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 [read more]

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 [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 [read more]

A Leader’s Guide to Storytelling with Data

Can you use the same storytelling techniques with data that you can with words? Of course, you can. In a previous article, I shared one method of telling stories with data. In the video above, I’ll show you another method that I call the “Discovery Journey” story method. And it has nothing to do with [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 [read more]

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 [read more]

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 below. But the video is a lot more fun! (If you have trouble [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, [read more]

Professional Comedian Drew Tarvin Shares an Antidote for Prejudice and Hatred

If you follow my Lead with a Story blog or podcast, you’ll know that last week I had professional comedian and self-described “humor engineer” Drew Tarvin on to talk about one of the most attractive parts of human nature — courage. This week I’m having him join me on my Parenting with a Story channel to [read more]

Give Your Sales Team a Company Founding Story That’s Not BORING!

Nobody ever quit their job and started their own company for a boring reason. And that’s why one story every salesperson should have in their arsenal is their company’s founding story. It introduces the prospect to the person who started your company and helps them see and feel why it was started in the first [read more]