Author Archive

3 Fundamentals You Need to Build a Strong Company Culture

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“Humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player.”―Patrick Lencioni

It’s easy to spot weak company culture, isn’t it? We’ve all witnessed the politics, egos, and backstabbing. That kind of toxic environment makes it hard to do good work and retain good people.

But it’s not so easy to pinpoint what makes a thriving company culture. What steps can we take to cultivate it with our current employees? How can we recruit and hire people who “get it?”

To answer those questions, Donald Miller sits down with renowned business consultant Patrick Lencioni this week on the Building a StoryBrand podcast. Patrick shares the three characteristics of a great team member, plus practical ways you can help your team develop those traits.

Your business can’t reach its potential if your people don’t reach theirs. What Patrick shares here will help you create a positive, authentic company culture that drives your overall business growth.


“Better than an MBA”

We’re thrilled to see reviews like these for Don’s new book, Building a StoryBrand. It means that business leaders like you are finding clarity and growing their businesses.

What big breakthrough will you have when you read it? Order your copy today, and then forward your receipt to and get a free video, “How to Become a Communication Ninja.” (Nunchucks not included.)


The Best of 2017, Part 2

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It’s been a wonderful year here on the Building a StoryBrand podcast. I want to say thank you to everyone for listening.

I know you’ve been busy this year growing your business. So we figured you may have missed some of our most popular guests or you could use a little review to really bring all this great wisdom home. Since it’s Christmas, we decided to wrap up all the practical advice from 2017 and give it to you in a single episode.

Tune in to Blake Mycoskie, Chief Shoe-Giver and founder of TOMS, for the first three hires you should make as you scale up your business. Charles Duhigg, author of Smarter Faster Better reveals how to build mental models to help you avoid wasting time on unimportant tasks. Professional storyteller, Tricia Rose Burt, gives you the story structure that will help you resonate with your audience. And Robert Sutton, author of The A-hole Survival Guide, will tell you how to avoid jerks at the office. We’ll finish with advice on how to close deals from Molly Fletcher, author of A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating.

We hope you’ve learned as much as we have from our guests this year. And we wish you a happy, healthy business that will bless you and your loved ones as it grows.


#1: Scale up your business by hiring the right people.

Blake Mycoskie, Chief Shoe Giver and founder, TOMS

Since it’s not everyday you get to interview a world-renowned businessman, I took the opportunity to find out the key hires Blake made in the beginning to take his business to the bigtime. Then, we moved into Blake’s unusual take on employee titles (he thinks they’re ridiculous) and how to manage a growing team by giving up a little control. I loved Blake’s approach to running his business and I’m sure you will too.


#2: Create mental models to become effective throughout your day.

Charles Duhigg, author of Smarter Faster Better

The human brain developed in a dangerous world. It learned how to deal with a variety of stimuli by focusing intently on the most obvious one. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Ferocious predator coming. Don’t worry about anything else but surviving. The problem is, we don’t live in that world anymore. Instead, we’re bombarded by stimuli, none of which are life-threatening. As a result, we descend into “cognitive tunneling” where the obvious distracts us from the important goals that will move our business forward. Charles explains more about cognitive tunneling and shows us how to put ourselves back in charge by creating mental models. This is a difficult concept to understand, but after you get it, you’ll have one of those “aha” experiences that will change the way you go about your day.


#3: Use the structure of story to help your customers transform.

Tricia Rose Burt, professional storyteller

Your customers won’t be motivated to do business with you because of a long list of your product’s features. If you want to connect with your customers, you’ll need to connect with their emotions. And that’s where story comes in. Storytelling is the most effective method of bringing about change. So, if you’re trying to help your customers transform when they interact with your brand, you’re going to need some storytelling techniques to make that happen. Tricia reveals the key ingredients you need to tell a great story. She also helps you to connect with your audience by getting specific so the problems you talk about become universal. Tap into more storytelling insights from Tricia here.


#4: Develop strategies for the toxic people you work with.

Robert Sutton, author of The A-Hole Survival Guide

Nobody wants to lose life hours to a bully. But different types of jerks require distinct strategies. In this episode, you’ll learn about the kinds of a-holes you might face in the workplace and some strategies to help you move forward no matter who they are. If you’re feeling pushed around by a jerk at work, tune in to learn how to stop getting pushed around.


#5: Negotiate with people by connecting with them.

Molly Fletcher, author of A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating

As someone who has years of experience as a sports agent for professional athletes, Molly has a slew of knowledge about negotiating. Here you’ll learn how to set yourself up for success before you even come to the table. Molly also busts some myths about negotiating and helps to take the mystery out of it. Soon, you’ll be negotiating with ease and style and walking away with the deals you desire. Learn how here.

This is a clip from our episode featuring Chris Guillebeau.


I’m really excited about the upcoming year. We’re busy lining up guests for 2018 to help you grow as a leader and take your business to a whole new level.

From the entire StoryBrand team,have a happy holiday today. Rest up and enjoy your family and friends. Can’t wait to help your business grow in 201

Let’s hear what you have to say!

You can shape the future of the Building a StoryBrand podcast by letting us know what you think. As we close out the year, we hope you’ll give us your honest feedback so we can make the year 2018 the best year ever for your business.

Give us your valuable opinion and ten of the participants will get an Amazon gift card!


The Best of 2017, Part 1

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Can you believe we’ve listened to and learned from close to 50 guests in 2017? That’s a ton of valuable information. I’ve gained so much wisdom from our interviews and I hope you have too.

