PERPETUAL RADAR

The Portfolio of Dawn Dinsdale-Hunt

‘FINDING MY VIRGINITY…’

‘…THE NEW AUTOBIOGRAPHY’ part two

by Richard Branson
Published by Portfolio
ISBN: 9780735219427
eBook ISBN: 9780735219434
Copyright (c) 2017 by Richard Branson

Buy the Book

“Five days earlier, on Boxing Day, I had arrived on the island fresh from my last ballooning adventure. I was lucky to be alive. On 18 December, Steve Fossett and I had set off from Marrakech in the hope of completing a record-breaking round-the-world trip. What had followed was a mixture of high-stakes adventure and diplomacy—pulling in favors as our balloon had veered over Libyan airspace, then having our approval to fly over China rescinded before being reinstated as we made our way over Nepal. Finally, having got close to crossing the Pacific, the winds blew us back, forcing us to land in the ocean near Hawaii. I’d made it there for Christmas, then flew on to Necker Island the following day.

Back in the security of home, with the end of the year approaching and the end of the millennium looming, I found myself both reflecting back and looking forward. As so often during my life as an entrepreneur, I really had no idea what was coming next. I had created and sold the biggest independent record label on the planet, and fought doggedly to build Virgin Atlantic into the best airline in the world. The Virgin Group had grown from a couple of companies to more than a hundred and I had gone from a struggling hippy to a proud father and businessman. My mind was starting to wander to other projects, fresh ambitions and bigger dreams. Within the space of twelve months we would launch nine different companies and begin turning Virgin into the all-encompassing global brand it is today. It was time for a new start, and to look to the stars.

***

How do you go about becoming a millionaire? I’m often asked this question and ever since I founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984 my answer has been the same: “Start as a billionaire and launch a new airline.”

The first fifteen years of Virgin Atlantic had been a topsy-turvy tale of excitement, innovation and survival. We had taken the might of British Airways head on and, unlike the airlines that came before us, lived to tell the tale. In fact, we won one of the largest libel cases in British history after BA’s Dirty Tricks campaign tried to put us out of business. It was a campaign that most people within the industry knew by another name altogether: Operation Barbara. Why was it called that? Because Barbara Cartland had written a lot of novels about virgins getting screwed.

As we emerged from this most challenging of periods, I had clear skies for the first time in a while, exploring new horizons for the Virgin brand. Many experts will tell you it tends to take a year to get a business off the ground, from the initial idea through planning, market research, development and launch. Personally, I’ve always disregarded this rule. As far as I’m concerned, anyone following it should pull their finger out.

When I was a wide-eyed teenager, our mail-order record company was set up in a couple of days, and even more complex businesses like Virgin Atlantic went from idea to liftoff in a matter of weeks. Generally, we like to work fast: try ideas, see if they stick, and, if they don’t, quickly move on to the next one.

I work best when my mind is able to jump from one topic to the next in quick succession. It keeps things lively, and it’s amazing how often good ideas for one company come out of another completely unrelated business. As I took a step back from the day-to-day running of Virgin Atlantic, I was able to concentrate on what was next for Virgin. As it turns out, there was more than even I had ever imagined.

The turn of the century was to prove unprecedentedly productive, even by our standards. After my first wave as a records impresario and second as an airline founder, the third wave of my career as a global entrepreneur was about to begin in earnest. Some of the companies, namely Virgin Blue (now Australia), virginmoney.com, Virgin Wines and Virgin Mobile Australia have gone on to become big success stories. We had already launched the likes of Virgin Clothing, Virgin Brides, Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka and Virgin Vie cosmetics by this point, all of which would disappear in the next few years.

But failures didn’t put me off at all. They had all been fun to get stuck into, and we’d learned a lot of important lessons.

Some businesses quickly turned into far less successful operations. Virgin Cars, our automobile company, was effective for a few years but overnight became unworkable. Our business model of purchasing cars, mostly from the Netherlands and Belgium, and importing them to sell into the UK was destroyed by a combination of restrictive practices by the big carmakers and changing currency values. V.Shop, small record stores we launched after rebranding Our Price, never got off the ground, while there were similar stories for Virgin Student, Virgin Energy and Virgin Travelstore. The dot.com bubble was still going strong, but we hadn’t quite got the hang of it. Because our core businesses remained solid, the brand wasn’t derailed by these smaller failures. I was also able to spend even more time with my young family and enjoy life a little more. I didn’t feel I had so much to prove, and was getting more comfortable in my own skin. If the odd business didn’t work out, I was confident there would be another on the way.”


