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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


Lead With A Story

The Monthly Challenge: How to Solve Tough Problems and Build Collaborative Teams at the Same Time

A friend of mine we'll call Tom was a partner at a big consulting firm. One day, he showed up at one of his client’s offices and heard this: Sorry, Tom. We’re going to have to cancel your retainer—at least for a little while.” Now, to a consultant, those are about the worst words you could ever hear from your client. It’s the equivalent being laid off. Except in this case, it didn’t just mean Tom was getting laid off. It also meant his entire team of 15 consultants was getting laid off. The [read more]

Marketing 101: Lower-Tier Shouldn’t Always Mean Watered-Down

In the late 1990s, Titleist had a 75 percent market share of the golf ball market among the best golfers in the country (those with a handicap of 15 or less). But that only represented about 5 percent of golfers. It only had a 20 percent market share among the other 95 percent of golfers. To reach that other 95 percent, conventional wisdom dictated that it should launch a lower-priced, lower-quality version of its flagship Titleist ProV1. The problem with that, however, is that some of its [read more]

Parenting with a Story

“What do you care what other people think?”

One of the most prevalent human frailties — one that begins in childhood and stays with us the rest of our lives — is a concern about what other people think of us. To a 10-year-old, it might be what the other kids will think of her new tennis shoes. To a teenage boy, it might be what the girls think of his moves on the dance floor. To an adult, it might be what his peers think of his work, or what her boss thinks of her leadership potential. That’s a lesson Richard Feynman learned while [read more]

The Problem of Getting Something for Nothing

Thomas Paine once observed, “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.” If true, that might suggest that something we obtain for free we don't esteem at all. But so what? Does it really matter if we esteem something too lightly? One person who knows something about that is John Chancellor. Paying for the Psychiatrist A few years ago, a psychiatrist friend of John’s borrowed some money from him and was having difficulty paying it back. At the same time, another friend of John's [read more]

Sell With A Story

Begging for the Order

My guest this week was Stewart Samkange in Kenya. Stewart is a sales professional who's worked at IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. And he's in the process of relocating from Kenya to Dublin, Ireland to take a job working for LinkedIn. Stewart is a regular listener of the podcast and reached out to me with a story of his own that he thought other listeners might want to hear. And after I heard it, I had to agree. The story involves a sales meeting with a client eight years ago that his boss [read more]

The Hidden Cost of Giving Away FREE Services

For some reason, when you're in the speaking business you're constantly asked to work for free. I don't imagine school teachers or farmers or physicists are often asked to travel across the country to teach children, grow crops, or uncover the hidden mysteries of the universe without pay. But in my line of work, and many other professional services, it happens all the time. And while there may be times when that's appropriate (for a charity you believe in strongly, for example) many of us end [read more]