Could you be confusing that favorite story with an anecdote?  Before I mention why it matters, you’re probably wondering why so many blogs and books in the last few years have urged you to learn to tell a great story. Here’s why.

Stories make things stick. CEOs, entertainers, professional speakers, trainers, and leaders have learned that data, marketing messages, instructions, procedures, or just about any kind of information burrows into the brain better and stays longer when wrapped in a good story.

the ceo magazine, customer centricity,
Chris Rothstein, CEO & Co-founder, Groove.co

My journey to becoming a Silicon Valley-based tech founder wasn’t the typical path. Growing up in a farm town in Minnesota, my exposure to the business world was very different than the operations of Silicon Valley. My father owned a tractor dealership, and he was my prime model for how to do business. Though I am a long way from Minnesota now, there are still many lessons that I learned at my father’s tractor dealership that I have brought with me to Silicon Valley.

the ceo magazine, networking,
Steven David Elliot, Chief Visionary Officer, Rockstar Connect

Traditionally people think of networking as a way to meet people from their own or other industries, to pass referrals, and establish relationships. It is certainly all the above, but in the age of social media live networking events can be used for branding. In the past when you went to a networking event, only the people in attendance were aware that you were networking. With the advent of Facebook, LinkedIn, meetup, Instagram and others, thousands of people can easily be aware that you are a connector and all that entails.

Keith, CEO of a Fortune 500 financial organization, called with an intriguing project—one I’ve never been asked to repeat elsewhere, but one with fascinating results.

The Project

The CEO wanted to know how much I could discover about a person’s leadership style from their writing. “I don’t know; I’ve never had occasion to test my theories,” I told him, quite reluctant to take on what already sounded like an oddball way to lose a good client. He listened as I pointed out that someone might be a great leader, but just an incompetent writer and vice versa—how they might be an eloquent writer, but a lousy leader.

the ceo magazine, business growth,

We most often use the term “one hit wonder” to describe music performers who have had a single success. Sometimes these one-hit wonders produced novelty songs such as Jeannie C. Riley’s 1968 number-one hit “Harper Valley PTA.” In spite of the song gracing the charts in the 60s, hardly anyone today would admit to thinking the hit represented true quality. And since Ms. Riley never produced another top-seller, we can also agree she didn’t offer consistency.

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