For today’s podcast, we’ve selected snippets of interviews that zero in on building your business. You get to hear from Seth Godin, marketing genius, about speed versus perfection when it comes to launching your product.

You’ll learn how to reverse engineer your goals from Fizzle director, Chase Reeves, and how to get your team to focus on and execute your most important goal from 4DX co-author Chris McChesney. Nancy Duarte will teach you how to structure your upcoming presentation. Finally, copywriting extraordinaire Ray Edwards will reveal the magic words you should use with your customers to make you money.

We know how busy life can be and realize you may have missed some of our most popular guests. So, for the next couple of weeks we thought it would be awesome to play you excerpts from some of our favorite interviews on the Building a StoryBrand podcast from July to December to wrap up the year.


Big Idea #1: Do your best work and then engage your audience.

Seth Godin, best-selling author and marketing guru

As a creator, you may have some perfectionist tendencies about your products. It’s tempting to keep your creation hidden so you can keep tweaking and fine-tuning it. But is it possible to wait too long? Seth argues that slower doesn’t necessarily mean better. When it “meets spec” or delivers the quality you promise, you should get it out there and allow your audience to engage with it. That’s the only way you can know whether it’s resonating. Learn more about when you should “ship it” and why you should allow your audience in on the process of perfecting your work.


Big Idea #2: Choose a goal and reverse-engineer the end result.

Chase Reeves, Creative Director of Fizzle

Often, lack of motivation is actually a lack of clarity. Your heart wants you to do something but your brain doesn’t know how to take you there. Chase shows you how to find motivation by paving a path for your mind to accomplish your goals. Start with the accomplishment, or the end result, and work backwards from that final product. The clearer you get, the more motivated you’ll be. Tap into a more in-depth explanation of how to reverse-engineer your goals in this episode.


Big Idea #3: Focus on your Wildly Important Goal to overcome the “whirlwind”.

Chris McChesney, co-author of The Four Disciplines of Execution

If you find yourself working harder and longer without seeing any better results, you need to listen to this episode. You’re caught up in what Chris calls the “whirlwind” — a world where ringing phones, unexpected appointments, and other urgent matters dominate your day. Chris will reveal the key discipline you need to overcome the whirlwind — focus on just one Wildly Important Goal (or WIG) that could transform your company. In this clip, Chris explains how to identify your Wildly Important Goal and how to help your team achieve it.


Big Idea #4: Craft a great presentation by using the structure of a story.

Nancy Duarte, author of HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations

Every story has a three-act structure with a likeable character who encounters roadblocks and is changed by them. The greatest speeches (think Martin Luther King, Jr. and Steve Jobs) follow this structure and we can learn a lot from their perspective. If you align your presentation along storytelling guidelines, you’ll get some dramatic results. In this episode, Nancy teaches you how to apply this story framework to your presentation, placing your audience as the likeable hero who will undergo transformation.


Big Idea #5: Use these magic phrases to motivate your customers to take action.

Ray Edwards, author of How to Write Copy That Sells

At StoryBrand workshops and in our online courses, we teach you that customers won’t take action on their own. You have to call them to action. In this episode, you’ll learn several magic phrases from copywriting genius, Ray Edwards, that incite your customers to make a decision and motivate them to buy. After you’ve applied a few of these, you’ll see a radical improvement in how your customers respond to your product. Soon, your sales copy will finally be doing its job — reaching the people who need your product and making you money. Learn all eight magic phrases here.



Thanks for reading and listening to some of the best of the Building a StoryBrand podcasts today. Tune in next week for another compilation of more great advice that will help you grow your business. I know it’s Christmas, but it’ll be a worthwhile listen while the “roast beast” cooks. Enjoy!

Let’s hear what you have to say!

You can shape the future of the Building a StoryBrand podcast by letting us know what you think. As we close out the year, we hope you’ll give us your honest feedback so we can make the year 2018 the best year ever for your business.

Give us your valuable opinion and ten of the participants will get an Amazon gift card!


How to Accomplish Your Mission Under Extreme Pressure

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You don’t get to meet an astronaut everyday. They’re really special people who beat terrific odds (less than 1%) to get where they are.

So what an honor it is to have Astronaut Jerry Linenger on the podcast. He was sent on some of the most dangerous and historical space missions of all time. Jerry has faced mechanical malfunctions, fires and system failures all while in space.

While you might not have to put out a space fire this week, we all have faced extreme pressures before. The principles Jerry used to accomplish his missions won’t only work for him. They’ll help you bring a stronger sense of purpose to your business, too — no matter what the odds are.


#1: Make your luck

Benjamin Franklin said: Diligence is the mother of luck.

Jerry took those words to heart. When he applied, only 10 astronaut candidates would be chosen from a pool of 35,000.

Those are pretty tough odds, but Jerry says you can vastly improve the probabilities.

“Try to do things that might put you at an advantage along the way,” he says.

For instance, he went to the U.S. Naval Academy because that’s where most astronauts graduated from. He also kept building his resume — earning a master’s degree, a Ph.D., and experience in flying jets. He even added SCUBA diving, which is a pretty good indicator of how you might handle a space walk, to his repertoire.

Takeaway: Chances are, as a business leader, you’ve probably got some big dreams for your company that will take some luck to accomplish. Keep ticking the things off that will get you closer to your goal.

#2: Prepare extensively for big moments

Jerry has done some pretty amazing things. He’s flown off the back of an aircraft carrier on a stormy night, handled a triple gunshot wound victim coming into the Detroit Receiving Hospital, and he’s sat on top of seven million pounds of thrust — more than once.

“You find out what you’re made of in those situations,” he says.

How is he able to deliver during these crucial moments?

He points out that you can’t just click your fingers and be ready. It’s all the training you’ve done beforehand that sets you up for success.

“I’m not trying to sound stoic, or brave, or anything else, but when I’m sitting on that rocket, I am as calm as can be,” he says. “I’ve trained hard. I’ve given it everything I could to prepare.”

Takeaway: Your training and preparation will make you successful when you need to be.

#3: Work for a Common Goal

Jerry spent five months working alongside two Russian cosmonauts in the Russian space station.

It wasn’t easy. Their space station, which had a design life of three to five years, was close to 13 years old when he arrived. It smelled like a grandmother’s basement and had a lot of problems.

But he had to push all his complaints aside and keep the mission first. In space, every day is planned out to the minute, Jerry says. He had to accomplish his set of tasks. And so did his crewmates.

“We had no arguments to speak of in five months,” he says.


They had the same goals as Jerry — colonizing space for mankind and moving mankind forward. Those goals are just too big to allow room for petty differences.

Takeaway: If everyone on your team understands the common goal and what they are expected to do, you can accomplish amazing feats — without drama.

#4: Stay Calm in Tough Situations

Jerry and his two Russian crewmembers faced quite a few challenges: repeated failures of critical life-support systems, a near collision between the space station and an incoming resupply spacecraft, loss of power, and a computer failure that set the space station tumbling uncontrollably through space. And if that doesn’t impress you, they narrowly survived a raging, out-of-control fire that was later described as the most severe fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft.

That’s high stress. All those situations were “do or die” scenarios.

So, how did he manage situations like when the oxygen generator broke down and the crew members started to hyperventilate and get light-headed?

As Jerry would float by his crewmate who was working on it, he’d pat him on the back and say, “You’re a good man. You’re smart. I know you can fix that thing. Keep up the good work.”

Takeaway: Losing control in high-stress situations will only hurt your chances of success.

#5: Encourage Your Team

You’d think that someone who has this much drive, poise, and abilities wouldn’t need much encouragement. But one of the biggest surprises Jerry discovered about himself was that he craved an outside source to tell him he was doing a good job.

It sounds crazy, he explains, but when he got a message from Earth that the researcher in the Czech Republic was really pleased with the results of the experiment he did, it lifted his spirits.

“Those words of encouragement do matter to everyone,” he says.

Takeaway: Words of encouragement are easy to give and go a long way. Make a point to compliment your team members on the work they do.

#6: Don’t Celebrate Early

As the end of the five months neared, it became more important than ever to stay focused. Jerry said he worked as efficiently and competently as he could right up to the last minute, because if he let down his
guard, he’d lose steam. Relaxing during the mission just wasn’t an option.

“You don’t sit back on the lead you have. You keep pressing right on until the final moment.”

Jerry didn’t ease up until they docked. It wasn’t until after they equalized the pressures between the vehicles, opened up the hatch, and Jerry moved over to the American space shuttle that he allowed himself to celebrate and relax.

“When I got back on the shuttle, that was a great moment,” Jerry says.

How this applies to your business: Stay focused until the goal is reached. Then, you can start giving high fives.


Very, very few of us will face the same challenges as Astronaut Jerry Linenger. However, there is so much we can learn from him in preparing for difficult situations and fighting for the success of the mission. If we do this well, we will win in business.

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How to Protect Your Company in a World of Disruption

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Do you remember when Netflix started delivering unlimited movies? Poor Blockbuster is now defunct.

Or think back to those early cellphones. What happened to Nokia after Apple introduced the iPhone?

Netflix and Apple are classic examples of “disruptors” — companies that have created a new service or product that displaced established leading companies.

As consumers, we admire disruptors. I mean we love how The Dollar Shave club made getting razors so easy. And we’re happy that Airbnb gives us different opportunities than a stale hotel room.

But as a business leader, disruption could cause you to lose sleep at night. You’ve got to stay ahead of the competition or you might get left behind.

So how do you protect your company?

In this episode of the Building a StoryBrand podcast, I sit down with Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself, to talk about how to prepare your team to manage change in an age of disruption. She’s an expert on this topic and gives us a few strategies to help us feel competent and confident in the dynamic business realm we work in.

I’ve summarized just a few key points here in the post, but to be honest, I can’t squeeze all of Whitney’s wisdom on the podcast here. She’s super smart — like one of the top business thinkers in the world. You’re definitely going to want to listen to the entire episode, so tune in sometime this week.


Understand the S-curve

If you want to stay relevant in a changing world, you need to learn about a widely-used mathematical model.

Imagine if someone took the top end of an “S” and pulled it slightly to the right, and the bottom of the “S” and pulled it slightly to the left, stretching it out.

This is called the S-curve and it has been used to describe all kinds of business growth.

But Whitney says the big “aha” experience happens for business leaders when you use this S-curve to understand your own growth.

If you’re on the low end of the S-curve, you work very hard, but not much is happening, she explains. Then, you start to gain new confidence as you learn more and more. Eventually, you get to that sweet spot where you’re not having to work that hard, but productivity is still really high. You’re competent and confident. ‘

If we understand where we are on the S-curve, we’ll be able to respond proactively to the challenges we face.

“At the top of the curve, things become very easy. They become routine,” she explains, “but because you’re no longer enjoying the good effects of learning, you get bored.”

She warns, “If you don’t jump to a new S-curve, your plateau can actually become a precipice.”

If we understand where we are on the S-curve, we’ll be able to respond proactively to the challenges we face. It will help us to:

Stay calm when we’re at the low end of the curve (Ack! Somebody help me!)

Keep persevering during the ascent (I’m working so hard. Will this ever end?)

Enjoy the sweet spot (Things are going great! I’ve got it all figured out.)

Know when it’s time for a change (I’m bored. I think I’ll hang out on Facebook for awhile.)

Where are you on the S-curve?

Disrupt Your Team

This concept is counterintuitive.

You spend time and energy training someone in their position, and just when they’ve really become an expert, it’s time to move them and start the process all over again.

But here’s what happens, and I’ve seen it happen here at StoryBrand. When you give people new things to do, they stay engaged. We’ve moved people from one position to another, or we’ve started up different projects so people don’t get complacent.

When they’ve really become an expert, it’s time to move them and start the process all over again.

It actually makes complete sense. I mean, as a writer, I know I’ve got to change things up so the audience doesn’t get bored. As a leader, I have to do the same thing.

As the leader of your organization, you need to know where your team members are on the S-curve. Whitney suggests about 70% of your people should be in that sweet spot where they’re feeling confident.

At the low end, you should have about 15% who are brand new. They’re learning new things and questioning everything. Whitney says that these people at the bottom will give you lots of information about what you can do differently.

You also want to have about 15% of your people at the top of the curve who can bring people along. Whitney warns, however, that you should allow them to jump to a new curve after they’ve been in a role for two or three years.

“That is the key to harnessing innovation and driving engagement inside of your company,” Whitney says, “because if you’ve got too many people at the top of your S-curve, you either have people who are complacent or people who are going to leave.”

Where on the S-curve are the members of your team?

Encourage Innovation

“The boss that people love to work for is the boss that lets you bring your dreams to work,” Whitney says.

That translates to a few actions as a leader. First, you’ve got to find out what dreams your team members have. Unfortunately, Whitney says it’s not that uncommon for leaders to have no idea what their people want to do.

But if you take the time to know what your team’s dreams are, you’ll breed a loyalty that will carry your company into new levels of excellence.

Second, you’ve got to invite some chaos into your workplace because that’s what it’s going to feel like when people are taking risks.

But it’s worth it. When you allow people to jump to new things and change, you’ll become the disruptor rather than the disrupted. You’ll anticipate industry change and face it with confidence.

Ask your team members what their dreams are.

Create a Culture of Disruption

With so many startups and innovations, you’d think that every company is destined to topple.

But there are some companies who stay on top despite the atmosphere of disruption. Think Apple, Amazon, Google, and Netflix.

So, the question is how do these companies avoid disruption?

You’re only going to avoid disruption if you’re a disruptor.

The answer is these companies disrupt themselves. From Apple creating its own App store to Netflix creating its own exciting content, companies stay on top by adapting and continually innovating in-house.

You’re only going to avoid disruption if you’re a disruptor.

Whitney encourages us as leaders to take risks and try new things.

“Anytime you take on a new task, anytime you take on a new project, it’s an opportunity to disrupt!”


If you use some of these key strategies to deal with disruption, you’ll optimize your workforce and keep them engaged, and you’ll become the game-changer in your industry.


On your own time, at your own pace

When you buy a StoryBrand Online Workshop, you’ll get all of our valuable marketing advice whenever you need it. The Online Workshop simplifies the StoryBrand framework into bite-sized tasks that you can complete over time, at your own pace. Plus your license never expires. You’ll have access to this quality content forever. Donald Miller and his guests will bring the best of StoryBrand marketing advice to you. Work through the StoryBrand framework to solve your marketing problems and grow your revenue.


5 Rules That Will Help You Attract Loyal Customers

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How much can poor customer service cost you?

The answer is more than you think. One restaurant lost $6,000 a year for refusing a customer’s request to deliver a fried egg on the side of his cheeseburger.

That customer, Todd Duncan, is my guest today and his experience became the premise for his book, The $6,000 Egg. In the podcast, he’ll explain how customer service can make or break your business. Then, he’ll outline 5 rules that will help you deliver fantastic service to your customers.

Customer service is the bedrock of your brand. If your team takes ownership of your company’s values and delivers wonderful service to your customers, your business will run smoothly and grow exponentially.

If you want to get the full wisdom of all Todd has to say, listen to the full episode when you have some time this week.


Rule #1: Go Beyond Customer’s Expectations

Most companies seek to meet customer’s expectations.

But there are a few businesses who don’t stop there. They keep piling on the value, delivering far more until the customer is overwhelmed — in a good way.

Todd shares his experience with a shoe-shiner named Alex at the Denver Airport as an example.

If you’re not in a hurry, Alex will give you meticulous service. Your shoeshine may last well over 15 minutes. And when Alex is finished shining your eyelets with a cotton swab and repairing your aiglet (that little hard thing at the end of your shoelace), you’ll likely say the same thing Todd did:

“That was the best shoe shine I’ve ever received.”

When it comes time to pay, Alex can say with confidence, “Just pay me what you think it’s worth.”

Like Todd, you’ll probably pay over three times the general cost of a shoe shine. And you’ll be happy about it.

You’re not the only one. Now, many people seek the “Alex experience” when they come to Denver.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. When you don’t stop at customer satisfaction, but deliver way beyond what your customer is expecting, people will gladly pay more for the special experience they’re getting.

Rule #2: Delight Customers Every Step of the Way

Sometimes, the success of your business brings up new problems.

Todd describes a restaurant called Mama D’s where the food is so delicious a long line queues up to get in. It might take 45 minutes to get a table.

When you train your team to find ways to enchant your customers every step of the way, things like revenue and growth just happen naturally.

That’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

At Mama D’s, the leadership has trained their employees to make your wait a pleasant experience. Servers will come around with piping hot garlic bread or a bit of sausage on a toothpick to enjoy while you’re waiting. They’ll also bring drinks. If the wait is over 60 minutes, the drink is on them.

But they even go farther. If you ask for a cold beer, they bring it in a cooler of ice. If they don’t have something you want, they’ll dispatch someone to run across the street to grab it. Or if you leave your leftovers, they’ll figure out a way to make you happy — like paying for your dinner the next time you come in.

When you train your team to find ways to enchant your customers every step of the way, things like revenue and growth just happen naturally.

Rule #3: Create a Culture of Service

If you don’t have a Nordstrom’s story about amazing customer service, you’ve probably never visited the clothing store. Todd’s Nordstrom story is about an employee named Mona.

On a Sunday afternoon, Todd selected a couple of pairs of slacks to purchase. Unfortunately, they weren’t hemmed and he needed them by that evening since he was leaving early in the morning.

Mona called her tailors to see if they could make the deadline. Todd was thrilled to hear they would be done by 5 pm. He planned to go home, get lunch, and then come back to pick them up.

But Mona said, “You know, you’re probably going to be busy packing. Could I just drop by your house this afternoon and deliver the slacks?”


Mona is not just a good employee, she’s exceptional. She’s someone who any leader would love to hire. But she’s committed to Nordstrom’s. Why?

Because Nordstrom’s core values are all about service and Mona loves to serve. Heck. The license plate on her car even says “Serve”.

Studies show that employees who fit well with their organization are likely to stay and show superior job performance.

If you create a company culture of service, you’ll attract and retain amazing employees who will share your brand’s mission and dedicate themselves to bringing customers back to you consistently.

Rule #4: Deliver the Unexpected

You’ve probably heard the saying, “What goes around, comes around.”

Todd calls this “business karma” and he shares a story to illustrate how it works.

When you surprise your customers with acts of generosity, you open the doors for business to return to you in much bigger ways.

He and his wife, Deb, were in a hurry and the line of cars was especially long at an In and Out Burger. They decided to skip the drive-through, park in a red zone, and pop into the fast-food restaurant to grab their food.
When they came back out, they found a cop writing them a ticket.

The manager saw the situation and came out. He apologized for the long line and paid for their ticket. The ticket was $52, about 10 times the amount they spent on their burgers and fries.

But guess who Todd and Deb called when they wanted to hire a food truck for their wedding? That $52 returned to that manager in the amount of over $5000 in catering business.

When you surprise your customers with acts of generosity, you open the doors for business to return to you in much bigger ways.

Rule #5: Say “Thank You” in a Big Way

“Thank you” are two of the most powerful words in the English language, Todd says.

To illustrate, he shares about an interview he gave with Harvey McKay, another leader in the sales industry. A few days after the interview, Todd received a FedEx envelope with a five page letter that said, “Thank you” 625 times.

So, Todd started telling that story in his workshops and seminars. And he included it in his book as well.

When Harvey found out that Todd was going to include his thank you note in the book, he returned the favor by placing an editorial about Todd’s book in the top 100 newspapers in America.
The cycle of giving continues.

This can be translated to your business. If you take the time to deliver a handwritten note, a thoughtful gift, or personally thank your employees or customers, you’ll pave the foundation for a lasting relationship between you that keeps giving.


If you’ve got a team, and you’re wanting them to deliver fantastic customer service, share with them some of these wonderful insights and empower them to discover exciting ways to delight your customers. As your customer service improves, you’ll build loyalty to your brand and grow your business.


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How to Reach Your Customers with These 3 Storytelling Principles

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How can a professional storyteller help you grow your business?

Business is about persuasion. You need to convince people they need something you offer.

The hard truth is that people are rarely moved to purchase something by looking at a list of product features, a chart of facts, or a spreadsheet of data. If you want to connect with your customers, you’ll need to do it in a way that tugs at their emotions.

It’s only been recently that psychologists have really begun to study the persuasive effects of storytelling, but the verdict is out:

Storytelling is the most effective method of bringing about change.

So, you’re going to need great storytelling techniques whenever you talk to your customers. And I’m so happy to introduce to you someone who can help.

Tricia Rose Burt is a professional storyteller who is going to share with us the simple yet super powerful principles of story. You can apply them to almost any communication you use in your business.

She’s my guest on this week’s episode of the Building a StoryBrand podcast, and she’s going to walk us through 3 key principles that must be included in the stories you tell.

If you’re in business, then you’re in the storytelling business, and you’ll want to sit up and pay attention because this is some really powerful stuff.

Tricia gives us so much valuable advice. I summarize the key points here but to get all the benefits of Tricia’s wisdom, listen to the full episode sometime this week.


Principle #1: Use Theme to Connect to Your Customer’s Emotions

When you read the word theme, you’re probably tempted to stop reading this post because it brings you back to those long, boring English classes.

But don’t run away. I promise I’ll show you how theme is not very complicated. If you understand theme and use it with your customers, it will help you reach them in a powerful way.

Tricia gives theme a simple definition by differentiating it from the word plot.

“There’s what happens in the story and then there’s what the story is about,” Tricia says. “Those are two different things.”

There’s what happens in the story and then there’s what the story is about.

Theme is what the story is about. For example, If you were to listen to Tricia’s story How to Draw a Nekkid Man, you’d realize that what happens is a businesswoman decides to go to art school.

But that’s not what the story is really about. It’s about Tricia trying to find fulfillment through art. When Tricia shares about how insecure she feels because the rules she’s always followed don’t really apply in art class, the listeners are drawn into her story. It resonates with everyone because we’re all trying to find fulfillment and sometimes we have to overcome our insecurities to find it.

When you’re talking or writing to your customers, it’s important to understand what their story is really about and speak to that. To do that, you need to tap into the deeper levels of problems your customers are dealing with.

For example, your customer may be looking for lawn care. But the story is about longing to be the envy of the neighborhood.

So often, we can get caught up in the plot of your customer’s story: You need lawn care. Buy my lawn care service.

But when you start including the theme of the story — how your lawn care service will help them find fulfillment in becoming who they want to be (the envy of the neighborhood), your customers will perk up and listen.

When you’re talking to your customers, what’s the theme? What’s their story really about?

Principle #2: Follow a Narrative Arc to Help Your Customer Envision Transformation

When Tricia is sharing a story, she always follows a pattern called a narrative arc. She starts out by describing who she was in the beginning and, by the end, she’s changed. A transformation has occurred through the events she’s narrated.

Transformation is the key ingredient in any story.

This has powerful implications for your brand. One of the first things we ask you to do at a StoryBrand workshop is to identify who your customers are before your product and who they are after. Your goal is to help them transform through the products or services you offer.

You can identify your customer’s transformation by asking yourself a few questions.

The first one is easy. What does your customer have before they engage with your brand, and what do they have after?

If you sell lawn care, your customer begins with an unkempt, out-of-control lawn. After they do business with you, they have a beautiful, lush, green lawn.

Transformation is the key ingredient in any story.

The next questions go a little deeper. Before they do business with you, what are they feeling? How do they feel after doing business with you?

Before, they feel embarrassed and frustrated because their lawn is an eyesore in comparison to the rest of the front lawns on their street. After, they feel proud and relaxed because their lawn is beautiful without all the hassle of lawn care.

When you take your customers through a narrative arc and help them see the transformation in store for them, they begin to believe in themselves and trust you to guide them through the process.

Who is your customer before they do business with you and who are they after? What transformation does your brand help bring to your customers?

Principle #3: Explain the Stakes to Keep Your Customer Interested

Tricia says it is crucial to let the audience know what the stakes are right away.

Loosely defined, stakes are what can be won or lost by a character’s actions.

In Tricia’s life story, she’s feeling disappointed in life and tries to find fulfillment by trying something new — art classes. This action challenges many important beliefs she’s held about her upbringing, her livelihood, how she gains approval, and her marriage. Will it all be worth it? Will she get what she’s searching for?

Stakes are what make a story. Without them, there is no story.

“Something must be won or lost,” Tricia says. “Little wins and losses along the way are what keep people interested along the way.”

So how does this relate to how you speak to your customers?

Stakes are what make a story. Without them, there is no story.

Remember, you customer is a character who must take action to do business with you.

What can be won if they engage with your brand? What can be lost if they walk away?

When you communicate with your customers, it’s very important to paint a picture of success. Show them all that can be gained when they buy your product or services.

Help them imagine how proud they’ll feel when their lawn is lush and green and how relaxed they’ll be without the hassles of weed killing and mowing.

It’s also just as important to alert them to the negative consequences of doing nothing. While you don’t want to be heavy-handed, your customers need to know that lawn care will continue to be a frustrating and fruitless struggle if they don’t do anything different.

Don’t forget about stakes when you communicate with your customers. Keep them involved in their story by reminding them there is something to be gained or lost.

How can you help your customers imagine a successful outcome by engaging with your brand? How can you alert them to the negative consequences of doing nothing?


I find it fascinating how the art of storytelling is so applicable to the way we communicate with our customers. But it makes sense, doesn’t it? Since storytelling is the most powerful sense-making device for the human brain, it fits that storytelling principles will work everywhere, from artistic performances like Tricia’s at The Moth to how you talk about your business.

I hope that as you learn about these 3 principles of story, you’ll integrate them into how you speak to your customers. When you do, you’ll motivate your customers to transform their lives in a powerful way.


Your Guide to Being a Better Guide

Ready to grow your business? My new book, Building a StoryBrand, teaches you how to clarify your marketing by using the principles of storytelling. After learning the StoryBrand Framework, you’ll have a competitive advantage in your field.


How to Start a Business That Will Make You Money

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If you’ve ever seriously thought about starting a business of your own, you’ve probably discovered how difficult it is to get good advice on how to do it.

Most of the business guidance you find on the Internet tends to be about motivation. Entrepreneurial gurus say things like:

  • • Get off your butt and go for it.
  • • Work harder than everyone else.
  • • Do it now before you regret it.
  • • Never give up.
  • • Mistakes are a part of the process.

But you already know that becoming an entrepreneur is going to take pluck, perseverance, and a positive attitude.

What you need is the map, the blueprint, of how to get from your cubicle to doing what you love. And you need to know how to make money at it. Because, let’s face it, making a good living is an important part of your security and happiness.

That’s why I’m so thrilled to have Dorie Clark, author of Entrepreneurial You, on the Building a StoryBrand podcast this week. She’s interviewed over 50 highly successful entrepreneurs about how they’ve monetized doing something they care about, and she’s going to share with us all their secrets.

You’re going to learn the 3 key phases to develop your startup. By the time you’ve moved through these phases, you’ll be making good money and doing what you love.

I’ve outlined the main points Dorie shares with us on the podcast, but to get the full benefits of all her wisdom, listen to the podcast sometime this week.


Phase #1: Build Your Brand by Becoming a Trusted Source

You’ve probably heard the phrase, Go slow to go fast.

Apply these words of wisdom to how you start your business.