FROM THE BOOK JACKET: 

Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity shared the outrageous tale of how he built Virgin from a student magazine into one of the greatest brands in history. No challenge was too daunting, no opportunity too outlandish to pursue. And each new adventure started with five simple words: “Screw it, let’s do it.”

Now, fifty years after starting his first business, Branson shares the candid details of a lifetime of triumphs and failures and what he really thinks about his unique life and career. Finding My Virginity is an intimate look at his never-ending quest to push boundaries, break rules, and seek new frontiers–even after launching a dozen billion-dollar businesses and hundreds of other companies.

As he led Virgin into the new millennium, Branson fearlessly expanded the brand into new categories such as mobile, media, fitness, and banking and into every corner of the globe–all while preserving its iconoclastic, scrappy spirit. He even brought Virgin into space with Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline. Finding My Virginity takes us behind the scenes of the incredible brains, heart, and sacrifices that have gone into making private spaceflight an imminent reality–even after the biggest crisis Branson has ever faced.

But this book is much more than a series of business adventures. It’s also the story of Branson’s evolution from hotshot entrepreneur to passionate philanthropist and public servant, via Virgin Unite’s environmental and health initiatives and through the Elders, a council of influential global leaders. And it’s the story of his personal quest to become a better son, husband, father, and “grand-dude” to his four grandchildren.

Featuring a supporting cast that includes everyone from Bill Gates to Kate Moss, Nelson Mandela to Barack Obama, this is the gripping account of a man who will never stop reaching for the stars, in more ways than one. Find out how Branson did it for the first time–all over again.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of The Virgin Group, is a world-famous entrepreneur, adventurer, activist, and business icon. His first memoir, Losing My Virginity, and his numerous books on business have been international bestsellers.

This week’s selection ‘FINDING MY VIRGINITY: THE NEW AUTOBIOGRAPHY’ by Richard Branson appears Monday thru Friday and comes to you courtesy of dearreader.com and BurlingtonPublicLibrary.ca Business Online Book Club.

Buy the Book

 

 

‘FINDING MY VIRGINITY…’

‘… THE NEW AUTOBIOGRAPHY’ part one

by Richard Branson
Published by Portfolio
ISBN: 9780735219427
eBook ISBN: 9780735219434
Copyright (c) 2017 by Richard Branson

Buy the Book


FROM THE BOOK JACKET: 

Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity shared the outrageous tale of how he built Virgin from a student magazine into one of the greatest brands in history. No challenge was too daunting, no opportunity too outlandish to pursue. And each new adventure started with five simple words: “Screw it, let’s do it.”

Now, fifty years after starting his first business, Branson shares the candid details of a lifetime of triumphs and failures and what he really thinks about his unique life and career. Finding My Virginity is an intimate look at his never-ending quest to push boundaries, break rules, and seek new frontiers–even after launching a dozen billion-dollar businesses and hundreds of other companies.

As he led Virgin into the new millennium, Branson fearlessly expanded the brand into new categories such as mobile, media, fitness, and banking and into every corner of the globe–all while preserving its iconoclastic, scrappy spirit. He even brought Virgin into space with Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline. Finding My Virginity takes us behind the scenes of the incredible brains, heart, and sacrifices that have gone into making private spaceflight an imminent reality–even after the biggest crisis Branson has ever faced.

But this book is much more than a series of business adventures. It’s also the story of Branson’s evolution from hotshot entrepreneur to passionate philanthropist and public servant, via Virgin Unite’s environmental and health initiatives and through the Elders, a council of influential global leaders. And it’s the story of his personal quest to become a better son, husband, father, and “grand-dude” to his four grandchildren.

Featuring a supporting cast that includes everyone from Bill Gates to Kate Moss, Nelson Mandela to Barack Obama, this is the gripping account of a man who will never stop reaching for the stars, in more ways than one. Find out how Branson did it for the first time–all over again.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of The Virgin Group, is a world-famous entrepreneur, adventurer, activist, and business icon. His first memoir, Losing My Virginity, and his numerous books on business have been international bestsellers.


“PROLOGUE

You can only lose your virginity once. But in every aspect of my life—building businesses, raising my family, embarking upon adventures—I try to do things for the first time every day.

