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Lead with a Story

A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire
Narrated by: A. T. Chandler
Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Business, Career Skills
3.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.76

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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 listeners say about Lead with a Story

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  • review
  • 05-12-2016

Not what i expected

I had expected this book to deconstruct the elements of storytelling as they relate to business. Instead, the author offers a variety of stories to use in specific business situation. This book is a "what to say," not a "how to say it," guide.

17 people found this helpful

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  • M. Vasquez
  • 12-04-2015

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 11-10-2014

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

15 people found this helpful

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  • Alinutza
  • 21-07-2013

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

21 people found this helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 16-06-2013

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.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Alejandro G.
  • 07-04-2015

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!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Z Turlington
  • 13-02-2016

Great way to improve business relationships

This book was excellent. There were several insightful stories that I plan to use personally. I am sure this book will change how I begin my presentations and meetings.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 25-02-2015

loved it

the presentation was very good and made it an entertaining read. the book was very useful for learning how to illustrate stories in a business setting and provided plenty of good ideas to empower readers to tell their own stories

2 people found this helpful

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  • Helena Josue
  • 29-10-2017

Great ideas and very practical application.

The book has great ideas about achieving accomplishment with the help of telling stories.
Easy to read and get inspiration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Adriaan Pretorius
  • 28-06-2017

Inspiring and motivating!

After listening to this book I want to immediately implement everything I learned. The author does a great job to simplify the topic, which often seems overwhelming, yet remains underrated in my opinion. Very good production.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. J. Ambler
  • 01-01-2015

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Alexanda Drew
  • 16-03-2015

Really not very good.

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Miss D
  • 16-10-2018

Dreadful narration. couldn't continue listening

I had to stop after the second chapter. The narrator had such an irritating voice. It sounds like a 1950s version of Think and Grow Rich. Monotonous and without character. Such a shame, i listened to his second book Sell with a story (Read by the author) and it was great. unfortunately everything is instantly forgettable in this book because of the poor narration.

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  • MISS Z M SUMMERS
  • 22-11-2017

Didn’t find it engaging

Felt the story concept could be handled in the first hour. Wasted another couple of hours then gave up on this

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  • Gillian
  • 08-10-2017

Lots of examples but not much 'how to'

This isn’t a reflection of the book as much as it is a comment on whether the book met my objectives.

I took an enjoyable course by the author recently that was very focused on how to structure a good story that’s what I was looking for with this title. However the majority of the material is focused on examples in the corporate space. If that’s what you are looking for it may well be a great choice.

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  • G. Luke
  • 10-09-2017

Great title but distracted by its own content

Starts off well then tells so many anecdotes per chapter you need to start again to remember what the topic is. It gets increasingly free of value and content the further you progress and simply tells story after story until there's no point to be made and you loose the will to listen.

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  • Kemi
  • 27-09-2016

Buy it!! worth the money.

Loved it!!! Worth a listen. Another skill to add to my collection. Looking forward to utilising all that I've learnt.

Ignore the comment regarding the love letter to P&G. The author worked there and the examples are relevant.

Get it. Absolutely worth it.

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  • michal zima
  • 11-03-2016

Fascinating

Was fascinating to hear some tips and structures on creating stories. It surely a skill that should be trained.

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  • Michal Dybowski
  • 10-06-2015

Amazing book

Exactly what I needed to push my business further!

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

1 person found this helpful