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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

3 Steps to Giving a Presentation You Don’t Believe In

Here's a situation that happens far more often than we’d like to admit. What do you do when you’re told to give a presentation that you just don’t believe in? It usually happens to a midlevel manager who’s told they have to deploy the latest corporate mandate. Now they're stuck in between the executives issuing the mandate and the rank and file who have to execute it. Whether you’re the one being asked to give the presentation, or the executive pushing down the mandate, you’ve got a problem [read more]

Former Dun & Bradstreet CEO Sara Mathew on Leadership, Integrity, Courage, and Humility

A leader's skills, character, and values become clear only when they're tested in challenging times. Those also happen to be when our skills and character are most likely to grow. I recently had a chat with Sara Mathew, former Chair and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet, about a couple of harrowing and humbling experiences that put her leadership to the test, and helped her grow as a leader. It's more fun to listen to Sara tell these stories herself, which you can do by clicking the play button [read more]

Parenting with a Story

The Only Way to Listen Better by Talking More

Listening is one of the most important communication tools we have. In fact, it's one of the only two requirements for actually having a conversation -- the other being it's far more popular teammate: talking. But even when we do listen, most of us listen with the intent of responding, not with the intent of understanding. In other words, we’re thinking about the next thing we’re going to say. That’s not listening. Sometimes really listening means more than being quiet while other people talk. [read more]

Dealing with Loss: The Great Berkeley Fire of 1991

People lose things every day—a set of keys, a matching sock, or the homework they can’t find on their computer—all minor daily frustrations. Not the kind of loss most people need help dealing with. The kind we need help with is the kind of loss that stops your heart, forever alters the course of your life, brings you to your knees, or that tries your soul. On October 20, 1991, that’s exactly what happened to Dejah. Dejah was twenty-one years old and a senior at the University of California at [read more]

Sell With A Story

Your “How We’re Different From Our Competitors” Story

Professional buyers will tell you (like they told me) that competitors in just about every space are so similar that it’s hard to tell them apart. They need a differentiation story—which means you need a differentiation story. One of my favorite examples of that comes from Sharad Madison, CEO of United Building Maintenance. UBM is a commercial cleaning company -- so they clean office buildings at night. And guess what, there are a lot of companies that do that. So, in order to [read more]

5 Steps to Speaking Your Customer’s Secret Language

Who knew you could learn so much about running a business and understanding your customers from a professional photographer and a candle? I didn't. But then I had a chat with Jeffrey Shaw, former photographer turned business coach and author. He spent three decades as highly-sought after portrait photographer. Now he's the host of business podcast Creative Warriors, a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker, a business coach for entrepreneurs, and author of the new book, LINGO: Discover Your Ideal [read more]