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on May 26, 2017
This is a great leadership book that provides multiple lessons for the reader, but most importantly techniques for how to develop and tell a great story.

Albeit the examples are heavily P&G related, if you look past that, which is the authors experience, you get to the centre of the key messages for each chapter; all valuable for any employee and leader.

Thoroughly recommend this book and will be one I read again and again.
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on July 29, 2013
I’ve just started a new job in a marketing function, which is something completely new. Up until now it has been an extremely interesting challenge, that has taken me out of my comfort zone and got me growing again as a professional and as an individual. Marketing Executive Education I must constantly produce brochures, content for websites, etc. … Things that require that I a convey a message, transmitting the value of the training we’re providing and its benefits. Being new at this, this is a challenging task, and it was in search of support and guidelines that I purchased “Lead with a story”.

After finishing the book, I must say that it provides really useful and practical guidelines, for someone that like me must communicate in a business environment. “Lead with a story” is full of pearls, small stories that not only can one use in his day-to-day life but also that brilliantly illustrate the concepts displayed in the book.

But for me the true value of this book, and what will probably make me read it again, is the conceptual framework that the author uses. The CAR (Context, Action, Result), and other frameworks presented give actionable guidelines that will help the reader build stories, that are clear, easy to read and engaging. At the very end of the book you will find several tables that allow one to easily check and get guidance from the frameworks.

I strongly recommend reading this book, even if you aren’t in a position that requires communication, storytelling is an useful skill in the business world.
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on December 9, 2013
I started reading this book prepared to find some interesting material mixed into a lot of boring or jargon-filled business anecdotes, but I was wrong. The biggest part of this book is very interesting, relevant, well written, and not boring at all. Its theme is the power of storytelling in business and it provides counsel on how to craft your own stories and influence people through them. Very good book, and very readable.

One of my favorite stories is near the beginning: A mathematician at P&G had to write a memo detailing his research every month, and after years of detailed and technical memos (boring and forgettable), he started writing them in story form, illustrating his points with characters like Earnest Engineer learning things--the things that the mathematician would have shared in his memo, but much more readable and interesting. His memos got more and more interesting, and greater and greater circulation. After several years, his memos were read every month by between 5,000 and 10,000 people, and he was appointed the company's official corporate storyteller.

Fascinating stuff, and good guidance on how you can do it yourself in almost any situation.
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on July 25, 2013
I've read my fair share of management / self-help books and this one is probably one of the better ones I've read. It does do a very good job of spelling out why stories are important and the key elements to telling a good story. It's a very easy read and spends a lot of times on examples with a couple of stories in each chapter along a common theme. A couple of reasons why this isn't a 5-star book. Some of the "lessons" feel borderline preachy. There's a section with stories on the importance of having people from different cultural backgrounds in your organization and I felt that while the example stories were OK, it was deviating from the core message of the book. Secondly, it does feel like it ends a bit jarringly and I would have liked a bit more of a recap and more time spent reflecting upon how to craft stories. Maybe the book could have been more interactive in making you think about how to craft a story. Perhaps at the end of each chapter, there could have been a section for readers to think about their own stories and jot them down as the reader goes along. That said, it's fine read and great for anyone still stuck in Death by Powerpoint.

NOTE: Edited upon further reflection after feedback from the author
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on April 11, 2015
This is a good book of being informed, yet I feel it lacks the focus on how to write and structure a great story for leaders. Now it does goes into the process of writing stories, and how to keep them simple. For instance, leading is not telling the story of the one ring which will rule them all. It is to give context, action and result. The CAR principle. Overall it was a good book on informing you how to use stories in your professional life. It is not a writers book if your are trying to learn how to write compelling stories. It helps you get to the point by wrapping your point in a story relevant to the audience.
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on October 3, 2017
This a great book for anyone looking to elevate their game. Storming telling is a key still for selling any idea and mastering it is a must for top leaders. I always wanted a framework for helping me master the skill. This is a great foundation.
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on August 9, 2013
Having read numerous books about the relevance and importance of Storytelling and having shared much of what I had learned in some mini-workshops at The Speakers Academy I realized this book had a lot to offer if it could live up to the reviews and hype. It has, and I'm happy to write and share a very positive review for a book that promises a lot and does deliver. If you are looking for new insights and an expansion of what you already knew about the importance of 'leading with a story' you'll be happy, perhaps even thrilled with Paul Smiths work. I would have given it 5 stars, but his repetitive use of P&G stories and examples was a little over done and tended to become a distraction. Still, a book I can and will recommend, and a book I'll revisit for reminders and ideas for my own personal storytelling.
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VINE VOICEon June 11, 2014
I've been searching for a great book about using the storytelling technique to lead people. I understand storytelling resonates well with employees and the stories themselves allows the principles to be taught in an effective way. Well, this book was not the right book. I think what bothered me was how many long stories were written to demonstrate how to tell stories. It simply seemed to be an inefficient way of teaching. My advice, look elsewhere.
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on December 8, 2016
Love it! This is an amazing book that added a lot to something I already knew: you engage an captivate people a easier through story telling.
The way Paul guides you through great lessons makes it a fun way to learn and everything sticks to your mind. Really a great book!!
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on May 26, 2013
First, a quick disclosure - I have not read The Story Factor by Annette Simmons, but I have read Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins. Two thumbs down on that one. Nothing of value in constructing or finding my stories. This book on the other hand is fantastic. Not only do you get over 100 stories to "bank" for future use, Mr. Smith gives you great ideas for developing your own and a blueprint for doing so. He is well qualified in this subject, and his passion comes through. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to improve their storytelling acumen.
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