-old sales rep named Art who worked for a truck leasing company. In that single story, [read more]

Sales Story #2: Your “Who I’ve Helped and How I’ve Helped Them” Story

Today's article is the second in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories salespeople should be able to tell. As a reminder, those 25 are the result of my interviews with professional sales and procurement managers at over 50 companies looking for where salespeople are most effectively using storytelling throughout the entire sales process. The full results of those interviews are documented in the book, Sell with a Story. For this story, we're still in the earliest phase of that process, [read more]