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The Untapped Secret of Leadership Success

Jack K. is one of the most popular and well-known guys in my community. One reason, he tells stories. He has a bucket of stories that I’ve heard several times and want to hear again. This morning, I’ll see Jack and ask him to tell what I call the, “Two Invoice Story,” again.


  1. Inspire.
  2. Instruct.
  3. Enlighten.
  4. Encourage.
  5. Entertain.
  6. Connect.

Paul Smith, director of Consumer & Communications Research at Procter & Gamble, believes storytelling is central to his success. We talked yesterday. One thing I took from our conversation:

You may have the world’s greatest vision, product,
or innovation but you’ll probably languish
if you can’t tell a story.


“Most successful organizations on the planet intentionally use stories as a key leadership tool: Microsoft…Disney…Costco…South West…Procter & Gamble,” Lead with a Story.

“Experience is the best teacher.
A compelling story is a close second.” Paul Smith


It was years before Paul Smith told his wife he’d been fired twice. He told me in a matter of minutes. Why? He’s learned the power of stories. I immediately connected with his authenticity.


My wife has begun telling me her story in new ways, after 36 years of marriage. It’s so powerful I weep when I hear it.


If you’re afraid to tell stories, begin by listening to them. The next time you’re at lunch with colleagues, ask them to tell you a story from their youth. Tell yours. Make storytelling part of your world.


Paul Smith’s book, “Lead with a Story,” shows readers how to tell stories that build bridges into their future. If you want to go far, combine your competence with storytelling.

How have stories affected you?

How have you used stories to impact others?

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