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%? Research has shown that…

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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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This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. A few years ago, a colleague of mine told me she and her husband needed to move to another apartment. “Okay,” I thought, “such is life.” I had no idea the ordeal that she actually went through until recently when we were chatting about non-work-related topics. “Esther, remember a…

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This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. You know leadership storytelling is powerful. You’ve figured out how to choose the right stories to tell. Just one small problem. For many leaders, sharing stories in everyday conversation feels awkward. As a participant in one recent Leadership Story Lab workshop put it, “How do we incorporate stories professionally…

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Structure is critical to stories, just as it is to buildings. When the structure of a building is solid, we don’t give it a second thought! Same goes for story structure, which holds all the elements together, usually without your realizing it. In fact, all strong stories share the same basic three-act story structure. The…

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Zoom happy hour

This article originally appeared on Forbes. Of all the best kept secrets in storytelling, this is my favorite: To become a great storyteller, one must first become a great story collector. And the first step to story collecting is to listen aggressively. How do you listen aggressively so you can begin story collecting? Four ways.…

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Sunrise Kilimanjaro

In 2015, Neha Agrawal, a marketing executive at a global medical company, was selected as one of the opening speakers at her company’s multi-day leadership off-site. She needed to set the tone for the day as she spoke with peer senior executives on the topic of leadership. She had about 45 minutes to speak, with…

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The story of Patient 31 in South Korea has become a cautionary tale about why social distancing is a crucial precaution. On February 15, 2020, while hospitalized after a car accident, doctors advised her to get tested for coronavirus because she had developed a high fever. “Instead,” according to Reuters, “the woman went to a…

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A very distant cousin’s mother recently passed away. My cousin lives in the Midwest, while the rest of her family lives in Seattle. Two days after her mother’s passing, her mother-in-law called her crying, begging her not to attend the funeral. The line of argument went like this: my cousin would have to fly. That…

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3 Principles of Data Storytelling

My favorite professor Karl Schmedders just released a video of his webinar. Cooped up inside for weeks, I was dying for a bit of intellectual stimulation. Karl came to the rescue! His signature three-piece suit with a bow-tie… check! His unmistakable mix of personal warmth, high energy and a hint of sarcasm… check! His take…

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