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Telling the Story: The Heart and Soul of Successful Leadership Hardcover – 18 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (18 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118617169
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118617168
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Born into the post-war baby-boomer generation, Geoff was the first member of his family to go to university (and the first to drop out). He quickly returned to complete his studies in mediaeval history after a salutary period washing cars for a living. With not much idea of what he really wanted to do, he cut off his shoulder-length hair and joined the police service which he left three decades later as a chief superintendent.

During those years he did pretty much everything from walking the beat to directing national police leadership programmes and from commanding a police district to training with the F.B.I. in Virginia, U.S.A. En route he also found time to train as an organisational consultant, complete an MBA,a postgraduate diploma in Gestalt psychology, and a PhD in action research.

He has worked as an educator, executive coach and organisational consultant for nearly two decades in the boardrooms of blue chip companies, universities, public sector organisations and government departments. In recent years he has specialised in board development, group facilitation and the use of story and narrative in organisations. Geoff is Director of Narrative Leadership associates - a consultancy using storytellng to help develop sustainable lreadership.(www.narrativeleadership.com)

He was on the faculty of the Prime Minister's Top Management Programme and has co-designed and led national leadership programmes for the Cabinet Office. He has published a wide range of book chapters and articles on aspects of organisational and leadership development, action research (and latterly on storytelling) in professional and academic journals.

Geoff has four grown up children, five grandchildren and an entirely unreasonable love of Morgan sports cars. He divides his time between his partner's house in the Cotswolds and Lyme Regis where he writes and lives in sight of the sea.

Product Description

Review

“With Mead’s experience running a narrative leadership consultancy, the book is an insightful contribution to the field of leadership.” (Elite Business, May 2014) “Mead’s tips on how to speak clearly and honestly are as good as anything on the market, and this book is as rich and absorbing as the most compelling yarn.” (People Management, June 2014) “…it does a good job of explaining how the language and metaphors that we use through the telling of stories can influence our actions, and change how we and others think about the world.” (Talk Business, June 2014) “This book sets out a solid foundation for the role and position of story–telling and weaves it into a modern narrative around leadership explaining how the oft–over–looked human elements of organizational leadership can be sustained through the sense–making of stories.” (Developing Leaders, August 2014)

From the Inside Flap

"Mead′s book makes me feel hopeful and inspired about the future, and my own role in helping to shape it.  His grounded, practical wisdom reminds us that stories have always been the way forward for humanity, and it is time for us to take more concerted action to counter the dominating master narrative of our most recent history. You will find his words a balm for the soul, evoking a meaningful walk in the woods with a wise elder." — Doug Paxton, Faculty and Co–Director of the Leadership Center, Saint Mary′s College of California

 "The title of this book says it all, this is a heart–felt and soul–full book taking us on a journey where we can discover ourselves and achieve leadership success. It is only by finding and acknowledging our authentic truth that we can inspire others to follow. If you want to find out what it takes to be an inspiring and successful leader, step into this world of story." — Jacob Tas, Executive Director of Operations, Action for Children

 "In many spheres of my life, I have learnt that getting the basics right is the platform on which success is built. Geoff′s book turns the spotlight on one of the basic activities of leaders and leadership teams – that of storytelling. The book comprehensively covers the theoretical and practical aspects of storytelling. The case studies and associated experiences of other leaders provide rich detail and inspiration. The book is a catalyst for self–improvement which in turn produces better organizational outcomes and a more successful future." — Sir David Varney, Formerly–Chairman O2, CEO BG, Commissioner HMRC

 "This is surely a ′must read′ for anyone in a leadership role (which is pretty much everybody!). Geoff′s ability to explain narrative leadership is unsurpassed and his passion for storytelling comes through loud and clear in his writing. Understanding and using narrative has completely transformed my approach to leading an organization and influencing others with great success. Telling the Story will inspire you and equip you to use your inherent storytelling ability to influence those around you in a powerful and memorable way. I could not recommend this book more highly!" —Libby Hackett, Chief Executive, University Alliance


