Change agents: Jack Quarles—Shifting How We Think About Buying

Jack Quarles helps companies save millions of dollars in purchasing decisions. But more than just running the numbers, he’s helping people to think. He encourages us to recognize the hidden assumptions and old adages behind our beliefs, knowing these can often lead us into poor decisions.

Jack shows us how to recognize “Expensive Sentences,” to save us from wasting money and time and experiencing the heartache caused by poor buying (and life) decisions.

Highlights from the show

What an expensive sentence is and how to recognize it.

Why we should be attentive to three words when we’re encountering expensive sentences: “stuck,” “special,” and “scarce.”  They show up in phrases like: “It’s too late to turn back now.” “It would be nice if we could do that, but we can’t because of.” “Nobody else can do what we/they do”. “There’s no time to think about that.”

How to know if it’s time to persevere or time to cut bait.

Why being swamped shouldn’t preclude taking time to consider our decisions.

Why even start-ups needed to examine the specialness trap.

How to confront an assumption without confronting a person using three questions which help us challenge limiting beliefs and get to the heart of what’s true.


Click here to listen to episode 70 in iTunes

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About my guest

JACK QUARLES is the author of Amazon bestsellers “Expensive Sentences,” “How Smart Companies Save Money” and “Same Side Selling” (co-written with Ian Altman). He speaks to business and leadership groups throughout the US and internationally, and as an expense management professional has saved companies tens of millions of dollars. Jack has co-founded multiple startups and currently serves on two boards of directors. He received degrees from Yale University and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business. He lives in Toledo, Ohio where he enjoys his church, iced tea, guitar, basketball, and above all spending time with his wife and two daughters.

The Show Notes

His book: Expensive Sentences: Debunking Common Myths that Derail Decisions and Sabotage Success

or learn more at

or learn more about Jack at


Story Pros: Mary Alice Arthur—Story Activism

Mary Alice is a Story Activist, creating spaces where people can find the stories that take them to their most flourishing future. She talk about her work, around the globe, helping people to grow their capacity to deeply listen and work with each other, as well as to see the story they are living in and the one they are living into.

She provokes us all to take back the power of our stories so we can make conscious choices.

Cool Quotes:

“We live in a story, and
that means we can change it.”
“In this very moment, a story is influencing your future.”
“The stories we hold about the world help to create the reality we experience.”
“Story is the shortest distance between two people.”
“There is no innocent storytelling.”
“Context leads to content.”
“Don’t do this alone.”

Highlights from the show

Why the more we listen to each other, the more voices come into the room, the more powerful the result will be.

How Mary Alice became a story activist and what “activating stories” means.

Leaders want story to influence people – for manipulation or for the good.

How Mary Alice activates stories that give communities a more positive future.

Why it’s important to ask questions that enable people to find their own stories.

First tool: get aware of your own story—and your triggers.

Processes that allow people to come into a deeper conversation.

Four parts compass for working in groups:

East: Powerful questions (the context that leads to content)

South: Stories that takes us into conversation

West: Conversation

North: Making collective sense and meaning

How to engage people with very diverse and sometimes opposing viewpoints.

How to make compelling invitations to diverse audiences.



Click here to listen to episode 65 in iTunes

And if you like the show, please subscribe in iTunes and leave a rating or review!

About my guest

Mary Alice Arthur is a Story Activist, using Story to help make positive systemic shift and for applying collective intelligence to the critical issues of our times.  Her art is in creating spaces where people can find the stories that take them to their most flourishing future. Building the capacity for participatory practice supports people to take back the power of their stories so they can make wiser choices. She is a sought after process consultant and event host, and an engaging speaker. As an international steward of the Art of Hosting ( she teaches participatory practice around the world. Through The Story Dojo, she is spreading the meme of Story Activism, supporting people to develop their skills and practice and engaging in leading edge conversations about the power and potential in our world.  Contact her through, also The Story Dojo Facebook page or The Story Dojo Vimeo channel.


The Show Notes

Learn more about Mary Alice at  and check out the materials in the resource section.

You can learn about participatory processes at




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