The new leaders value empathy and vision

The new leaders: When Microsoft’s Nadella speaks about leadership he talks about empathy, while PayPal’s Schulman talks about inspiring hope. Leaders lead by inspiring others. But where do they find their own inspiration to lead? I was watching a Facebook Live interview with Paypal’s CEO Dan Schulman, and Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, and what struck me were…

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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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True Leaders Aren’t Afraid to Get Naked

The art of being vulnerable Leadership isn’t just about being open to employees’ thoughts and insights and ideas. It’s about giving your employees permission to be open as well. But if leaders don’t open up and show their vulnerability first, it’s highly unlikely employees will take the risk. As a result, leaders won’t get what…

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Do great leaders need to be great storytellers?

The short answer is no. But you do need to be a better storyteller, and here’s why. Increasingly, the spotlight is turning on CEOs and how well they communicate to their employees and the world. Why? A host of reasons, but perhaps the most critical one is how they manage innovation and the organizational change that…

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Why is everyone starving for content?

Most of today’s customers begin their buying process by researching online — seeking out content in order to educate themselves. Yet much of the content they find is overly promotional or poorly thought out, even as the need for higher quality content continues to grow. Content was “pretty much considered a commodity three years ago,”…

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Sell without selling

I wrote the following on my website and also my LinkedIn page and felt it was important enough to reiterate it here. Story = Value The old ways of advertising and selling are disappearing fast. Today, selling is all about telling the customer’s story, not the seller’s. Relevant, useful, findable content has replaced glitter and…

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Why managers need to become storytellers (Part 2)

When interviewed by the Harvard Business Review a while ago, the interviewer asked media mogul Peter Guber a very pertinent question: Why does a regional manager at a branch plant need to understand and practice storytelling for business?  Guber certainly has the chops to talk about storytelling. For years, a major studio head in Hollywood,…

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Why managers need to become storytellers (Part 1)

The very short video (below) touches on the most compelling reason why businesses of all sizes should concentrate their efforts on to writing stories that are relevant to their customers and prospects. The reason? All buyers — yes, that includes business buyers — make their purchasing decisions based on emotion, not reason.  Only after their…

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