Paul Smith is Director of Consumer & Communications Research at The Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. In his 19 years with the company, he has worked in leadership positions in both research and finance functions, in several multi-billion dollar business units. He is also a highly-rated trainer in several P&G training colleges for leadership and communications courses. Prior to P&G, Paul was a consultant for Arthur Andersen & Company.
If the only customer information used in your organization resides in dry PowerPoint presentations and in reams of statistical data, the people you work with probably don’t understand your customer any more than you understand your own medical charts
The single biggest barrier most leaders have to using stories is that they just don’t have any stories to tell. Don’t wait. Start collecting them now. Here are some places to look . . .
Just about everything that can be databased in a modern business is, except for the richest source of wisdom in any company—its stories. Write your stories down so you’ll have access to them when you need them.
Stories without a villain won’t help anyone. Their heroes didn’t overcome any adversity. They didn’t confront any challenge. In short, they got lucky. Telling a story about how you got lucky is no way to lead.
We don’t tell our personal stories because we work with strangers. They remain strangers because we don’t tell our personal stories. Challenge people to tell their stories, and you’ll never work with strangers again.