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R de Bulat TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Telling the Story," a book about narrative leadership, begins by asking the question, "do you read leadership books from cover to cover?" and answers the question in the negative. I have read many books on organisational management and leadership and have to agree that there are few you would need or want to read in their entirety. There are some, of course, but it does set the question up in your mind as to whether you will read this one from cover to cover and that answer, as far as I am concerned is probably not. That is not as damning as it might sound, as anyone interested in leadership and organisational management, (which is not necessarily the same thing), will want to draw from it what they need depending on the context of the problems faced or their particular line of enquiry. The concept of narrative leadership is a good one - in telling the story one can think of many world leaders who had a narrative to tell and possessed marked leadership qualities: Winston Churchill comes to mind, but perhaps more relevant might be Nelson Mandella or Aung San Suu Ki, all of whom are mentioned in the book and whose leadership has been transformational and carried with it a strong narrative. The argument for this style of leadership is especially piognant where change is the focus, again this is dealt with by the book as is the necessessity of getting one's voice heard and the power that exists, sometimes, in a lone voice at the right time and in the right place.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Truth TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's no secret that stories can be powerful motivational tools, and that they've had an important part part to play in human society since the days when our ancestors told them sat round camp fires, eating wooly mammoth. This book shows you how you can use them to inspire, teach, energise, maximise and motivate in the world of business.

I really liked it. I found it packed with information that could be useful in a number of situations and scenarios; and not just in the workplace. I' still working my way through it, but so far it's proving to be a very worthwhile read.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a book with an interesting slant. More academic than self-help bullet points, this has substantial content that marries leadership with narrative skills. The chapters are rich with examples and exercises of how to develop these skills, with a conclusion, an "interesting article" box and a quick summary of the chapter.

In this, it was not much different in format from my accountancy text books. I have qualifications in business management and a degree in psychology so I could relate to the detailed subject matter. I did worry that some might find it turgid and more text book than manual.

If you are serious about honing your leadership skills, you will enjoy this book.

As an example of "telling your story", I noted almost all of my accountancy lecturers related a brief personal story about themselves. For example, one told us of her study methods while she was a Marks and Spencer manager, another about his online shopping habits, another about how his dad took him to his treasury office when he was a lad, etc. I began to think it was part of their training to communicate more effectively.

It really worked. We were all riveted by these nuggets about the person behind the teacher. I look forward to putting some of it into practice. Even us dull chartered accountants have a story inside of us.
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By Purpleheart TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm completely convinced by the main premise here - that all humans are narrative junkies and that story telling has a huge part in organisation change, consciously or not.

Geoff Mead's book sets out why stories matter, how we remember stories rather than lists, say, how we define ourselves and the world we live in by the stories we tell ourselves and believe. He is is very convincing on these points. He then starst to build his explanations for how to construct and tell your own stories and provides some practical examples in how you can better at story telling skills, which needs to be honed like any other skill.

His chapters are well organised with a good summary and notes and reference section. He also provides a 'Bonus' at the end of each chapter recommending films and TED talks and the like, which further illustrate his point.

One of the more useful books for those involved in organisation and personal change.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M Pritchard on 6 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This brilliant and practical guide explains in detail how and why story can be such a potent tool for leaders Mead deals with all the apparent road blocks, which will be familiar to any change agent who has tried to use narrative with clients, and explains the theory and weight of scientific evidence as to why it can be relied on; why this approach works.

I'm struck with just how generous the information in this book is. Rather than offering glimpses or propositions, Geoff has rolled open the considerable weight of his experience and offered it up to share. Reading this is rather like receiving a serious master class in narrative leadership - for this field, which is dogged with the tag of soft or fuzzy, - the clarity offered is startling and very welcome.

For any leader or coach who is interested in authentic connection, gathering the collective intelligence of their people and galvanising action, this book is a must. I just wish I'd had it years ago. I suspect many other practitioners in the coaching and change arena will be doing the same as me, buying this book for their clients and saying - this is the space I can help you with.
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