Avoid fudging the truth in storytelling

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The following should be avoided while telling a story.This is because the audience is intelligent enough to understand whether a speaker is lying or not.

Margot Leitman points out the following as strict NO-NO while telling a story in her book titled “Long Story Short”.

  1. Modifying the plot
  2. Making up characters
  3. Altering the story’s emotional truth

Watch out for Finite Mindset leaders & their messages

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It is basic human nature that the order in which information is presented more often than not conveys priorities and strategies of a leader.

Mike Duke who became the fourth CEO of Walmart was known for his finite mindset and his tenure from 2009 to 2013 was characterized by lack of trust and severe resentment among employees.

Mike Duke’s strategy excerpt:

Our strategy is sound and our management team is extremely capable.I am confident we will continue to deliver value to our stakeholders, increase opportunity for our over 2 million associates , and help our 180 million customers around the world save money and live better.”

This strategy put profits and shareholders first and employees after that.

Don Mcmillon who succeeded Duke was characterized by an infinite mindset , excerpt from his strategy statement:

This has thus enabled him to restore the brand value of Walmart after the abysmal failure of Mike Duke.

The company has a rich history of delivery value to customers across the globe and as their needs grow and change we will be there to serve them.Our management team is talented and experienced and our strategy gives me the confidence that our future is bright”.By keeping our promises to customers , we will drive shareholder value create opportunities for our associates and grow our business.”

Clearly this put people priorities first.

Simon Sinek has mentioned these subtle aspects in his book titled “The Infinite Game”.

The contrasting approaches of COSTCO and GE CEO’s

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The share prices and growth patterns of COSTCO and GE are really noteworthy.

Jack Welch and his 6 sigma philosophy focused on optimization & short term gains always putting people priorities behind shareholder interests and profits.

At the same time James Senegal of COSTCO always put his people first , knowing fully well that satisfied employees would be able to take care of customers and hence the shareholders.

The result is right in front of our eyes. The shareholder returns , margins of COSTCO are something to be really proud of as against the finite mindset of GE top bosses.

Simon Sinek has wonderfully illustrated this point in many of his videos on “The Infinite Game”

The role of a CVO in an infinite game

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For playing the infinite game of business with an infinite mindset the modern day CEO needs to be a visionary putting people’s priorities first over bottom line ,stock markets etc.

A finite mindset wherein bottom line , profit margins become the first priority over people issues , though successful in the short term can lead to severe detrimental effects in the long term.

This is why the need of the hour is no longer a CEO but a CVO(Chief Vision Officer) who would put people priorities first , make the life of employees meaningful and inspiring in advancing the “just cause” of the organization.

Simon Sinek makes a mention of the same in his book titled “The Infinite Game”

Why a CFO or a COO may not fit as the CEO?

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Look at Apple and how selection of John Sculley at the helm nearly killed Apple.Sculley it is said was obsessed competing with IBM.

When Michael Dell stepped down and Kevin Rollins took over , same story which is why the same way Apple brought back Steve Jobs , Dell had to bring back Michael Dell.

Something similar happened to Microsoft when Steve Ballmer took charge.

All these individuals Steve Ballmer , Kevin Rollins , John Sculley inspite of being super talented miserably failed as CEO’s.

This is because as CFO or COO a person can succeed inspite of not putting people’s priorities first.

Whereas in the infinite game without putting people priorities first a CEO can succeed in the long term but never in the long term.Once the focus shits first to bottomline and numbers the company culture and internal trust takes a huge beating.

Simon Sinek brings out this point in his book titled “The Infinite Game”.

Simplest ways to generate stories

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1) Travel more be it personal or business

2) Keep changing your mode of transport to work – use carpool , bus etc. to get connected with more people

3) Say yes to more and more event invitations even though they may seem weird

4) Dont run away if you bump into someone weird

5) Convince your spouse to do something adventurous e.g. new method of exercising to stay fit.

Margot Leitman has provided these fascinating tips in the book titled ” Long Story Short”

Storytelling tips for the day

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Long Story Short by Margot Leitman has awesome tips for storytelling and is a must read for any novice in search of an engaging story.

Tips for the day , extracted from the book:

1) When Things Start to get weird , dive into the crazy

2) Never Put yourself in danger for the sake of a story

3) Storytelling is not about bashing someone.It is about being brave enough to tell your own story to inspire others to feel better with their own lives

“Best” vs “Better” mindset

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Any mission statement focusing on being the “best” is not going to survive in the long term.This is because winning is always for the short term.

On the other hand , a mindset focused on getting “better” is infinite minded and an stand the test of time.This is because such a mindset does not focus on winning or losing but continuing to play the infinite game.

Simon Sinek makes a mention of this in “The Infinite Game”.

Avoid Product centric mission statements

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By making product as a hero in egocentric mission statements , the organization culture suffers.

This when happens shifts the spotlight on the product and enginnering teams at tbe cost of other teams for e.g. Accounts , customer support.

These departments start perceiving themselves as second grade citizens and do not feel inspired to advance something bigger than the product or themselves.

Though sometimes successful in the short term they can never stand the test of time.

Simon Sinek makes a mention of the same in his book titled “The Infinite Game”.

Pitfalls of a egocentric product specific mission statement

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Garmin’s mission statement read as follows:

“We will be the global leader in every market we serve and our products will be sought after for their compelling design , superior quality & best value”

This is an example of product specific egocentric mission statement.Garmin focused on the product with a finite mindset.Needlessly to say this could not stand the test of time making Garmin irrelevant in the age of smartphones.

Simon Sinek makes a mention of the same in his book titled “The Infinite Game”.