When I first published Losing My Virginity, in 1998, I wasn’t at all prepared for the reaction. I expected the business community, some newspaper reviewers and a few autobiography readers to pick it up, but before I knew it the book had taken off. Losing My Virginity is still the most common object handed to me (except a mobile for a selfie), usually by a person with a pen and a smile. I have written short updates to my autobiography over the years, but so much has happened in the past two decades that I realized I needed to write a sequel.

I was pondering the right time to do this when I came across my old notes for Student magazine’s launch in the archive. I rubbed the dust away to double-check the date—the notes really were from 1967. What better way to mark fifty years since I started out in business than by sharing everything that has happened and all I have learned over the decades? This book highlights incidents from my early days, but it concentrates on the past twenty years, the time I have been Finding My Virginity all over again.

Finding My Virginity kicks on from where Losing My Virginity left off, at the dawn of the new millennium. By 1999 people thought we had done everything and there was nowhere else left for us to expand, no new challenges for me to embark upon. But being involved in running a company like Virgin is never a question of sitting back, it’s about constant reinvention as the world changes, and as do I. This is the story of the last two decades, told through one of the most dynamic brands in the world. My home has moved from a houseboat to a paradise island, while my company has grown from a UK business to a global brand. My dream of flying private citizens to space has gone from a childhood fantasy to the brink of reality, and my focus has shifted from battling bigger rivals to changing business for good. In this time I’ve experienced joy, heartbreak, hurricanes, business (and other) highs, grief, records, doubt and my toughest ever crisis. It’s been a rollercoaster ride and I have no intention of getting off any time soon.

Fifteen years after Losing My Virginity‘s publication, Zach Galifinakis asked me: “Is your book a play on the name of your company, or the first time you had sex?” “Both,” I answered. This time around, I considered giving my book an even more risqué title. That it was factually accurate only made it more tempting. My alternative name for the book you are reading? Losing My Virginity: The Second Entry. I also considered Virginity Lost a nod to the title of John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost, but it felt too negative. I view life as one big adventure; I’m always learning, and finding new things to try and challenges to overcome. I’m still Finding My Virginity every day. But now that I am a grand-dude to four wonderful grandchildren—Etta, Artie, Eva-Deia and Bluey—I look at my life in a new way.

Whether you are running a company or simply living your life, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and put a smile on your face along the way. A reviewer described Losing My Virginity as the first autobiography in which the author had written an exposé of himself. I hope Finding My Virginity will be similar. If your life is one long success story it won’t make for a good read. What’s more, you’re most likely a liar. We all have ups and downs, trials and tribulations, failures and triumphs: we just hope to come out stronger on the other side.

The late Steve Jobs, the entrepreneur I most admire, said: “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” That thought has been on my mind as I write this book, thinking back to all the good times and tough times behind me, and looking forward with wonder at what lies ahead. I’ve always lived every day as if it’s my last, fiercely loving my family and friends and trying to make a positive difference. We only get one life, and this is mine.

I hope you enjoy finding out how I did it for the first time—all over again.

CHAPTER ONE

1999

Necker Island, New Year’s Eve, 1998. I was in my bedroom, trying to make an urgent to-do list. As I stared at the blank piece of paper in front of me, across a sandy path, a song Prince released in 1982 was booming around the Great House on repeat. It was a song that let everyone know 1998 was nearly over and the ball was about to drop on the last year of the millennium: 1999.

The New Year’s festivities were in full swing. My daughter, Holly, was leading the celebrations with our family and friends. I could hear the clink of glasses as my wife, Joan, toasted with friends while our fourteen-year-old son, Sam, ran around getting under her feet. They were the familiar sounds of family life and ones that I was grateful to hear after my adventures of the previous weeks.”

This week’s selection ‘FINDING MY VIRGINITY: THE NEW AUTOBIOGRAPHY’ by Richard Branson appears Monday thru Friday and comes to you courtesy of dearreader.com and BurlingtonPublicLibrary.ca Business Online Book Club.

