My daughter turned 12 recently. When I was pregnant with her, a friend asked me, “Are you like… the first female student in the history of Kellogg School of Management to get pregnant?” Alina was born the summer between my first and second year as a full-time MBA student at Northwestern University – Kellogg School…

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During Covid, over 72,000 restaurants have permanently closed in the U.S. The National Restaurant Association reports that the industry lost $165 billion in sales between March and July, and that the pandemic has cost over 8 million restaurant employees their jobs. During hard times, companies hunker down, lay off workers, and cut costs. All of this is necessary.…

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You’ve been working on a project for two years. Now you have ten minutes to explain it to a cross-functional team. Or you’ve developed a life-changing product and want to reveal all its complex facets. Your audience doesn’t have a clue how it works. You have five minutes to teach them. Every day, leaders face…

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Whether you are an entry-level employee or one of the richest people on earth, eventually everyone faces the same challenge. Everyone has to convey the essence of who they are. On July 29, when four big tech CEOs testified before Congress, Jeff Bezos crafted his testimony as if a member of Congress had asked him,…

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Story Library

It’s pitch dark in the room and the floor feels exceptionally cold. I fumble my way to the closet only to trip over a book one of my kids left the night before. “It’s time for my swim,” I think. But deep in the morning haze, I forget that I am no longer in Hong…

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“So, let’s go around the room—everybody say something about yourself so we can get to know each other.” This request is common at work and elsewhere, but it’s totally ineffective. That’s because when we are with strangers or acquaintances, it’s tough to talk about ourselves in genuine and relatable ways. Authentic business storytelling is incredibly…

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The most common obstacle to authentic business storytelling is that it simply takes guts. But that’s hardly the only obstacle. Here are others. A Laundry List Authentic business storytelling can be hard when we have a laundry list of things we want to communicate about ourselves. Laundry lists are not stories. Recounting events is not…

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At a time when every job opportunity matters, an easy-to-use storytelling checklist can be extremely useful. The U.S. economy saw a “modest recovery” in the early weeks of June, as Shahar Ziv writes for Forbes. However, he notes that the recovery has been uneven. A disproportionate number of Black employees, in particular, are seeing their…

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After months of lockdown, companies around the country have been opening up. As new office layouts and social protocols are emerging, many leaders are concerned with their teams’ productivity. So what if there were a 15-minute storytelling exercise that, when done daily for ten days, could boost work performance by 23%? We can encourage a…

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John Nelson, the CEO of Seed Beauty, stressed that a family in business together makes “a conscious decision to come together…[understanding that] the business that we’re in today is not necessarily going to be the same business in the future.” This is a distinction that goes beyond defining an organization as a “family owned business.”…

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