Winners Tell Great Stories

Here’s terrific insight from global travelling Newsnight anchor, the talented Gavin Esler.

Taken from his experiences interviewing the world’s ruling classes, he’s recently penned a tome about what makes a great leader.

His conclusion? They all tell very good stories.

His favourite story surrounds the driving force of Maggie Thatcher;

I’m the grocer’s daughter from Grantham

This tells the listener that she’s a daughter, not a son. A grocer’s daughter so not posh and to be feared as such. And from the backwaters of Grantham, so not part of the scary elite.

He reckons that leaders tell stories well – in fact, better than everyone else – because they do it in a more organised way. (Even if that nowadays means a spin doctor stirring the cauldron).

There are three types of stories they tell too;

Who am I?

Who are we as a group?

What’s our common purpose?

(& this last one he also frames as, ‘where will my leadership take us?’)

If you have all three of these, then you are ready to persuade anybody.

I read something recently that suggested;

a good story beats a good stat every time

The inference being, people remember the story more. Probably due to the emotional connection they can make with it that they cannot with a number.

So, why not start with ‘who am I?’ What do you want to get across to your potential customers? And can you do it in a way that both shows how you stand out as different, and would be their perfect partner?

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