Story Pros: Nick Owen—How Metaphor and Story Transform Leadership

 

Nick Owen is passionate about leadership and storytelling.He is author of three best-selling books on story and metaphor and deeply engaged in promoting the concept of ‘the Third Act’: how we can more pro-actively engage with ourselves and our communities in the last third of our lives.

We talk about the power of metaphor and stories for leaders today, especially in times of transition.

 

CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR STORY PROS SERIES WITH LEADING BUSINESS STORYTELLING PROFESSIONALS!

Highlights from the Show

  • How story can put someone into a trance that helps them become more awake.
  • How Nick used theatre to help people in disadvantaged communities in Tanzania develop their own stories.
  • How organizations can engage more of the regular people who work and want to contribute by listening to them.
  • How asking executives for their stories helped transform how an executive team worked together.
  • Helping leaders shift from report-telling to story-telling.
  • An example of an executive using her own stories and metaphors.
  • “Stories are how we make meaning of everything in our lives. How we communicate what we think we understand.”
  • The power of metaphor.
  • The importance of relevancy.
  • Challenging the myths that are detrimentally shaping our world.
  • We can work on story in three domains: myself, others, and the community/organization/wider world.
  • “A good story is the start of a deep inquiry.”
  • The contribution of theatrical training can make to communication and telling stories.
  • “Storytelling and leadership are performance arts and they need to be embodied.”

Hear the interview with Nick:

Click here to go to the full interview on iTunes (#78))

Click here to listen to episode 78 in iTunes

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

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And please leave a rating and review!

More about Nick

Nick Owen is passionate about bringing skillful people together to create transformational learning events that deliver effective, long-term change. He has been supporting people, communities, and organizations to envisage and create their ‘stories’ for over 30 years. He has worked with senior executives and managers in some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, and with some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities in Africa, South America, and Asia. He brings a unique combination of experience to bear: the discipline of the arts: as actor, theatre director, writer and storyteller; the discipline of many years working in L & D with corporate organizations and educational institutions; and the physical and mental discipline of elite level sport. He is author of three best-selling books on story and metaphor and deeply engaged in promoting the concept of ‘the Third Act’: how we can more pro-actively engage with ourselves and our communities in the last third of our lives.

The Show Notes

Learn more about Nick at www.nickowen.net and also through his work at www.amara.fi 

 

3rd Act: John Tarnoff—Boomer Reinvention

John Tarnoff is a reinvention career coach, speaker and author who helps his fellow baby boomers transition to meaningful and sustainable careers beyond traditional retirement. Fired 39% of the time in his colorful career as a L.A.-based film producer, studio executive and tech entrepreneur, he currently co-runs a graduate management program for a top university. In 2012, he developed the Boomer Reinvention® coaching program to help his generation stay active, engaged, relevant – and solvent. He is the author of the book: Boomer Reinvention: How to Create your Dream Career Over 50.

Check out other 3rd Act Episodes with professionals helping you create a great next stage for your life and career!

Highlights from the Show

“Reinvention is a mindset shift. You’re willingness to be open to lots of different ways of looking at things.”

How you can re-invent yourself without leaving your job.

“In order to create the future you have to reconcile the past.”

“The career you want is inside of you.”

From the book: “Many empty-nesters are open to downsizing our lives and even working for less money in jobs that are more rewarding. We’re searching for ways to live more in line with who we are and what we want to do at this stage in our lives— and continue to make money while we do it. We may not all be working forty-hour weeks, but it seems pretty clear that we are all going to have to keep working as long as we possibly can in today’s and tomorrow’s economy. Our parents were winding down at this point— and the rest of the world, reflexively, has been expecting us to do the same. But most baby boomers both want and need to keep working and keep going.”

How to reconcile the lingering bad experiences from the past with reframing, listening and accepting.

Why we need to be willing to forgive ourselves in order to move on.

“65 is the new 65, it’s not 55 at all.”

Why hiding your age on your resumé is NOT a good idea.

Making the case for the value you bring as an older worker.

Why “do what you love and the money will follow” is a misguided idea.

Hear the interview with John:

Or listen to the full interview on iTunes (#77).

Click here to listen to episode 77 in iTunes

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

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And please leave a rating and review!

More about John

Over the course of his 40 year career (prior to becoming a career coach), John was fired 39% of the time. In any other field, this might be a questionable thing to brag about, but as an entertainment executive and ​film producer for much of the past 40 years, this was business-as-usual in a very tumultuous, fast-paced industry.

Ironically, changing jobs regularly prepared him well for the 21st century workplace – a challenging environment for baby boomers who are in many cases looking to pivot to second act or “encore” careers.  Many of us have spent our entire careers with just one or two companies, and to be marginalized at work, or to get “downsized” as we are rounding the bend towards retirement (or what we had hoped would be retirement…) feels like a low blow.