Buy the Book

 

 

‘LET THE STORY DO THE WORK…’

‘…THE ART OF STORYTELLING FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS’ part five

by Esther K Choy
Published by Amacom
ISBN: 9780814438015
eBook ISBN: 9780814438022
Copyright (c) 2017 by Esther K Choy

Buy the Book


“Meet “Elliot,” a hardworking accountant who was living the American Dream in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, he developed a brain tumor in his orbitofrontal cortex, requiring surgery. The procedure seemed to have gone well, as Elliot retained what appeared to be all of his physical, linguistic, and intellectual capacities. But soon it was clear that he’d lost something post-surgery: his ability to make decisions, even about the simplest things. Merely choosing between a black or blue pen to sign a document could take him over thirty minutes. The underlying reason was that Elliot had lost the ability to connect emotion with decision-making; the surgery had cut him off from his “emotional mind,” making him “pathologically indecisive.”

Emotions are critical to our ability to decide in many situations. As Alan Weiss noted in his book Million Dollar Consulting, “Logic makes people think, emotion makes them act.” This can be especially true when we’re faced with many similar-seeming options. “Go with your gut” is valid advice in such cases, as long as your emotion is well-informed by some set of facts or experience. That’s true in business, as well.

Di Fan Liu is an onshore private banker based in Beijing. He and his firm serve ultra-rich Chinese entrepreneurs, mostly founders of publicly traded China-based companies. Widely admired, these first-generation trailblazers overcame highly restrictive economic policies in past decades to succeed, and many retain active control of their businesses. Yet most of them struggle with the issue of how best to pass their wealth on to their family’s next generations. That’s where Mr. Liu and his bank come into the picture.

In speaking with these high-value prospects, Liu and his colleagues rarely talk about what the bank has to offer, at first (I’ll explain this strategy in the last story). Instead, they tell stories. Specifically, they relate narratives about how other multi-generation family businesses worldwide have dealt successfully with ownership succession, whether in the US, EU, Latin America, or elsewhere—such as a US-based real estate family that has passed wealth down to three generations using a set of complex but fair trusts. Then they ask their prospective clients to think of a fellow Chinese entrepreneur who’d successfully passed on wealth to the next generation. The vast majority can’t think of even one. Next, Liu shares an important observation: since an economic downturn happens every seven to eight years on average, in any given century a person could lose their wealth as many as fourteen times. Finally, he asks them: “What are you doing to protect your wealth and legacy?”

You can imagine how Liu’s prospects may feel after the conversation: grateful for the new knowledge, but also vulnerable and a bit frustrated, knowing that other leaders like them have succeeded where they are struggling, and the risks are quite high. The emotions make them receptive to hearing how Liu and his bank can help them, and that’s exactly what Liu tells them now.

The idea is that your story, no matter how well told, can’t achieve its full intended effect until you embed within it an emotional quality aligned with your purpose. Remember: logic makes you think; emotion makes you act. How can you build the right emotional quality into your story to create the desired impact?

In the next section, we will explore how to better understand the emotions of our audiences.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE INSIDE AND OUT

In an ideal world, you the storyteller can take your time and convey everything you want to in whatever amount of time you need—just as the museum curator in our opening example wished. In reality, what we say, how we say it, and when we say it are constrained by a big factor: our audience’s needs and reactions.

When most people are preparing to tell their stories, they tend to think only about what they will tell and how they will tell it. Too often they neglect to think about how their audience will react to the stories, as influenced by their own needs and preferences. Remember: large ambition, hard work, and even impressive credentials are not sufficient to succeed in most business contexts today. A hallmark of an effective leader is whether she can convince others—her audiences—to follow her as related to vision, strategy, tactics, or any other area. That means leaders have to understand their audiences’ needs and constraints, to decide how to communicate with them most effectively.

In chapter 3, we will explore in depth how to connect with an audience. The framework below, however, is a start that will help you understand your audience better by breaking down what happens to them during any presentation or interaction into two levels: internal and external. This “inside and out” approach will help you prepare much more effective presentations.

INTERNAL

What happens to your audience internally, or inside, involves what they feel and what they know.

FEEL. The famed American writer and activist Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Often overlooked in business contexts, not only does emotion have a high “sticky” factor, but it also plays a critical and necessary role in decision-making. Whether we intend it or not, our audiences will experience a specific emotion—intrigued, bored, happy, unsettled, excited, apathetic, surprised, confused, or some combination—after listening to us. But note that they may not be able to articulate their feelings even if you press them to share. Still, they are definitely feeling something! This emotion can affect how long, if at all, they will remember what you’ve just told them, and what, if anything, they are willing to do about it. So wiser communicators always try to predict how their message would make audiences feel, and alter messages that may not result in the hoped-for emotion.

