Case Study – Linked in: A Globally-Distributed Core Story

With nearly 9,000 employees in 30 cities around the world, it’s no easy task for LinkedIn to sustain a vibrant culture. And yet that’s just what they set out to do when they created InDay: one day, every month, a day when employees can act to transform themselves, their teams and their community. Wakingstar was…

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Case Study – Hawaii State Dept. of Health: Statewide Story Training

Business Challenge: Leaders at the Department of Public Health/Injury Prevention division in Hawaii were having a hard time talking about injury prevention without getting stuck in big problems – or swamped in data. Whether it was talking about drowning prevention, traffic safety, or suicide prevention, they needed a way to deliver their messages and connect…

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One Small (Lifelong) Lesson My Mom Taught Me

My mind was being blown. I was 23, graduated college, sold my first business, and had dedicated myself to traveling for as long as I could. New languages, new places, new people; every day seemed to be a new revelation. On a short stint home after returning home from Southeast Asia, I was staying with…

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Thoughts on the Shape of Stories

You may not have climbed K2 yesterday, or sold your company, or cured malaria. But well-told, your experiences make an impact on your audience. “The shape of the stories are what matters, and not their origins,” said Kurt Vonnegut in a lecture at Wittenberg University in 1982.   Drawing on the chalkboard, he wrote GF for…

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9 Reasons I’ll Be Looking for Stories in Marrakesh

Long ago, before I was a storyteller, I was, quite simply, a traveler. Instead of doing my work in board rooms and conference halls, the my theater was the road. I lived to travel, I worked to travel, and every day I sought to see the world and its gems. In earnest this lasted for a…

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The Three Types of Stories That Win Great Talent

I grew up in a recruiting household. My dad, a college basketball coach when I was young, had the challenging job of recruiting prospects to a then-unknown school called Boise State. The team members he brought in were like our family. As the players often came from far away, they would come over to our…

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Ravi Shankar and the Art of Connecting With Your Audience

Ken Dychtwald, author, Ph.D., CEO, and general force of nature, walked into my office. “Jay,” he said, there are a few stories I’d like to work on today. But this first one is a gift for you.” A gift indeed. In his career, Ken has spoken to millions of people – and when Ken wants…

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How Good Stories Come From Bad Judgment (on Linkedin)

Nasrudin is known as much for his wisdom as his foolishness, and many are those who have sought out his teaching. One devotee tracked him down for many years before finding him in the marketplace sitting atop a pile of banana peels–no one knows why. “Oh great sage, Nasrudin,” said the eager student. “I must…

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15 Ready-Made Storytelling Techniques for Leaders

You can always find better ways to deliver your key insights to your audiences. And sometimes, our best techniques emerge at the least expected times. Recently at a party, I was taking with a friend who is a mom as well as a prominent psychologist. “Jay!” she said, “I’ve been working on my story skills!”…

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How Your Journey Forms Your Brand Story (On Linkedin)

While we spend our moments on social media, we spend our lunches, our dinners, and our deepest connections exploring something much older and much deeper: the original social media, the stories that live on in our hearts and minds. We experience stories not with our brains alone, but with our bodies. We touch, we feel,…

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