Lead with a Story Book Summary - Lead with a Story Book explained in key points
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Lead with a Story summary

Paul Smith

A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince and Inspire

4.1 (102 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

'Lead with a Story' by Paul Smith showcases the power of storytelling in leadership. With real-life examples and practical tips, it teaches how to use storytelling to motivate and inspire your team.

Table of Contents

    Lead with a Story
    Summary of 9 key ideas

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    Storytelling is an important aspect of any successful business.

    Question: Why is it that some of the longest-running shows on televisions are soap operas?

    Answer: People just love a good story. Whether it’s the drama in a soap or a riveting page-turner, we become completely captured by good stories.

    But it’s not only authors and screenwriters who have profited from the art of storytelling. In fact, a great deal of businesses have as well: Nike, Microsoft, FedEx and Costco each have their own corporate storyteller.

    Who exactly are these corporate storytellers and why do these companies hire them?

    Stories are critical components of corporate messaging towards customers and employees alike.

    For most of human history, storytelling has been the primary method for imparting knowledge. Before the printing press made possible the mass distribution of written materials, most information was shared via oral tradition in the form of stories.

    Indeed, storytelling offers some unique advantages over other types of communication:

    First, anyone can tell and learn from a story. A good story can transfix anyone, regardless of age or education.

    In addition, stories are memorable. It’s quite difficult to remember an isolated fact or a statistic. However, according to psychologist Jerome Bruner, if these facts are put into a story, we’re 20 times more likely to remember them.

    Finally, stories can appeal to every type of learner.

    There are three types of learners: 40 percent of us are visual learners, 40 percent are auditory learners and the remaining 20 percent are kinetic learners. Stories attract all three – a story’s imagery influences visual learners, the vocabulary appeals to auditory learners and the emotions and feelings connect with kinetic learners.

    As you can see, stories are a great way to impart knowledge, so much so that businesses have incorporated them into their strategies. In the next few blinks, we’ll go into detail about the specific areas of business that can be improved with a story.

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    Key ideas in Lead with a Story

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    What is Lead with a Story about?

    Lead with a Story (2012) teaches you how to enhance your skills as a great leader by harnessing the power of storytelling. By taking examples from one of the most successful companies in the world, you’ll learn how to craft a great story that motivates people and modifies their behavior.

    Lead with a Story Review

    Lead with a Story by Paul Smith (2012) delves into the power of storytelling as a leadership tool. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • Packed with compelling narratives from real-life leaders, it shows how storytelling can inspire, motivate, and influence others.
    • Combining practical tips with captivating stories, the book provides a framework for crafting and delivering impactful narratives that resonate with your audience.
    • Through its engaging storytelling approach, the book proves that leaders who master the art of storytelling can effectively communicate their vision, build trust, and drive change.

    Who should read Lead with a Story?

    • Leaders of all kinds
    • Anyone who wants to be better at motivating others
    • Anyone who finds his or her coworkers dozing off during presentations

    About the Author

    Paul Smith is a popular keynote speaker as well as a corporate trainer in leadership and storytelling techniques. He is formerly an executive and 20-year veteran of the Procter & Gamble Company and has authored two books, Lead with a Story and Parenting with a Story.

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    Lead with a Story FAQs 

    What is the main message of Lead with a Story?

    The main message of Lead with a Story is that storytelling is a powerful tool for effective leadership and communication.

    How long does it take to read Lead with a Story?

    The reading time for Lead with a Story varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Lead with a Story a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Lead with a Story is a valuable read for leaders and communicators. It offers practical insights and examples to enhance storytelling skills and drive success.

    Who is the author of Lead with a Story?

    The author of Lead with a Story is Paul Smith.

    What to read after Lead with a Story?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Lead with a Story, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Stories for Work by Gabrielle Dolan
    • The Story Factor by Annette Simmons
    • The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall
    • Crucial Accountability by Kerry Patterson
    • The Storytelling Edge by Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas
    • Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Phillips
    • How to Walk into a Room by Emily P. Freeman
    • You Only Have to Be Right Once by Randall Lane
    • The 3-Minute Rule by Brant Pinvidic
    • Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt