What CEOs of Top U.S. Companies Know about Storytellilng that Everyone in Business Should Know

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The founders and CEOs of many of America's most admired companies know something about storytelling that everyone in businessÂ?and every aspiring leader in any organizationÂ?should know: Storytelling is a powerful leadership tool. Because stories touch peopleÂ?s hearts at a personal level, they inspire a level of commitment, teamwork, and customer service that most leaders can only hope for.

The founders and CEOs of many of America's most admired companies know something about storytelling that everyone in business—and every aspiring leader in any organization—should know: Storytelling is a powerful leadership tool. Because stories touch people’s hearts at a personal level, they inspire a level of commitment, teamwork, and customer service that most leaders can only hope for.

Leaders of the organizations featured in a new business book use storytelling to communicate values, celebrate heroes and keep everyone focused on the mission. In Around the Corporate Campfire: How Great Leaders Use Stories To Inspire Success, Seattle-area author, speaker and consultant Evelyn Clark relates "inside" stories of companies such as Nike, FedEx, and The Container Store. In these companies, "the CEOs share corporate legends and everyday workplace stories with employees and other stakeholders to make the vision come alive and to illustrate how people can succeed," Clark says.

"Great leaders know that workers need more than lofty mission statements and industry buzzwords to understand and appreciate what their organization stands for and what’s expected of them. Workers need to hear about the company's people, its values and its history. And studies show that up to 70 percent of workplace learning takes place through stories swapped around the coffee pot or in the lunch room," the author continues. "So smart leaders tell stories, which leave a legacy of experiences that inspire generations."

For example, in Around the Corporate Campfire, Costco Wholesale cofounder, President and CEO Jim Sinegal says, "All you can do is relate the successful experiences you’ve had within the company. What else have we got besides stories? That's what really hits home with people; it’s what brings meaning to the work we do."

Medtronic Chairman and CEO Art Collins agrees. Head of the world's leading medical technology company, Collins says, "When I speak to employee groups—small or large—I relate concepts through personal experience, which bring them to life. Strangers frequently come up to me to relate their gratitude for our products, and I share those stories with employees because the real strength of Medtronic is not a few people at the top. It’s all 30,000 employees and their total commitment to the mission."

Among the other companies featured in the book are 3M, REI, Northwestern Mutual, Mary Kay, Eastman Kodak and Southwest Airlines.

Around the Corporate Campfire: How Great Leaders Use Stories To Inspire Success is scheduled for release June 25. The price is $19.95, with tax and shipping included for all pre-publication orders. To place an order, go to http://www.corpstory.com .

Note: Author Evelyn Clark will deliver two presentations based on her book at the National Storytelling Conference in Bellingham, Washington, which runs July 7 through July 11.

Tuesday, July 6th, 7-9 p.m. -- She will moderate a panel discussion with executives from Nike, Medtronic and K/P Corporation.

Friday, July 9th, 10-11:30 a.m. – Clark will deliver a presentation on "Passing the Torch: How Great Leaders Impart Mission, Vision and Values through Storytelling."

All events are open to the public. For more information, a schedule of activities, event locations and directions, or to register, go to http://www.storynet.org.

Evelyn Clark is available for interviews and will develop guest articles or columns on request. Call toll-free 1 (866) 818-8079.

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