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Storytelling is a key tool to be a successful leader

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Paul Smith, author of the book, Lead With A Story, is a true believer in telling stories.

“Today, many of the most successful organizations on the planet intentionally use storytelling as a key leadership tool,” explains Smith.

Several companies, such as Kimberly-Clark, actively teach storytelling skills to their leaders. And, some forward-thinking business schools such as Notre Dame and De Paul University have even added storytelling courses to their management curriculum.

As a leader or a manger, if you’re not using storytelling as a method to rally your troops and convince others of your ideas, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal,” says Smith.

Lead With A Story explains why storytelling is so powerful and why it's back in favor within the business world.

The book is packed with 100 ready-to-use narratives that show you how to connect with bosses, employees and customers. These narratives can be used as a springboard to provide inspiration for creating your own similar stories to fit any one of the 21 of the toughest leadership challenges.

You’ll also find examples of stories from more than 50 organizations in 30 industries and from 15 countries around the world in the book.

Two key points from Smith are:

  • Experience is the best teacher. A compelling story is a close second.
  • A story‘s structure should be context, action, result.

Lead With A Story provides the practical advice for how to craft your own story, including proper structure and six other key elements.

According to Smith, the 10 most compelling reasons storytelling is so effective because:

  1. Storytelling is simple
  2. Storytelling is timeless
  3. Stories are demographic-proof
  4. Stories are contagious
  5. Stories are easier to remember
  6. Stories inspire
  7. Stories appeal to all types of learners
  8. Stories fit better where most of the learning happens in the workplace
  9. Stories put the listener in a mental learning mode
  10. Telling stories shows respect for the audience

Finally, Smith encourages the book's readers to share their stories via a connected, large and growing community of organizational storytellers via his website.

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