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Words are no more powerful than the stories they tell

While I believe Jared Loughner is mentally ill, I also think it is a good time to discuss the power of words.

What (crazy) story prompted Jared Loughner to try to assassinate Congresswoman Giffords? Did he make his story up from scratch? Probably not. The metaphor of war is so deeply embedded in our American culture we should all take a look in the mirror.

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Pulled in too many directions

This guy is in pain. I’ve seen this drawing from many people in many industries.  The tug of priorities feel like they are tearing you apart.  What I like about this guy’s drawing is the expressions on the faces of the people who need his attention.  A nice person, a mad/mean person, a sad person,

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Tied to Technology

In the late 1990’s people called their cell phones a leash.  They resented that the office could find them anytime and jerk them back as if they were a dog on a leash.  Now, if you google “cell phone leash” it is something you buy to keep you from losing your cell phone.  Except it’s

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God Complex

I facilitated dialogue between conservative and gay Christians in the same denomination off and on for two years.  It got ugly at times.  Getting people to come is the hardest part.  (same problem with racial issues) This group was truly inclusive and most of the people there were experts on Bible scripture, citing Chapter and

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Run for Your Lives

Every so often, senior leadership decides that a new system will solve all our problems.  They know there will be a “period of adjustment” but this drawing communicates the emotional costs in a way that is hard to ignore. The minute this metaphor map appeared a room full of fifty people started laughing in recognition. 

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No Sense of Connection

Virtual teams can work but this particular member of a virtual team didn’t feel like she was part of a team at all.  The meeting was the first time the eight people had met in the same room for a year.  Each of them performed the same role at their individual business units, but no

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Popular Posts

Storyteller’s Confession: My Secret Mission

I’ve been trying to infiltrate the halls of power for decades. My secret mission is to increase the diversity of thought by teaching those without a voice how to tell their stories and by teaching leaders how to find and retell stories that broaden everyone’s understanding.

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 8 of 8

We need a Magic School for Storytellers Thirty years before J. K. Rowling created Harry Potter, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series imagined a magic school that taught apprentice sorcerers how to avoid abusing the power of magic. Le Guin points out early in the series that “even to light a candle is to cast a

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 7 of 8

Truth in Storytelling When I wrote the first edition of The Story Factor twenty years ago, I began with the idea that people don’t want more information. They want faith in you and your positive intentions. I never suspected that two decades later we’d be discussing an explosion of stories that intentionally undermine this faith. Without

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 6 of 8

The Moral Dilemmas of a Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man Frank Baum’s original introduction to The Wizard of Oz, written in 1900, made it clear that he felt children no longer needed the stereotypical “old-time fairy tale” that “may now be classed as ‘historical’ in the children’s library.” Baum claimed the time had

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 5 of 8

  Blueprints for Building Trust Learning to drive was fun until I hit the mailbox. I burst into tears, blaming my dad, “You told me not to brake when turning corners!” It wasn’t my fault that he neglected to clarify I should brake before turning the corner so I could release the brakes while turning

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