Filed under: Career Skills, Communication, Hands-On Management, Leadership, Personal Development, Transparency | Tags: Business book summary, business books, Communication, Leadership, patrick lencioni
Jesus was having a discussion with a religious leader. When told that he might enter eternal life if he loved God and loved his neighbor, the man sought to justify himself by asking Jesus who his neighbor was. Jesus replied with the parable (story) of the Good Samaritan. Even though this conversation took place over 2,000 years ago, this story has become one of the best known stories of the last two centuries, even among those that have never read the New Testament. Jesus knew the power of the story.
Stories have always been a part of business communication, but in the last several years a trend has developed around the power of storytelling in business. I found over a dozen business books written in the past decade that specifically teach the importance of storytelling in organizations, whether to improve leadership, to help focus meetings, to sell more effectively, or to build strong teams. There is even a National Storytelling Network.
Robert McKee put it this way in the Harvard Business Review: “A big part of a CEO’s job is to motivate people to reach certain goals. To do that, he or she must engage their emotions, and the key to their hearts is story.”
Storytelling is no longer just for CEOs, but the key truth is still the same – storytelling engages the emotions, assisting the speaker in communicating his or her point effectively. In Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences, Nancy Duarte expands this point. Information is static; stories are dynamic – they help an audience visualize what you do or what you believe.
Patrick Lencioni has perfected the art of storytelling in his series of business books, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Silos, Politics and Turf Wars and Getting Naked. Lencioni uses the fable as a way to engage the minds of his readers, communicating the business truths through the characters of the fable.
In The Story Factor, Annette Simmons introduces six story goals:
- “Who I am” stories – stories that reveal something about how you are.
- “Why I am here” stories – to reassure the audience about your intentions.
- “The Vision” story – to transform your vision into the audience’s vision.
- “Teaching” stories – to communicate certain skills you want others to have.
- “Values in action” stories – story lets you instill values in a way that keeps people thinking for themselves.
- “I know what you are thinking” stories – in a story you can identify potential objections and disarm the audience as you build credibility.
Perhaps it’s time to develop your own storytelling skills. The resources above will help and you can read more in our Executive Edge newsletter Learn the Art of Storytelling.
Filed under: Communication, Hands-On Management, Soundview Live, Teamwork | Tags: Business book summary, Hands-On Management, patrick lencioni, Soundview Live
Over the past few years I’ve noticed an increased reference in news articles and books to the subject of organizational health. In a Fortune article back at the end of 2010, Colin Price pointed to the demise of an emphasis solely on performance and a movement toward a more sustainable focus on the health of the organization.
But what does a healthy organization look like? Patrick Lencioni, in his latest book The Advantage, says “an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified.” And he goes on to claim that “Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave.”
Can you imagine an organization free from politics and confusion? But Lencioni says that it’s possible and offers four actionable steps to get there.
- Build a cohesive leadership team – cohesive teams build trust, eliminate politics and increase efficiency.
- Create clarity – healthy organizations minimize the potential for confusion.
- Over-communicate clarity – healthy organizations align their employees around organizational clarity by communicating key messages.
- Reinforce clarity – organizations sustain their health by ensuring consistency.
This is of course only part of the picture, and Lencioni will be filling in the details at our Soundview Live webinar Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else on March 27th. Please join us and bring your questions for Pat.
Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Guest Blogger | Tags: Book Summary, books, Business, business book, Business book summary, business books, Career Skills, Guest Blogger, Krissi Barr, patrick lencioni, Personal Development, Plugged, Soundview, Soundview Summary, Summary.com
Today’s guest blog post comes from Krissi Barr, president of Barr Corporate Success.
In the real world, a crisis can crawl out from under a rock at any time. The bigger the problem, the more important it is to have a swift and accurate response.
