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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How J.R. Ewing Won the Cold War

After the fall of communism, Larry Hagman, who had played J.R. Ewing in the 1980’s global mega hit “Dallas,” was on vacation in Romania, walking through Bucharest. A man came up to him with tears in his eyes and said, “J.R. Ewing! Thank you so much for saving Romania.” Saving Romania? That’s weird, he thought.…

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Pumping Up a Flat Story

Do you ever tell a story, in a speech, in a meeting, or at a dinner, and it rolls along like a flat tire? Maybe it seems like everything’s ready to move but something feels kind of wobbly? Or instead of an “A-ha” at the end, you just get a long vacant look? Well, a…

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The Art of the Turnaround Story (Video)

A Turnaround Story is, a story about facing great challenges, and finding insights and power at the depth of difficulty. Through these insights, they were able to rise out of the challenge, to the other side, with new strength and a abilities to face the world. Key pieces of a Turnaround Story: 1. Things were…

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How to Build Culture Through Storytelling

One brisk fall day 20 years ago, I shuffled into the great marble halls of the Accademia in Florence to see Michelangelo’s David. I had seen the postcards and posters and projections so many times, and from so many angles, I felt as if in some way I had already been there. As I approached…

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The Three E’s of Retellable Leadership Stories

There are three kinds of people, said the sign on the wall of my dad’s coaching office: Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that don’t know what the heck happened. I understood, even at age 7, that it was best to be the first kind of person, the kind…

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