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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. A good narrative, whether of one's own life of that of a nation, will resonate strongly in the minds of most people since it is about experiences either shared or else one that marks a path for others to follow: I am heavily summarising the book, but this seem to be the main tenet and that the aim is to reach the hearts and souls of the people who read or hear the message. Good leadership, I have read elsewhere is about getting people to follow you: narrative leadership seems to me, to be a fairly convincing style and methodology. The book ends on a note of urgency, that good leadership matters, not just for now, but also future generations.

The book is well organised and written in a style that is suitably authorative while remaining accessible to the non-academic reader. Chapters are arranged into sections and the reader can select parts to read through, study in depth or merely scan and return to some time later. On the whole, this aspect of leadership is worthy of study and certainly seems workable in practice, providing the stories are within the focus and context of what you are needing to do, but a key point of the book is about getting people onside and being able to work for the benefit of all: in this way we might all become narrative leaders.
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VINE VOICEon 14 January 2015
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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on 23 September 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Well, narrative leadership had to the next concept to be absorbed into business-speak and the idea that leadership is based on the effectiveness of the stories you tell and the 'world' you develop is nothing new really- think of all those character in ancient legends and a bit closer to home, 20th century dictators- but it is now being given a spin in the world of corporate academia as it appears to be 'the next big thing.'

As usual of course this usually translates as the next big thing to sell business books but to be fair this is a reasonable enough attempt to bolt storytelling techniques and 'world' building narratives in and around work settings, in order to improve efficiency and enhance leadership skill for the ever lasting glory of improved profit margins and enhanced organisational power. On the whole it works if you stifle your bemusement at just obsessive the corporate world is becoming over soft skills [well in the publishing arena anyway], although the narrative-considering it is told by a storyteller- is at times rather dry and unwieldy which is a bit of a surprise. Whatever, on the whole is has some interesting aspects and is well presented.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really wanted to love this book but considering it was written by a storyteller I have to say I found it hard to stick with the dull bits to get to the diamonds in the rough.

It is worth persevering as there are endless wonderful stories buried in the academia style text but I personally found it quite a struggle.

One part i particularly liked was the bonus sections and Now have a stack of films to watch.

So yes a very valuable resource on storytelling especially in regard to leadership but not the easiest read.
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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? )
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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on 6 June 2014
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 September 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a worthwhile book that builds a convincing case for the power of story-telling which seems to have deep resonance with us humans. This is hardly a new concept - but it does offer insights to managers / leaders who think that the power of the argument / evidence ought to be enough to convince people to do stuff.

I read this from the perspective of the use of narrative / spin in public policy making. Again not a new idea but people still seem surprised that logical argument can't defeat bad policies - or even that policy should be evidence based. Politicians now carefully ensure that their speeches have lots of stories, maybe it's just about conversations they have had or people they have met. They know this is more convincing to most people than a killer statistic.

This is an accessible book - well written and interesting.
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VINE VOICEon 16 December 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I quite enjoyed this book because it plays to what I enjoy doing anyway. I have worked in different style of companies and senior managers who do this - make it personal and show that they are part of this.- all in it together .. As opposed to a more traditional 'command and control ' approach.
I did find it a little repetitive over the whole book and some bits seemed a bit obvious (namely if you are not sincere people will see that ..) but it gave quite a neat framework of items to consider in putting together a campaign / series of messages
I think the only concern I would have is that no one individual can do this in isolation - so I would suggest that this would be a good way to start a cultural change in an organisation
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VINE VOICEon 7 February 2015
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wasn't completely sure what to expect with this book. I quickly warmed to the style and "got" the idea of what it was about and where it was going. Although it is aimed at business managers I think it is just as relevant to an everyday person. Who wouldn't like to think they inspired others on whatever level. It takes you through how storytelling is so relevant to communication today even in such a digital age. I never considered Martin Luther King's "dream" from the perspective of telling people a story and the power it delivers, consider Churchill's speaches and think of them as a story and you'll see the value of this book. Definately one to read for self education!
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