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Lead with a Story

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

By Paul Smith
16-minute read
Audio available
Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince and Inspire by Paul Smith

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.

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

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

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

By Paul Smith
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince and Inspire by Paul Smith
Synopsis

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.

Key idea 1 of 10

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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