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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

Does Customer Service This Amazing Ever Happen at Your Company? If So, Would You Even Know It?

When Ray Brook’s flight landed at Portland International Airport on Monday morning, he headed straight for National Car Rental where he had a reservation. He had a meeting with a customer in 30 minutes and a full schedule of visits to warehouses and distribution centers for the next four days. But when he tried to pay for his car, the computer rejected his card. After a minute of research, the agent told him there was a problem with his profile, and asked to see his driver’s license. Studying [read more]

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]

Parenting with a Story

Showing Up — The First Strategy of Successful People

Woody Allen once said, "80% of success is showing up." Here's what that looks like in real life. In this case, the life of a 16-year-old high school student in New York. In most cases when you try to be self-reliant, people around you will encourage you. But it’s not always that way. Sometimes being self-reliant means doing something even when other people tell you it will never work. That’s exactly what Emily Chang had to do as a teenager. Emily grew up in Pittsford, New York. By her [read more]

“Do I Really Need to Hear This?”

In 2013, I was having lunch with a colleague of mine who used to work for me in the department I ran. A few months earlier she'd moved to a new department and so now had a new boss. She reminded me of something she'd told me earlier -- that in talking to her new boss, she got the impression that he didn't like me very much. But he never told her exactly why. And that bothered her. As a student of human behavior, she was genuinely curious as to why. Well, apparently since the last time we'd [read more]

Sell With A Story

Sales Story #3: Your Personal Motivation Story

(This is the 3rd in a series of the 25 Most Useful Sales Stories salespeople should have in their repertoire.) In 2008, Wharton management professor and social psychologist Adam Grant conducted a very telling study. He and two research assistants went to an outbound call center where a fund-raising organization was raising money for a university. They divided the callers into three random groups. Ten minutes prior to starting their shift, the first and second groups were asked to report to [read more]

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]