The Boomer Reinvention® ​System grows out of his experience turning setbacks into successes in Hollywood, but is also guided by his studies in psychology that led to earning an MA, and enabling his own career reinvention from film production to a second act in education and career coaching.

In the 1990s, he jumped into the emerging interactive market, producing CD-ROM games for MGM Interactive and Broderbund, and co-founding and running a tech startup during the DotCom bubble.

When the bubble burst, he ​went back to school to earn a MA in Spiritual Psychology and reinvented himself as an educator and career coach, returning to entertainment to found and manage DreamWorks Animation’s university outreach, onboarding and creative innovation training program.

In 2012, he launched the Boomer Reinvention® career coaching program to support late career baby boomers looking to start sustainable second act or encore careers beyond traditional retirement. To learn more about the methodology, read his book, Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career after 50. (Reinvention Press, Los Angeles 2017). 

The Show Notes

Learn more about John at wwwjohntarnoff.com/.

Read Boomer Reinvention.

 

 

Story Pros: Karen Dietz—Using Storytelling with Big Data and Transformation

 

Karen Dietz returns to the show for an update on business storytelling from a leading expert and top curator in the field. (Listen to our original Story Pros episode # 64 with Karen here.) In this episode, Karen talks about the importance of using storytelling in working with big data and how storytelling can be used for organizational transformation.

Karen  is a 25-year veteran in business storytelling consulting, training, leadership, and organizational development. She’s also the former Executive Director of the National Storytelling Network.

CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR STORY PROS SERIES WITH LEADING BUSINESS STORYTELLING PROFESSIONALS!

Highlights from the Show

  • The big new trend: Data Storytelling, making sense of big data where leaders want insights from the data not just numbers or graphs.
  • The story of the data has to take the data beyond information into implications for action (whether incremental innovation or wholesale disruption).
  • Three levels of insight from data:  Knowledge insight, understanding insight (how to do the job better), transformative insight to produce wisdom.
  • Find insights first in the data – then create the story.
  • What transformational storytelling represents—and how a story’s meaning can change over time.
  • Elevating storytelling into a reflective practice.
  • Finding resolution in trauma or unhealed stories.
  • How stories are stored in the brain, and how our memories can fire differently in different situations.
  • “Our stories are fluid.”
  • “Storytelling is a pull technology—you pull people into your world. It’s about creating a safe space where everybody can tell their story.”
  • Our lack of trust in leadership has risen to 63%,
  • Stages companies go through as they are bringing storytelling into the organization, moving from a storytelling company to a story-doing company (where the stories match internally and externally).
  • Why one-off storytelling workshops might not work.
  • How business storytelling is more than just crafting a good story.
  • Storytelling 1.0 – transactional – how to craft a story to sell a product; Storytelling 2.0 – relationship – using storytelling to create a meaningful relationship; Storytelling 3.0 – transformational – personal, organizational, community level.
  • Why it’s important to remember ethics of the professional storyteller: do no harm at a time when there’s a lot of manipulation going on.
  • Story listening is key.
  • How leaders and storytellers need to inspire hope.

Hear the interview with Karen:

Click here to go to the full interview on iTunes (#72) or the original interview (#64).

Click here to listen to episode 72 in iTunes

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

subscribe_in_itunes

And please leave a rating and review!

More about Karen

Karen knows how to combine the science of storytelling with the art of performing to grow stories that inspire, influence and impact an organization’s bottom line.  She’s worked with Disney, Princess Cruises, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs and get this – Disney – one of the biggest storytellers of them all.Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 2.52.42 PM

She received her Masters and PhD from the Department of Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania, where the department and was the most advanced place to study in the field when Karen attended.

John Wiley publishers recruited Karen for their Dummies series. Her how-to book Business Storytelling for Dummies, co-authored with Lori Silverman, combines a conceptual overview with practical examples, steps to take, and useful questions that help you become a masterful story listener as well as a storyteller.  (I vouch personally for its usefulness!)

Karen offers lots of free resources on her website, http://www.juststoryit.com/.  Sign up for her newsletter and receive some great bonus material!  And check out her fabulous Just Story It curation by clicking here: Scoop-it.

The Show Notes

Learn more about Karen at www.juststoryit.com/

 

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.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click here to listen to episode 70 in iTunes

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

subscribe_in_itunes

And please leave a rating and review!

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 expensivesentences.com/

or learn more about Jack at jackquarles.com/

 

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.

 

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

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 (www.artofhosting.org) 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 www.getsoaring.com, also The Story Dojo Facebook page or The Story Dojo Vimeo channel.

 

The Show Notes

Learn more about Mary Alice at www.getsoaring.com/  and check out the materials in the resource section.

You can learn about participatory processes at www.theartofhosting.org.

 

 

 

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