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Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire | [Paul Smith]

Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire

Storytelling has come of age in the business world. Today, many of the most successful companies use storytelling as a leadership tool. The reason for this is simple: Stories have the ability to engage an audience the way logic and bullet points alone never could. Whether you are trying to communicate a vision, sell an idea, or inspire commitment, storytelling is a powerful business tool that can mean the difference between mediocre results and phenomenal success.
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Publisher's Summary

Storytelling has come of age in the business world. Today, many of the most successful companies use storytelling as a leadership tool. At Nike, all senior executives are designated "corporate storytellers". 3M banned bullet points years ago and replaced them with a process of writing "strategic narratives". Procter & Gamble hired Hollywood directors to teach its executives storytelling techniques. Some forward-thinking business schools have even added storytelling courses to their management curriculum. The reason for this is simple: Stories have the ability to engage an audience the way logic and bullet points alone never could. Whether you are trying to communicate a vision, sell an idea, or inspire commitment, storytelling is a powerful business tool that can mean the difference between mediocre results and phenomenal success.

Lead with a Story contains both ready-to-use stories and how-to guidance for listeners looking to craft their own. Designed for a wide variety of business challenges, the book shows how narrative can help:

  • Define culture and values
  • Engender creativity and innovation
  • Foster collaboration and build relationships
  • Provide coaching and feedback
  • Lead change
  • And more

Whether in a speech or a memo, communicated to one person or a thousand, storytelling is an essential skill for success. Complete with examples from companies like Kellogg's, Merrill-Lynch, Procter & Gamble, National Car Rental, Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut, and more, this practical resource gives listeners the guidance they need to deliver stories to stunning effect.

©2012 Paul Smith (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (239 )
5 star
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4.0 (194 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    A. Yoshida 06-16-13
    A. Yoshida 06-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    465
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    193
    76
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    Story
    "Provided stories to use in business"
    What made the experience of listening to Lead with a Story the most enjoyable?

    The book follows its own advice. It engages the reader with stories and gives steps on using the stories for business. Although the title indicates it's also about crafting your own stories, there wasn't much emphasis on that. It's a good listen, you can see the value of storytelling... how it can motivate people to actions.


    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alina Barbuceanu NYC 07-21-13
    Alina Barbuceanu NYC 07-21-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    32
    1
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    Story
    "Started well - couldn't go past half mark"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People looking for general life advice


    What was most disappointing about Paul Smith’s story?

    I wish it would continue helping me developing stories instead of giving me life advice


    How could the performance have been better?

    Continue with practical advices like it started throughout the book, not only in the first half


    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 10-11-14
    Sarah 10-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    10
    4
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    Story
    "Proctor and Gamble Saves the World!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The idea of the book was fine...but I wish the author would have done more research on other industries. There were so many Proctor and Gamble stories that it felt more like an unabashed commercial for the company than it did a true informational read. It was distracting.


    What was most disappointing about Paul Smith’s story?

    I wonder if Proctor and Gamble sponsored the book (did the author receive money from them to write the book)?


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    A later chapter on general tips for how to write stories


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kishore K San Jose, CA United States 02-04-15
    Kishore K San Jose, CA United States 02-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Great book"

    Stories are fun and sticky. Told in a memorable way. Easy to recollect and narrate to others. Well narrated as well

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lukasz 07-12-15
    Lukasz 07-12-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    Story
    "Fantastic Book"

    Fantastic book! It opened my eyes to how powerful a great story can be, especially in the work environment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin J Rosales 07-05-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    6
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    Story
    "Great"

    Extremely helpful. Motivational. Powerful ideas. Very applicable. Thank for your putting this book together, Paul. Audible, thank you as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis Pires Melbourne, Australia 05-15-15
    Luis Pires Melbourne, Australia 05-15-15 Member Since 2015

    Leadership, Management based on Martial Arts and Zen mind

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A KEEPER!! Listen to again and again"

    Loved it will apply 100%, long audio book but so worth it ... Taught me some great techniques for my next presentation ...

    Not to mention a great leadership book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Vasquez Oakton, VA USA 04-12-15
    M. Vasquez Oakton, VA USA 04-12-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good but less P&G stories would be better"

    I like most of the stories but too many were focused on P&G. I understand that is where he worked but this book would be better if he changed out have the P&G stories for other companies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alejandro G. 04-07-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Start telling stories"

    Stories are a perfect match for my business. I'm in network marketing so all I get paid for is by telling stories of my customers and business partners. After listening to this book I found out there's two kinds of story tellers in the world: those who tell stories and those who get paid for telling stories!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Tivers 04-06-15
    Eric Tivers 04-06-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This was good, probably better in written form."

    I enjoy this, and I may end up purchasing the paper book. I think the stories that were shared were great, but may have been better in my own voice, as when reading it myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Mr. J. Ambler
    UK
    1/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some good lessons"

    Enjoyed this one, the reader makes a great job of it.
    It's a bit of a love letter to P&G- once you get used to that, then there are some valuable stories. At one point it seemed to go onto being a management manual- the mechanics of actually telling the story aren't really covered, hence 4 stars. It does have some great stuff about writing as you speak and the mechanics there- challenging, but worth it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Michal Dybowski
    6/10/15
    Overall
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    Story
    "Amazing book"

    Exactly what I needed to push my business further!

    Great and entertaining listen! Well done and kind voice narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr Alexanda Drew
    3/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really not very good."

    I took away a couple of inspiring concepts but this was a slightly tedious and at times repetitive story. Disappointing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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