Explaining what you do, simply

In his book Unique Sales Stories, Mark Satterfield offered the following explanation for how to better explain what you do for a living. For example, if you’re a distribution channel consultant, you might explain what you do by saying this: “I represent a company that’s best in class at optimizing the distribution channels between the [read more]

Answer to Narrative #2 (Hewlett Packard Tipping Point)

Let’s review the criteria: There is a time (two years ago), a place (University of Leeds), a main character (Dave Neild), an obstacle (cease and desist orders), a goal (stopping the orders), and events (students sharing files and the university running the TippingPoint test). This has all the indicators of a story. Click here to [read more]

Use of dialogue

Here’s an example of what a story looks like with and without dialogue. Which do you think is more effective? With dialogue Getting D&B’s books restated in six weeks left Sara feeling the high of success still early in her tenure as CFO. But that high was short-lived. Once a year, everyone at D&B completes [read more]

Recasting your audience into the story

An insightful Chinese proverb explains, “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand.” That’s the insight behind this technique to go beyond just storytelling, to actually creating events in people’s lives that they will remember for a long time, and probably tell stories about. Here’s an example: New pay and promotion [read more]

Keeping it real: storytelling, metaphors, and concrete language

Here’s an example of combining storytelling, metaphors, and concrete language to create a powerfully effective combination. And it comes from one of the most talked-about U.S. law firms in the 1990s.  Being a juror in a trial is a bit like being the scorekeeper at a basketball game without knowing the rules. Do free throws [read more]

The story that can literally save your life, if you tell it to the right person

If you don’t have your health, nothing else in life seems to matter much. But when we do have our health—or at least think we do—it’s often easy to neglect it and take that good health for granted. But that’s when the seeds of destruction are usually sown. One person who knows that well is [read more]

This man knows a creativity-boosting secret your company isn’t using. . . yet

<Play podcast> Most companies have a policy against moonlighting, even if it doesn’t directly interfere with your main job. Most of them argue that holding down a second job drains you of energy and creativity that you’d otherwise invest in your main job. I suppose that’s one way to look at it. The secret Here’s [read more]

A battlefield lesson on the value of decisiveness

<Play podcast> I think we all know that person at work who shows up on their first day with a piece of paper that has their entire leadership philosophy, values, or beliefs spelled out in just a few bullet points. And they make a point of sharing that document with everyone they meet on that [read more]