* Use the Guide for Story Clubs with your group to help hone your storytelling skills.”

This excerpt ends on page 9 of the hardcover edition.


FROM THE BOOK JACKET: 

It sounds so simple: Incorporate a story and people will remember your message. But when you get down to crafting one, there’s nothing easy about it.

Material for stories surrounds us. Yet few people are skilled at sharing personal anecdotes and even fewer know how to link them to professional goals. Whether you want to stand out in the interview process, add punch to a presentation, or make a compelling case for a new initiative, Let the Story Do the Work shows you how to mine your experience for simple narratives that convey who you are, what you want to achieve, and why others should care.

Packed with enlightening examples, the book explains how to find the perfect hook, structure your story–and deliver it at the right time in the right way. You’ll discover how to use stories to:

Capture attention

Engage your audience

Change minds

Inspire action

Bring facts and data to life

Clarify challenging concepts

Pitch persuasively

Fundraise effectively

And more

Never underestimate the power of a great story. Learn to leverage the elements of storytelling–and turn everyday communications into opportunities to connect, gain buy-in, and build lasting relationships.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Esther K. Choy is founder and president of Leadership Story Lab, where she coaches managers in storytelling techniques. She is currently teaching in the executive education programs at Northwestern Universitys Kellogg School of Management.

This week’s selection ‘LET THE STORY DO THE WORK: THE ART OF STORYTELLING FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS’ by Esther K Choy appears Monday thru Friday and comes to you courtesy of dearreader.com and BurlingtonPublicLibrary.ca Business Online Book Club.

Buy the Book

 

 

‘LET THE STORY DO THE WORK…’

‘…THE ART OF STORYTELLING FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS’ part four

by Esther K Choy
Published by Amacom
ISBN: 9780814438015
eBook ISBN: 9780814438022
Copyright (c) 2017 by Esther K Choy

Buy the Book


“Our museum curator cared deeply for her work and believed wholeheartedly in the organization’s mission. She had spent days preparing her speech, chosen each word carefully, and rehearsed to the point that she could practically recite it in her sleep. So, rather than cutting it down or synthesizing it, she rushed through it, delivering a fifteen-minute talk in the allotted five minutes.

Put yourself in the banker’s shoes and imagine what he might have heard. That’s right: absolutely nothing! The curator spoke so quickly that nothing stuck, other than the idea that her approach was not effective. The banker left the meeting without any motivation to make a large pledge. He probably even wondered why he had agreed to the meeting to begin with. At the time of this writing, the museum was still trying to schedule a follow-up conversation with the banker. But its leaders recognized that they had squandered a critical early opportunity.

In a world where time is scarce, attention spans minuscule, and information abundant, how do we find a way to inform and influence others most effectively? How can you use a compelling, memorable story to sway and persuade others important to your mission or goals?

Doing this right requires seeing business communication in a broader context to understand where, how, and why storytelling fits in.

“STORY” IS EVERYWHERE NOW, BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?

One spring morning, while I was driving to work, a radio ad caught my attention. “Tell your business story,” it said. Since storytelling is my business, I sat up a little straighter and listened closely. The ad continued: “For standout business cards, stickers, and flyers, go to our website….” What started out sounding like a pitch for a company or service similar to mine turned out to be an ad for an online printing company using the trendy term “story” to catch people’s attention!

I shouldn’t have been surprised. I run into examples like this almost daily. Take a look at this flyer I came across at a private club in downtown Chicago around Easter a year ago (NOT SHOWN).

“Bring the Story Home,” suggests the headline. Based on that phrase, I imagined a small group of people huddling together, talking, reflecting, sharing their stories in a warm, welcoming home setting. But the flyer was merely advertising the centerpiece for an Easter-themed brunch. There’s nothing wrong with urging guests to buy a memento from a special occasion, but the use of the word “story” here was again largely misguided.

Story is not a business card or sticker. Story is not an Easter Bunny centerpiece. Nor is it any of the things below, in and of themselves:

* Monologue

* Anecdote

* Pitch (including sales and elevator pitches)

* Presentation

* Product Service Cause Assumption

* Selling conversation

* Thesis (such as a research thesis or investment thesis)

While story can—and should—be incorporated into many of these items, they do not represent story on their own. It is only when you integrate the use of story into these types of communications that you can drive amazing results.

CORE COMPONENTS OF A STORY

To recognize a true story, look for the core components common to all stories with business impact:

* Structural: A story has a beginning, middle, and end.

