As with many epiphanies in life, this one had to be delivered by, of all things, a book about how stories "ignite performance." I never paid much attention to my use of stories or their power until I read Craig Wortmann's book. Like a new car owner who spots their recent choice EVERYWHERE, I am now gratefully aware of stories and their powerful role in our lives and work performance. I have even a few times chuckled aloud as I witness a story capture an audience or even as I begin one to a few listeners. But more importantly, Craig was spot-on with his thesis that "we become more aware of our stories, and that we embed our stories in our communications, because this is a great way to...manage our information and increase our performance."
Craig makes his argument carefully, taking the reader by the hand. He takes his time stating the problem, and then turns on the overhead light for us just when we need it: the answer to all those bits and bullets and cacophony in our busy lives is...the story. That's right, what has warmed us and kept us safe since childhood is the key communication element in our adult world! Like all great leaders, Craig also models the behavior he is recommending; "What's Your Story" is awash in steady argument, clear communication and story-after-anecdote-after-story. This is a great read for anyone looking for that communication elixir or that missing leadership piece. Great work, Mr. Wortmann. Now you have one more story to tell!
This is a great business book - entertaining and educational!! Story telling is a critical element in leaderdship today. With this book, you have everything you need to begin leveraging story telling and make it part of your leadership tool box.
We teach what we know and have learned through many life-lessons. But unfortunately, our "words of wisdom" may translate as "war stories" in the retelling. "What's Your Story?" helps keep that from happening. This book helps you frame your experience as stories that can mean as much to your audience as they do to you. Wortmann follows his own formula of teaching by example, using vivid vignettes to dramatize key points. It's great "airplane reading" when you're on your way to make a speech. Keep a pen handy because you'll think of things you'll want to do differently.
What's Your Story is an excellent book about a leadership skill that many don't think of. In reading the book and the stories within the book it reminds you of real life examples where storytelling would have saved the day. Great tools to help you build your own stories and become a better leader. I would highly recommend!
I really enjoyed What's Your Story and found it useful. Much has been written about storytelling in the business literature lately, but Craig Wortmann actually practices what he preaches by including a multitude of great stories in this book that illustrate the key concepts. (I've happily used a number of them already in various training sessions and speeches.) He also includes a lot of practical tools and tips. The book is easy to pick up and put down. I recommend it for anyone who wants to understand the art and uses of stories in business.
I'm only one chapter into it, but already I'm reaching for my highlighter, tabbing the page corners, and thinking of people I need to send this book to. The abundance of quotations and (of course) stories makes it a fun read that sparks ideas. Craig Wortmann has a keen understanding of the what's missing - and what's needed -- in organizations today. Highly recommended!
I was supremely disappointed by this book. A book about how communication should be interesting, should be... interesting. This book is as dry as any text book I've ever read, I think because it was written by a guy who is a teacher. Right at the beginning of the book, he describes himself as a business leader. So I would ask why does he not write a book about story telling in the form of a story. But Craig Wortmann's book is just another hollow book with a great title.
Wortmann's concept (the title is all you'll get of his concept) is: use storytelling to keep your audience interested. Unfortunately, his writing style is that of a teacher who needs to churn out another book. There is no story telling, there is no voice. There are just chapters with titles that should contain pages of interesting material, but consist mostly of broad statements and dictums of things you should and should not do. Nothing new. Nothing interesting.
The book does actually introduce a number of situations common in the business world. So I gave it two stars because at least he got my hopes up at the start of each chapter. However, there are no solutions.
My friend bought it for me and she'll be sending it back tomorrow.
There have been over two-dozen widely published books on business storytelling in the last twenty years. I've read them all, and this is one of the best. Most cover and recover the same or similar ideas. Craig Wortmann offers some refreshingly unique tools to save (the Win book) and recall (the story matrix) exactly the right story at the right time. And he offers a simple yet insightful method to determine when you should tell stories (high-stakes communication) versus traditional communication methods. If all you want is to be convinced why you should be telling more stories, buy one of the other 19 books. But if you want to actually to find, develop, and USE more stories in your work, this is one you need.