A short post about the history of the world

Am I uniquely qualified to offer a history of the world? Ha. Absolutely not. I am one of those who hated history at school. (I blame it on the episodic and ‘unstorylike’ way that history teachers tended to teach it.) So why am I qualified to write a history of the world? Am I a…

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How much does a business ghostwriter charge?

Hmm, that is one very loaded question. Business ghostwriters charge different rates based on their expertise and knowledge and experience. But they also base their fees on their confidence in their ability to meet or exceed the client’s expectations. But there are other variables to consider, the biggest being how much research is involved. It took Jim Collins…

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Complex is easy. Simple is hard.

How you tell your story is more important than what story you tell   Whether you are the CEO of a startup or an executive trying to make a career move, the challenge is the same: You need to persuade people you do not know to get to know, like and trust you. It’s not…

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A Ten-year-old Offers A Lesson In Persuasion

When I studied screenwriting a decade ago, one of the most important concepts I learned was specificity. When writing a story, push hard for the telling detail, said my teacher, the incomparable Nika Rylski. Don’t say it is a late model sedan. Say it is a midnight blue Lexus with a broken right headlight. Don’t tell us…

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Are CEOs Using Outdated Leadership Ideas?

[This post appeared yesterday on the APQC blog.] Majority of respondents to an APQC study  say today’s leadership style is outdated CEOs are the racehorses of the business world. They move fast, they’re accustomed to finishing first, and they often wear blinders to avoid distractions and stay focused. And that may be a problem because today’s…

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Kurt Vonnegut on storytelling

Mr. V. sure knew how to spin a story The following eight points are Vonnegut’s clear-eyed advice to writers of short stories, and while it some of it — like being a sadist — doesn’t exactly apply to business stories (LOL), much of it does. Get to the point, he says, create a rooting interest (a…

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The Five Laws of Business Writing

1. Always tell the truth 2. Every story is an experience 3. Every story has a hero 4. Every hero has a goal 5. Every hero must meet obstacles Why truth? Because in an age of information overkill, truth is rare. Why experience? Because the audience must connect and be transformed. Why a hero? Because…

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Storytelling that moves people

Excerpt from a Harvard Business Review interview with Robert McKee: Please note: Robert McKee  was a bit of a hero to me as I was learning the craft of screenwriting and storytelling. Although this article is a decade old, McKee’s thoughts — and his book — stand the test of time. Storytelling that moves people Why is…

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Mckinsey article on storytelling

“What non-profits can teach the private sector about social media” (excerpt): “Companies are spending countless hours and millions of dollars trying to master social media. Is this a revolutionary platform that can drive everything from customer relationships to product development–or just another form of marketing?” I find the debate quite fascinating. Is social media the…

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