Story works. Why don’t business leaders use it?
On the other hand, undisciplined passion greases the track to bankruptcy. For that reason, the money-conscious personality distrusts emotions for fear they warp decision-making. The prudent executive might use an anecdote to open a meeting with a laugh, but calm must be restored before taking a vote. Inversely, detachment also distorts decision-making. Avoidance of emotion equals avoidance of humanity, and is therefore ruinous to leadership.
When the business mind steps back to take an all-inclusive view, it realizes that to make sense of this chaotic world, it needs a balance of both factuality and narrative. Data recites robotic recordings; only story speaks in a human voice. Data is meaningless until interpreted in story form. Stories radiate the deeply felt meanings that equip entrepreneurs to sell ideas, manufactures to sell product, providers to sell service. Despite all the reasons listed above, the executive must overcome resistance to story and learn how to use it. Because if you can’t tell, you can’t sell.
Robert McKee has given "True Talk: Story-in-Business" lectures to diverse organizations. He is the only screenwriting guru whose teachings have spread beyond the screen and stage to influence all story forms from corporate publishing to journalism. For more information, visit http://www.mckeestory.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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