Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire

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9780814420300: Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire
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Whether you’re trying to communicate a vision, sell an idea, or inspire commitment, storytelling is a powerful business tool that can mean the difference between lackluster enthusiasm and a rallying cry. Addressing a wide variety of business challenges, including specific stories to help you overcome twenty-one difficult situations, Lead with a Story gives you theability to engage an audience the way logic and bullet points alone never could. This how-to guidebook shows readers how powerful stories can help define culture and values, engender creativity and innovation, foster collaboration, build relationships, provide coaching and feedback, and lead change. Whether in a speech or a memo, communicated to one person or a thousand, storytelling is an essential skill for today’s leaders. Many highly successful companies use storytelling as a leadership tool. At Nike, all senior executives are designated “corporate storytellers.” 3M banned bullet points years ago and replaced them with a process of writing “strategic narratives.” Procter & Gamble hired Hollywood directors to teach its executives storytelling techniques. Some forward-thinking business schools have even added storytelling courses to their management curriculum. Complete with examples from these and many other high-profile companies, Lead with a Story gives readers the guidance they need to spin a narrative to stunning effect.

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Book Description:

Storytelling has come of age in the business world. Today, many of the most successful companies use storytelling as a leadership tool. At Nike, all senior executives are designated “corporate storytellers.” 3M banned bullet points years ago and replaced them with a process of writing “strategic narratives.” Procter & Gamble hired Hollywood directors to teach its executives storytelling techniques. Some forward-thinking business schools have even added storytelling courses to their management curriculum.

The reason for this is simple: Stories have the ability to engage an audience the way logic and bullet points alone never could. Whether you are trying to communicate a vision, sell an idea, or inspire commitment, storytelling is a powerful business tool that can mean the difference between mediocre results and phenomenal success.

Lead with a Story contains both ready-to-use stories and how-to guidance for readers looking to craft their own. Designed for a wide variety of business challenges, the book shows how narrative can help:

· Define culture and values

· Engender creativity and innovation

· Foster collaboration and build relationships

· Provide coaching and feedback

· Lead change

· And more

Whether in a speech or a memo, communicated to one person or a thousand, storytelling is an essential skill for success. Complete with examples from companies like Kellogg's, Merrill-Lynch, Procter & Gamble, National Car Rental, Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut, and more, this practical resource gives readers the guidance they need to deliver stories to stunning effect.

From the Inside Flap:

Stories move us. They engage us. They inspire us. Stories give us examples of how to act . . . and how not to act. The best ones stay with us forever.

So why are you still trying to get your ideas across using PowerPoint slides?

Storytelling may be an age-old tradition, but in today’s corporate world, it’s also been embraced as a uniquely powerful business practice. Top organizations utilize it as a means to communicate vision. Forward-thinking business schools now include storytelling courses in their management curriculum. As a leader or a manager, if you’re not using storytelling as a method to rally your troops and convince others of your ideas, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal.

Packed with over 100 ready-to-use narratives organized by different business challenges, Lead with a Story helps you get started . . . even if you think you don’t know the first thing about telling a story. The book shows you how to connect with bosses, employees, customers, and others on a deep and immediate level using the power of story. It includes examples from more than 50 organizations in 30 industries and from 15 countries around the world, including companies like Kellogg’s, Merrill Lynch, Procter & Gamble, Verizon, Dun & Bradstreet, Saatchi & Saatchi, and more.

In Lead with a Story, corporate storytelling expert Paul Smith helps you choose a story tailor-made for your own particular need, adapt the ready-made stories, and even craft your own. You’ll learn how to use emotionally driven narrative to:

· Establish a vision for the future

· Set goals and build commitment

· Lead change

· Make recommendations that stick

· Define customer service success and failure

· Mold your organization’s culture and values

· Encourage collaboration and build relation­ships

· Move people to value diversity and inclusion

· Set policy without rules

· Energize, inspire, and motivate your team

· Help others find passion for their work

· Teach important lessons

· Provide coaching and feedback

· Demonstrate problem solv­ing

· Empower others

· Delegate authority and give permission

· Encourage innova­tion and creativity

· Earn respect from day one

· And much more

Stories do much more than entertain—they actually engage your audience’s brains, creat­ing an experience in which they learn a lesson, share a belief, and envision results as if they were there. This enormously practical and inspiring book lets you in on one of the most important leadership techniques that exists, and shows you how to use it naturally and effortlessly in every area of your work

PAUL SMITH is director of Consumer & Communications Research at The Procter & Gamble Company and a highly rated keynote speaker and trainer on leadership and communication. He lectures regularly for the MBA programs at Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati. Paul lives can be found online at www.leadwithastory.com.

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