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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 Did We Kill This Man?” A Management Nightmare that Led to a Better Leadership Philosophy

I recently had the chance to visit with performance coach Cort Dial, author of the book Heretics to Heroes: A Memoir on Modern Leadership. He shared the story of a fascinating but tragic incident early in his career that led him to develop a very different leadership philosophy. It's always more exciting to listen to my guests share these stories personally. So, I'd encourage you to click the play button above. But below is an excerpt of that story from his book and a few of the lessons he [read more]

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]

Parenting with a Story

What Self-Reliant People Do When “I’m sorry, we tried everything” Just Won’t Cut It

What can kids and grown-ups learn from a 5-year-old boy with Down syndrome, an unsympathetic insurance company, and a leadership team willing to take matters into their own hands? A lot, it turns out, about self-empowered, and self-reliant behavior -- something most parents want to see in their kids (and most executives want to see more of from everyone in their organizations). And a man who knows that better than most is Mohit Das. Mohit was born in India, but is now a permanent resident of [read more]

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]

Sell With A Story

#6 of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories: An “I’ll tell you when I can NOT help you” story

{The 6th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories.} One of the things I learned from interviewing professional buyers was that there are two things salespeople can do to immediately earn buyers’ trust and credibility. In the words one buyer used to explain it, “First, tell me when you can not help me. And second, tell me when you made a mistake before I find out from someone else.” Here’s the logic behind the first one: If you’re honest enough to tell buyers when your company is not [read more]

#5 of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories: A “Why I Do What I Do” Story

{This is the 5th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories salespeople should have in their repertoire.} The major premise of Simon Sinek’s bestselling book Start with Why can be summarized in his statement “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” It should make sense, then, that in order to know you well enough to trust you, a buyer needs to understand why you do what you do for a living. What drew you to the profession or the company you work for? Those reasons say [read more]