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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

POSTS & PODCASTS

Lead With A Story

Un-Stuffing the Stuffed Shirts

It's lonely at the top. Or, so I've heard. And the reason is that senior executives are often viewed as unapproachable and impersonal. And in a military setting where officers have to send troops into deadly combat, that irreproachable stature is probably necessary. But in a business environment, it can do more harm than good. Executives not viewed as accessible to the organization often find it more difficult to lead. And that was the situation for a senior executive we'll call "Carol." Carol [read more]

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]

Parenting with a Story

Why I Wish I’d Never Bought That Fancy Red Sport Car

Jun-seo's father loved fine automobiles. He always drove nice cars himself, and went to all the high-performance car shows — a real car aficionado. So Jun-seo grew up with a taste for fine cars himself. Having his own fancy sports car someday was a goal he set for himself at a young age. But buying nice cars is expensive, so he knew he needed to earn a lot of money. So, at sixteen he started working as an amateur DJ creating custom mix tapes. This was before the days of digital music or Spotify [read more]

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]

Sell With A Story

A Value-Adding Sales Story You Need in Your Repertoire

{Number 16 in a series of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories.} Value-adding stories are stories that actually add to the attractiveness of the product. They literally make people willing to pay more money for your product than they would without the story. One example of that is the Pig Island story I told on the very first episode of this podcast. And it's one of my very favorite sales stories. So, I invite you to go back and check that out if you haven't already. But that involves an [read more]

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]