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Hi everyone, John Finegan here. Ready to kick off your week with a fresh perspective? Let’s dive into something crucial for fueling success in today’s competitive landscape—storytelling! And before you think, “Oh no, not another fairy tale session,” let me tell you why this is vital, especially if you’re a leader.

You see, without a compelling story, you’re just the loudest person in the room. But with a story, you’re the person everyone wants to listen to!

Think about it. What sticks with you more—a list of quarterly targets or the tale of how the team overcame a massive challenge and emerged stronger?

Exactly! Stories are the secret sauce on your leadership steak. They add flavor, make things memorable, and keep everyone coming back for more. And trust me, no one ever said, “Wow, I was so inspired by that spreadsheet!”

One stellar example of storytelling in business is Jeff Bezos’ 1997 Amazon Shareholder’s letter. It’s like an MBA lecture on leadership, packed with valuable lessons:

Lesson 1: Choose Your Words Wisely

The letter contains 1,617 words, but ‘customer’ appears 25 times. To succeed, a company’s north star must be clear to everyone. Everything in this letter circles back to the customer.

Lesson 2: Have Conviction

Every great entrepreneur shares one common trait: conviction. Jeff Bezos demonstrated immense conviction during Amazon’s early days, which played a significant role in its success.

Lesson 3: Always Acknowledge Trade-offs

You can’t be a clear thinker without being honest about trade-offs. Despite his confidence, Bezos recognized the substantial risks in Amazon’s grand plan.

Lesson 4: Set Expectations Early and Often

The number one failure of managers is the inability to set expectations. From day one, Bezos did this masterfully. He made it clear to shareholders: if you expect quarterly performance, don’t invest. If you’re in it for the long haul, welcome aboard. It’s all about the long term.

So, next time you’re gearing up to rally your team, remember: Share a story. Paint a picture. Make it vivid and relatable. Be the leader they write books about, not just the one they write memos about.

That’s all for today! Go out there and be the storyteller your team needs. And hey, if you have a great story of your own, share it in the comments below. Let’s inspire each other!

Have a fantastic week, everyone!