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We are all storytellers

Companies with boring stories do not succeed.

But, then again, I have never encountered a company with a boring story. I have, however, encountered many businesses who haven’t figured out how to tell their story. CEOs, salespeople and marketers need to remember that we are all storytellers.

Last night, I had the pleasure of reading a business’ story that was so compelling from Inc. that I almost bought GT’s Kombucha this morning. And, this business’ growth, IMHO, was due not only to the passion of the son but also to the storytelling skill of his mother who nurtured the business in its infancy.

Executives have a story about their business–why it exists and why they have worked endless hours to nurture it and watch it grow. No one will dump endless hours into something they don’t believe in–that kind of dedication requires passion. I’ve seen passion in HR, in software development, in legal services and in colleges.

But, what happens to that passion? Where does it go?

At some point, we begin to believe that the product is so compelling it will sell itself. We forget the importance of the story. Narrative links us together as humans–it’s a gift we began cultivating as children in song (remember “I’m bringin’ home a baby bumblebee”?), in monologue and later as part of a dialogue. A good storyteller can make even the most mundane seem extraordinary, but a novice storyteller can do the same when passionate.

I have the privilege of telling stories all day, and listening for that passion in the executives that I work with that makes their story a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat tale. What’s your story?

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