* Elemental: A story often has elements including a hero, challenge, journey, resolution, change, and call to action.

* Authentic: A story reveals a genuine part of the teller, which elicits emotion in the audience.

* Strategic: A story sparks an audience’s imagination, causes them to relate to the situation in the story, and motivates them to act.

By this definition, a story with business impact can be as short as one sentence. Or it can be a three-minute introduction or a thirty-minute product demonstration. Whatever the case, it will have maximum impact if it includes the components above strategically. Throughout this book, we will be revisiting these core components of effective stories. In the following sections, we focus on two elements at the heart of these components: emotion and audience.

CONSIDER YOUR STORY’S EMOTIONAL QUALITY

Story and emotion share a critical link you need to use.

What makes you decide something or take action? It’s tempting to say that facts, data, or observable evidence guide our decision-making and actions, with very little role played by emotion. In reality, emotion is not only necessary but plays a key role in our decision-making process, as highlighted by many recent writers across fields, including the Heath brothers in their excellent book Switch.

* Use the Guide for Story Clubs with your group to help hone your storytelling skills.

_________________________________________________________________

***** TABLE OF CONTENTS *****

INTRODUCTION

PART ONE: ANATOMY OF A STORY

  1. Master the Principle Elements of Storytelling

  2. The Five Basic Plots in Business Communication

PART TWO: BRINGING STORIES TO LIFE

  1. Look Who’s Listening
  2. Telling Stories with Data
  3. Making the Complex Clear
  4. Combining the Power of Story and Simple Visuals
  5. Collecting Stories from Everywhere

PART THREE: STORIES IN ACTION

  1. Using Your Own Story to Build Credibility and Connection
  2. Successful Networking Starts with a Good Story Hook
  3. Selling the Social Impact of Nonprofit Organizations with Story
    11: Case Study: The Healthcare Industry”

FROM THE BOOK JACKET: 

It sounds so simple: Incorporate a story and people will remember your message. But when you get down to crafting one, there’s nothing easy about it.

Material for stories surrounds us. Yet few people are skilled at sharing personal anecdotes and even fewer know how to link them to professional goals. Whether you want to stand out in the interview process, add punch to a presentation, or make a compelling case for a new initiative, Let the Story Do the Work shows you how to mine your experience for simple narratives that convey who you are, what you want to achieve, and why others should care.

Packed with enlightening examples, the book explains how to find the perfect hook, structure your story–and deliver it at the right time in the right way. You’ll discover how to use stories to:

Capture attention

Engage your audience

Change minds

Inspire action

Bring facts and data to life

Clarify challenging concepts

Pitch persuasively

Fundraise effectively

And more

Never underestimate the power of a great story. Learn to leverage the elements of storytelling–and turn everyday communications into opportunities to connect, gain buy-in, and build lasting relationships.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Esther K. Choy is founder and president of Leadership Story Lab, where she coaches managers in storytelling techniques. She is currently teaching in the executive education programs at Northwestern Universitys Kellogg School of Management.

This week’s selection ‘LET THE STORY DO THE WORK: THE ART OF STORYTELLING FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS’ by Esther K Choy appears Monday thru Friday and comes to you courtesy of dearreader.com and BurlingtonPublicLibrary.ca Business Online Book Club.

Buy the Book

 

 

‘LET THE STORY DO THE WORK…’

‘… THE ART OF STORYTELLING FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS’ part three

by Esther K Choy
Published by Amacom
ISBN: 9780814438015
eBook ISBN: 9780814438022
Copyright (c) 2017 by Esther K Choy

Buy the Book


“Here are several examples of mini-admissions applications from different domains.

* In 2010, an investment firm was vying to be one of the first Western players to manage assets for a mainland Chinese sovereign wealth fund. But its performance record ranked it only in the middle of eight finalists. How should this firm have approached its 15-minute final presentation in Beijing?

* In 2012, a numbers-driven executive was preparing her speech to accept a lifetime contribution award from a charity at its annual gala in Chicago. She was used to giving only dry financial presentations, not heartfelt speeches aimed at moving and inspiring audiences. How should she have prepared?

* In 2014, the owner of a fund-management firm and major sponsor of an important industry conference was told that he would have only five minutes to discuss his company’s approach at the conference’s main luncheon in Palo Alto, California. In the past, he’d always had at least an hour for such presentations. How should he have made use of those precious minutes?

