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WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
USING STORIES TO IGNITE PERFORMANCE AND BE MORE SUCCESSFUL -CRAIG WORTMANN-
As you shake the mud and grit out of the pan. In fact. You have e-mails to attend to. create. and all of other “stuff” of life.INTRODUCTION:
This book is written for people who want to make a difference. people who want to give themselves and others the powerful gift to story.
What is your story? Have you thought about it? Certainly. Gold nuggets. gold appears. voice mails. These gold nuggets represent the experiences-the stories-of your life. We all are. The water flows past you. You are holding a dented metal pan with a screen on the bottom. presentations and paper work. share. They are all around us every day as we move through the to-dos experiences. information comes at you nearly 24/7 from many different angels. your pan may fill so quickly that you often find yourself just trying to stay ahead of the mud and grit without ever getting to touch the gold!
. and underneath your feet are rocks and sediment. You are in the midst of a rushing river of information. people who want to build. ups and downs.
Imagine for a moment that you are standing knee-deep in the middle of a rushing river. learn. Stories are one of the things that make life and work fun and fulfilling. The mud and grit that get shaken back into the river represent all of the forgettable data and details of your life-the stuff that happens in between the stories and experiences. Your “pan” fills very quickly. Empowered by technology. and inspire. and you reach down into the riverbed and pull of a panful. you are full of stories.
Now imagine yourself getting off of the elevator at work and walking into a meeting. You have responsibilities and goals and a limited amount of time.
so employees should not have any problems interpreting and taking action on it. we are all fighter pilots now. we can just give them the facts and they will perform. but it often brings out the worst in us.Chapter wise analysis
AWASH IN BITS AND BULLETS
• If we are not careful and cognizant of how we are brokering information.data.
• leaders make assumptions that are often false: Employees are always rational. we can overwhelm ourselves and our people and cause performance to suffer. With the information we have at our finger tips. facts. unemotional actors in business and. We do not have to perpetuate the bits and bullets.
. thus. We may look and feel cool surrounded by all of this technology. but what counts is the target. Learn your vocabulary words! • • Bits and bullets. There is another way. and information without context Performance skills-the true muscle of business Showing up skills-the dowry you bring to your job Story deficit disorder –lack of stories to aid learning
Power point is not evil. The information being provided is simple. We have a choice.
Are you in balance? Are you giving people the how and why and not just the what? Be aware of the filters that information goes through before it gets to people. Stories allow for reflection. 2. Just stop and reflect on your own use of bits and bullets and stories. 7. 6.
• There is a big difference between high-stakes and low-stakes communications. 10.•
there are ten main reasons why stories work: 1. Stories aren’t bullet points. Stories show the how and why as well as the what. Stories create presence. Stories are an antidote. Stories spread. 5. Stories build strong relationships. Is it still powerful when it gets to them? Step into the void and engage people with a story. Some organizations are beginning to be more conscious of their use of stories. 9. Stories help us unlearn. 3.
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. and we must be more discerning about which tools we are using in which situations. 8. Stories illustrate success and failure. 4. and they are creating innovative ways of cutting through the clutter to offer people stories that drive results. Stories show the multiple perspectives.
Over a period of time. so use your win book to capture what is happening around you. The horizontal axis changes to mirror the most common challenge you face. Don’t edit the material in your win book. A win book is the “pan” that holds both the mud and grit(facts and data) and the gold(stories). The story matrix is the “filter” that holds the gold nuggets after the mud and grit have been shaken away. Make your win book work for you because it is a business tool that you can customize according to the way you work and the information you need. Make it your responsibility to bring some fun to work. The vertical axis of the story matrix is made up of the different types of stories that all leaders should be telling.
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. just capture it without expressing an opinion. The story matrix allows us to look at our library of stories and gives us context to think deliberately about how to use a particular story to impact performance.
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THE STORY MATRIX
• • The story matrix is a tool that provides a way to categorize and access our stories. Don’t forget the “fun” layer of stories.THE WIN BOOK
• • We are moving ever faster. the win book artifacts and ideas become valuable resources for leadership and higher performance.
It’s the sharing that gets results.Natural I. Leaders encourage and influence us to tell our stories and thereby build more of an open source environment where all of us can bring our best stuff. Be cognizant of the daily choices you are making with what you are communicating and how you are communicating it.Total E.Intentional G.Improvisational T. like any other leadership skill. they tell us stories to help us make sense of how to perform.CHAPTER 6:
THE STORY COACH
• • • If you have the right intentions and are truthful in telling your stories.Genuine N.
Use the story coach to focus on the important elements of telling stories.
Leaders don’t add more noise to the channel. people will respond to you and they will be part of the solution. The story coach follows a simple acronym. IGNITE: • I. and don’t worry about whether or not you have dramatic skills. Applying and telling your stories to impact performance takes practice.
because engaging emotions is what truly inspires.•
Because stories carry context and success and failures. Don’t avoid the emotional component of stories. they will travel farther and sick better. Use stories to rise above the “chatter” of product information and truly differentiate yourself. Clients and our own people want to see the “whole story”-including the successes and failures-so they can make well-informed decisions. Stories that motivate and inspire connect to our core values-what we care about deeply.
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Stories that motivate and inspire don’t have to be the stuff of legend. Leaders who are authentic are the ones who inspire people. Approach your presentations as if your clients or people will not be allowed to take notes or refer to any documentation. be sure the story can positively answer at least one of these questions:
Does the story create a path to possibility?
. and then “sell” why it’s important for everyone to go there together.
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Leaders must define where the organization is going on. In choosing a motivational and inspirational story. Stories help leaders gain the precious attention of their audiences and thereby improve chances for success.
Does the story help people bond together? Does the story allow for some fun?
Absorb the stories that are all around you. and speaker. do. Wisdom Tools designs.
. coach.something that most professional speakers can't. Wortmann focuses on how leaders use stories to link a company's strategic direction with their people's actions and motivations. Founded in 1999.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author and entrepreneur Craig Wortmann is president and CEO of Wisdom Tools.. sales. His clients include many of the world's premier organizations. ethical decision making. As an executive. teamwork.. or won't. Wortmann is a nationally sought-after speaker on leadership. His warm and improvisational speaking style treats each client as unique by working with their particular challenges. His depth of experience in this arena comes from helping large organizations improve performance in the areas of leadership. strategic selling and entrepreneurship. Illinois with his wife and two children. develops and publishes story-based Scenarios™ software for Fortune 200 organizations and top-tier business schools. He resides in Evanston. and client delight. service. consultant.