Monthly Archives: February 2011

Leadership Fear and the Stories We Tell

Speaking of leadership and the stories we tell ourselves, I recently read the following HBR interview with screenwriter Robert McKee, Storytelling that Moves People, which made me think profoundly: “The great irony of existence is that what makes life worth living does not come from the rosy side. We would all rather be lotus-eaters, but life […]
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Are You Telling Yourself Faulty Stories?

As leaders, it’s important to listen to our own stories, the ones we tell ourselves about our leadership work and the people closest to us. That’s where we often fall into self-deception and cognitive biases. “The most important story you will ever tell about yourself is the story you tell to yourself.” ~ Jim Loehr, […]
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Using Personal Stories to Persuade:
Sappy or Smart?

Just how personal should you be when you craft a story (as a leader or manager) designed to persuade people? I guess it depends on your audience… or does it? I’ve known keynote speakers who use stories of a parent’s death or illness to make a dramatic point and get their audience emotionally engaged. Sometimes […]
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What a Famous Screenwriter Tells Leaders About Persuasion

Leading and persuading others through storytelling is key to effective communications. I think we all can agree on that. But the question remains… how exactly do executives learn to craft good stories, and what makes a story effective? I ran across an old Harvard Business Review article from master screenwriter Robert McKee, from June 2003, […]
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Your Driving Skills, Leadership Abilities and Lies

To tell the truth, we can be notorious poor judges of our own actions and accomplishments. It’s human nature to want to embellish in order to feel good or to protect ourselves from feeling bad. I mean, who doesn’t do that from time to time? To that end, we exaggerate our stories and fudge an […]
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3 Steps to Rewrite Your Faulty Stories

What kinds of stories do you tell yourself about your work? Are you really a charming prince, or a lowly frog? Do a reality check to see if what you say excuses your actions, blames outside forces, or inspires you to take on new behaviors: Does the story you tell yourself about your work feel […]
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Leadership and Stories: Telling It Like It Really Is

Speaking about stories and leadership, let me tell you about Jack, a successful manager in a mid-sized company. He learned the hard way, after getting some rough feedback on a 360 degree assessment. On the surface, Jack was a smooth communicator who excelled at presentations. He had a gift for being articulate, direct and clear. […]
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How Stories Lead to Stress…or Success

A USA Today survey reveals that one in six employees is so overworked that he/she doesn’t use up allotted annual vacation time (even though Americans receive the fewest vacation days in the industrialized world). Many colleagues I know take their laptops with them on vacations and are never away from a phone. Other surveys show: […]
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