Because there’s a lot disingenuous schemes on the Internet, customers have a healthy skepticism about buying anything. They’re not going to buy from you until you’ve built some trust.

Create a lot of high quality content that people can read and see for free.

One of the best ways to build trust with your audience, Dorie claims, is to create a lot of high quality content that people can read and see for free.

At our StoryBrand workshops, we call this “staking out your territory.” We recommend that you become known as a leading voice in your industry. Whether you’re the expert on hosting important events or getting rid of the weeds in your lawn, you should establish yourself as an authority on your subject.


Becoming a trusted source positions you as the guide who can solve your prospects’ problems. It also helps you to stand out when you’re competing in an overcrowded market.

“It can mean the difference between being able to command premium prices and just fighting for the scraps,” Dorie explains.

Dorie offers some steps on how to do this. Start by writing regular blog posts that help your customers with their problems. Then, if you’re able, write a book. After that, build a network of social proof that shows you know what you’re doing.

And she adds, build your email list. Here at StoryBrand, we show you how to capture emails in our Online Marketing Roadmap Course. Your email list is probably the most valuable asset you can have to communicate about your products or services.

Dorie offers some final words of advice to build credibility with your clients. It’s important to maintain a connection with your audience by actually interacting with them. At least in the early stages, personally respond to your audience. By taking the time to email someone who has reached out to you, you are forming a very powerful and meaningful connection. Dorie has found that some of her best customers are faithful to her because of the emails she replied to when she was first starting out.

I agree. I remember when I sent an email to Malcolm Gladwell after his book The Tipping Point came out. When he emailed me back, I could hardly believe it. I’ve been a fan ever since … and I’ve bought every book he’s written.

You can create forever faithful fans if you take the time to help them with their problems and if you connect with them as you grow your company. When you establish a deep trust between you and your customers, they’ll carry you to the next level in your business.

Phase #2: Monetize Your Expertise

Charging for your brand-new products or services takes a lot of courage. You really have to believe in yourself and what you offer.

Since this is challenging, Dorie suggests stepping into the identity of an expert in your field before you begin.

To explain, she shares a story from an influential leadership professor. When he was drafted for World War II, he remembers when he was suddenly expected to lead people into battle, even though he was only 18. The only thing that made it possible for him to do his job was to put on the uniform. When he wore that uniform, he was able to be a different person. He wasn’t a scared kid anymore; he was a soldier.

“In many ways, we have to do a kind of similar exercise for ourselves,” Dorie points out.

So how do we “put on the uniform” of our newfound persona?

It’s counterintuitive, but Dorie recommends starting out by sharing your product or service for free. This helps you to practice and, if your friends or first customers like it, they’ll give you referrals or great testimonials.

“Those are things that can be really valuable to you over time as you learn the process,” she says.

Your quote should be fear plus 10%.

It also helps you to believe in what you’re doing. When you try your product or service out and it works, it gives you the confidence to go out and ask for money.

After you’ve stepped into your new identity, it’s time to charge for your product or services. For a lot of us, we’ll fret for a long time on how much we should charge.

Since most people have a tendency to undervalue themselves, one of the best answers Dorie has gathered from her interviews is this:

Your quote should be fear plus 10%.

I completely agree.

You might be thinking you’re being humble and good for not charging very much. But, really, when you undercharge, you devalue yourself and what you offer.

Let me share some personal experience with you to prove my point. We have many businesses come through our workshops at StoryBrand. Most people thoroughly enjoy the experience and learn so much. But there’s been a few outliers who were distracted — they were on their phones throughout the sessions, they walked out in the middle of a group discussion, they took a long lunch or skipped an hour. The frustrating thing to me was, usually, these were friends of mine who had come for free.

If people don’t pay for what you do or what you offer, they won’t value it.

So I think Dorie is giving us needed encouragement. Charge more than you think you should. You’re worth it.

Phase #3: Extend Your Reach and Impact Online

You’re charging good money for what you offer and, at first, it’s really fun!

But trouble is coming (and you knew it would).

Eventually, your business will hit a stage that’s called “whitewater” (for more on this, see David McKeown’s talk here). This is when you start to max out what you can realistically do on your own.

Dorie says that people who offer professionals services are especially susceptible to this part of the process because your sole revenue stream is about giving time for dollars.

“Eventually, you reach a breaking point because there’s only so many hours you can work,” Dorie explains.

She adds, “There are finite limits to what a client will actually pay. You bump up against that and you’re just stuck.”

So the question we need to answer is How do you stop trading time for dollars?

You can bring your expertise and valuable insights to the public through your own laptop.

One of the most beautiful results of the Internet is we’ve essentially gotten rid of the gatekeepers. You no longer have to wait to be noticed by a publisher or move through the university system to teach others. You can bring your expertise and valuable insights to the public through your own laptop.

Dorie offers some ideas that can help you get out of the time-for-dollars trap.

  • • Produce a popular podcast or blog
  • • Create an online course
  • • Start an online membership community
  • • Organize affiliate partnerships

The goal is to build passive income. You want to make money while you’re sleeping, at the beach, or spending time with your family.

Essentially, you’re wanting to exponentially recreate yourself — which leads to more consulting gigs — that leads to more speaking gigs — that turns into more online courses.

It may take awhile to reach this point, but you’ll get there. You’ll reach a tipping point and discover you’re in a positive, upward cycle that makes you money without making you tired.


The beautiful thing about this process is that there are a lot of things you can do without any risk. You can build your brand by becoming an authority on your subject while you continue working. You can even try out your products or services on some of your friends and first customers. When those people start to rave about what you do, you can make the leap to running your own business in a way that’s strategic and calculated.