All of these are examples of people going through mini-admissions applications, facing off against numerous competitors for the hard-to-get attention of important decision-makers.

You may have guessed that these were all situations in which I had the opportunity to consult and coach. In each, I showed the executives how to use the power of story to stand out and succeed: the investment firm won the mandate; the executive awardee received a standing ovation at her gala speech; the fund administrator had a long line of potential clients waiting to talk to him after his presentation.

How can you harness the power of storytelling in your own mini-admissions applications?

INSIGHT 3:

You Don’t Need to Be a Super Hero to Tell Great Stories

Though not a screenwriter myself, I’ve benefited from the wisdom of story and screenwriting guru Robert McKee, whose former students have included more than sixty Academy Award winners. “Given the choice between trivial material brilliantly told versus profound material badly told,” McKee wrote in his acclaimed book, Story, “an audience will always choose the trivial told brilliantly.”

This insight resonated with me immediately, and since I read it several years ago I’ve shared it with as many clients as possible. Most people, including me, aren’t born master storytellers or destined to be world-renowned super heroes and never will be. But that doesn’t mean we can’t tell great stories. To convince yourself further, think about the mountains of social science research showing that making even subtle changes in the way we communicate can create disproportionate impact when we attempt to persuade. For example, psychologist Robert Cialdini’s 35-year-long research on social influence demonstrates that “liking” is one of the six major levers of persuasion: We tend to like those whom we perceive as being like us, and we are more likely to say yes to them. How do we make people perceive us as being like them— By telling stories that accentuate our similarities in a strategic, authentic way.

In the following chapters, I will help you learn how to stand out in the same way I’ve helped countless others differentiate themselves: by combining the art of storytelling and the science of persuasion. With the right frameworks, tools, and practice, you can be the author of your future success.

*This excerpt skips to Part One.

PART ONE: ANATOMY OF A STORY

CHAPTER ONE

MASTER THE KEY ELEMENTS OF STORYTELLING

In spring 2016, A small art museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, was preparing for a critical meeting. The museum was about to launch a capital campaign and needed several major donors to pledge six-figure gifts to give momentum to the fundraising effort. After months of extensive research and networking, the campaign director secured an initial meeting with a well-known banker. This potential donor was of course a very busy person, and promised only fifteen minutes to the director while he was in town for business. Knowing the initial conversation could make or break the chance of a sizable gift, the campaign director asked the museum’s lead curator to join the meeting to discuss the museum’s impact on Cincinnati and its community.

Thrilled and nervous, the lead curator wanted to be as prepared for the meeting as possible. So she drafted what she wanted to say, asked colleagues for feedback, invited the content manager to edit her “speech,” then rehearsed it over and over. On the morning of the meeting, however, the banker’s executive assistant called to inform the museum that there had been a schedule change and he had only five minutes to meet with them!

Now, if you were this museum curator, what would you do? How would you change your plan to use that five minutes most effectively?”


FROM THE BOOK JACKET: 

It sounds so simple: Incorporate a story and people will remember your message. But when you get down to crafting one, there’s nothing easy about it.

Material for stories surrounds us. Yet few people are skilled at sharing personal anecdotes and even fewer know how to link them to professional goals. Whether you want to stand out in the interview process, add punch to a presentation, or make a compelling case for a new initiative, Let the Story Do the Work shows you how to mine your experience for simple narratives that convey who you are, what you want to achieve, and why others should care.

Packed with enlightening examples, the book explains how to find the perfect hook, structure your story–and deliver it at the right time in the right way. You’ll discover how to use stories to:

Capture attention

Engage your audience

Change minds

Inspire action

Bring facts and data to life

Clarify challenging concepts

Pitch persuasively

Fundraise effectively

And more

Never underestimate the power of a great story. Learn to leverage the elements of storytelling–and turn everyday communications into opportunities to connect, gain buy-in, and build lasting relationships.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Esther K. Choy is founder and president of Leadership Story Lab, where she coaches managers in storytelling techniques. She is currently teaching in the executive education programs at Northwestern Universitys Kellogg School of Management.

This week’s selection ‘LET THE STORY DO THE WORK: THE ART OF STORYTELLING FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS’ by Esther K Choy appears Monday thru Friday and comes to you courtesy of dearreader.com and BurlingtonPublicLibrary.ca Business Online Book Club.

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