Paul Smith is a leading expert on business storytelling and one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers of 2018. In this interview he shares thoughts on his latest book, The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell. He explains how B2B marketers can find and craft the best ones.
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Paul Smith believes great stories aren’t just a nice-to-have for leaders – they’re essential. The caveat is you must know what stories to tell. Smith traveled to 25 countries interviewing over 300 CEOs to find examples of his top 10 stories. Here they are:
1: Where we came from (Founding story)
2: Why we can’t stay here (Case for change story)
3: Where we’re going (Vision story)
4: How we’re going to get there (Strategy story)
5: What we believe (Corporate values story)
6: Who we serve (Customer story)
7: What we do for our customers (Sales story)
8: How we’re different from our competitors (Marketing story)
9: Why I lead the way I do (Leadership philosophy story)
10: Why you should want to work here (Recruiting story)
How I Applied What I learned in This Book
Paul’s books increased my ability to tell my own stories more effectively. Here’s my marketing story and sales story. It seems to me that stories are best when they’re authentic, even if they aren’t all that glamorous. In the future, I plan on checking out his storytelling workbook.