One of Robroy’s favorite things to ask a CEO is, “Got any stories?”
After a couple of decades of listening to their replies, I’ve finally made an important distinction about story-tellers. The good ones teach us something about themselves. And the great ones teach us something about ourselves.
Imagine having the ability to do this with your clients and employees. To help them learn more about themselves by the stories that you tell. Imagine the bond of trust, appreciation and loyalty you’d develop.
“Does that really work?” you ask? Well, let’s see what we can learn from five Baltimore CEOs who, by Robroy’s definition, are great story-tellers:
1. Greg Cangialosi, CEO of Blue Sky Factory, never was a sales guy, and yet sold his business for millions of dollars.
2. Bernie Dancel, CEO of AscendOne, realized that, unless he helped others, they would never be free.
3. Marty Mintz, CEO of Northern Pharmacy, withstood large, faceless competition to keep the corner drug store open for its 70th year.
4. Myra Norton, CEO of CommunityAnalytics, had to experience great sorrow before coming to trust her team.
… and, finally, a lesson from the past on what not to do:
5. Captain Isaac Emerson, CEO of Bromo Selzter, advertised a headache remedy for troubled marriages, while building monuments to his own failed marriage around Baltimore.
As for me, I’d say I learned that I am human. I’m afraid of being misunderstood. I’m afraid of losing business and losing love. I’m afraid of having my loved ones die.
But I’m not afraid to go for it all, anyway.
How about you, boss. Got any stories?
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