Ideas for how to deal with such a crisis can also emerge from an unlikely place, as is the case in my book Plugged. My co-author Dan Barr, senior executive at Cintas, and I created a fast-paced business fable in which the protagonist’s passion for golf turns out to be the mysterious but ingenious source of inspiration.
Only hours after his boss leaves for a weeklong vacation, Chet McGill, the dedicated VP of Sales at AlphaMax Manufacturing, gets thrown for a loop. His company’s biggest client is seriously considering switching to a competitor, and it’s up to Chet to rally the troops. Faced with the biggest crisis in his career, Chet discovers what’s most important to his customer — and his company — through inspiration he finds on the putting green.
At its core, Plugged is about digging out and getting the right things done. The central message Chet learns is that he needs to shoot for PAR. This is not “par” in the golfing sense, but in a simple methodology based on three proven principles:
Prioritize — Focus on what matters most. Chet learns he has to concentrate the entire company’s efforts on the most critical elements in order to hold on to their largest customer.
Adapt — See change as an opportunity. The world is changing rapidly and only those who can quickly adapt to those changes will survive.
Responsible — Take ownership of the outcome. Only when each member of the team accepts full accountability for their actions are they able to turn the tide.
Everyone measures success differently. You may measure success by leading your company to growth and prosperity. Maybe your view of success includes sending your children to college or finally having the lowest score in your golf foursome. However you define it, Plugged is a road map for you and your entire team on how to dig out and get the right things done.
Krissi Barr is president of Barr Corporate Success, a business consulting and coaching firm specializing in strategic planning, implementation, leadership coaching, and training. Visit http://www.PluggedTheBook.com for FREE tools, including an assessment to see how well you get the right things done and a planning and implementation scorecard.
Filed under: Books in General, From the Editor, General Business, Hands-On Management, Human Resources, Innovation, Leadership, Marketing, Personal Development, Seth Godin, Small Business, Strategic Management, Success, Teamwork, Transparency | Tags: blockbuster, Getting Naked, Innovation X, July edition, Linchpin, New release, new summaries, patrick lencioni, Seth Godin, summer movies
Summer is known to be a time for blockbusters in the entertainment industry. Although the start date seems to be earlier each year, it’s generally accepted that by the middle of June, we’re well into a stretch of time that sees multiple big-budget, highly-anticipated films debuting every Friday in theaters across the nation.
I bring this up because the latest edition of Soundview Executive Book Summaries could easily be described as a summer blockbuster. We’ve got three incredible summaries for readers this month featuring some serious star-power in the author department. Let’s take a look at the titles in this exciting triple-feature:
For those who enjoy a great story as part of their learning experience, we start our latest edition with Patrick Lencioni’s Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty. Lencioni, an expert at weaving fiction and strong business applications together, tells the tale of Jack, a consultant tasked with learning about a competitor his company recently acquired. Jack learns a surprising lesson about why absolute transparency can create intense loyalty in customers.
Innovation is a topic that continues to garner a great deal of interest among our subscribers. The U.S. is engaged in an ongoing race with developing nations to maintain an economic presence in the innovation arena. With this in mind, Adam Richards offers Innovation X: Why a Company’s Toughest Problems are Its Greatest Advantage. Richards offers an intriguing argument that defines a new class of business problems — X-Problems. These tough new challenges thwart conventional planning but present massive innovation opportunities.
Finally, we take a look at the building blocks of a great organization. While CEOs tend to garner attention from internal and external audiences, there are individuals in an organization who are an indispensable part of the company’s success. Marketing mastermind Seth Godin terms these individuals “linchpins” and his new book Linchpins: Are You Indispensable? helps readers understand how to exude the attributes of the linchpin employee.
Like I said, it’s a real blockbuster this month! It’s a great time to subscribe to Soundview. Also, each of the above summaries are available for individual purchase for low, low prices. The online edition of each summary is only $8.50. Depending on where you live, that’s less than the price of a movie ticket … and unlike the occasional big-budget action film, these summaries won’t disappoint.