Soon, you’ll be making money doing something you love. Sure, there’ll be a whole new set of problems to deal with, but from that point on, you’re the boss. You get to make the decisions and you can make them on your own terms. That’s the beauty of becoming an entrepreneur!

Dorie gives us a lot more guidance than I summarized here. Give the full episode a listen to really understand how to make good money doing something that matters to you.

Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Frustrating!

Register for the StoryBrand Live Workshop this December and our team will guide you through creating a BrandScript that will filter all your messaging. When you have a clear message, your customers will hear you through all the noise and confusion of the online marketplace. You won’t have to struggle anymore about figuring out how to talk about your business. And not only will you connect with your customers, you’ll also connect with a community of business leaders like yourself at the Workshop and learn from them.

Don’t let your customers miss another opportunity to do business with you.


4 Obstacles That Will Keep You from a Happy, Fulfilled Retirement

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You’ve probably heard statements like these on the radio:

“The average working household has virtually no retirement savings.”

Then you skip to another channel — even if your retirement account is near-to-nihl and your 20-year high school reunion happened a long time ago.

There’s a reason for this. In the marketing world, we know that people think of their future self as another human being. So when there’s talk about retirement, you just can’t emotionally connect with it. That financial calamity is going to happen to some other older person. Not you.

That’s dangerous thinking. You’re going to retire someday. And we’re not talking about just a few years of your life. People are living longer. More people will live to 100 than ever. So you might be in financial stress for a good 20 to 25 years of your life if you don’t make some changes. Worse, you could end up becoming a burden to the people you love the most.

As the wit Max Asnas points out:

“Money is something you got to make in case you don’t die.”

I know I haven’t painted a pretty picture, but I’ve got some good news. Chris Hogan, the author of Retire Inspired, is joining me on the podcast today. He calls his book “America’s wake-up call” and his goal is to motivate you to think about retirement now and think about it differently.

From our conversation, I’ve pulled out four obstacles that get in the way of you taking smart and thoughtful measures to prepare for retirement and summarized them here for you.

But there’s more wisdom in the podcast than I can possibly recap for you here. I also dig from Chris some of the steps you need to set yourself up for retirement so make sure you listen to the entire episode this week.


Obstacle #1: Misunderstanding Retirement

As I’ve said before, most people think of retirement as happening to somebody else. But that’s probably because we’re thinking about retirement all wrong. It’s negative or a scary unknown that makes us uncomfortable.

Chris says a lot of people see retirement as the end, but you should see it as the beginning.

Chris says a lot of people see retirement as the end, but you should see it as the beginning.

“If you do retirement right, you’re going to have more of two things than you’ve ever had before in your life,” he explains. “You’re going to have more time and more money.”

If we start to envision retirement as a chance to fulfill some of our dreams, we may be more motivated to plan for it. Whether you long to do charity work, participate in the civic activity in your community, spend more time with your family, or travel to Venice or Patagonia, you should be looking forward to these years.

Stop thinking of retirement as a negative. It will play a large and important role in your life. With a clear image of a successful retirement in your mind, you’ll naturally steer your life toward that goal.

Obstacle #2: Relying On Social Security

Gone are the good ol’ days when people could rely on government payouts for the remainder of their retirement.

No one is going to take care of yours truly except yours truly. If you face that squarely, then you’ll make better decisions about preparing for your future.

Even though most people are aware of this, Chris says that they still are unpleasantly surprised when they realize just how little it will supplement their retirement savings. The truth is social security payouts are well below the poverty line. The average yearly distributions are about $16,000 a year which equates to about $1,333 a month, Chris explains. And these numbers are destined to get worse.

The upshot is we have to change the way we see social security as fitting into our retirement plan. “I call it icing on the cake,” Chris says. If it comes through, awesome. But don’t count on it.

No one is going to take care of yours truly except yours truly. If you face that squarely, then you’ll make better decisions about preparing for your future.

Obstacle #3: Following What Everybody Else Is Doing

Chris calls this obstacle “acting like sheep.”

Sheep are stupid creatures, he explains. If one sheep wanders off a cliff, the others will follow.

It’s not a pleasant comparison.

But acting like sheep may be an appropriate metaphor for the way we spend our money if we try to keep up with the Jones’. Sure, your neighbors, friends and relatives are probably enjoying their money right now. They’ve got that boat or motorcycle. They’ve gone on those cool vacations that rock their Instagram world.

But we’ve got to see those purchases in a different light. If you’re not careful you can get caught up in giving in to what you want now at the expense of saving for the future. Don’t lose sight of what paying interest means.

There’s a difference between having stuff and stuff having you.

“Five minutes of stupid on a car lot means you leave for home with a car payment,” Chris explains. “That $595 car payment would become $95,000 if it were invested over five years.”

That’s a pretty expensive car.

Neither Chris nor I are telling you to drive a junker until it dies. I mean, I enjoy cool stuff as much as anyone. I’ve got an upgraded ‘70s Landcruiser in my garage that I love to drive. And a motorcycle. But I’ve got money in my retirement account too. And I wouldn’t be buying that stuff unless I did.

Chris reminds us that there’s a difference between having stuff and stuff having you. If you spend all your money now, you’re setting yourself up for a retirement that’s full of worry and anxiety. It’s just not worth it. Don’t follow people over the cliff of overspending. Smarten up and plan for the future.

Obstacle #4: Not Having a Plan

Remember Y2K?

For those millennials who are too young to remember, a lot of people in 1999 believed the world was going to end when all of our computers changed over to the year 2000.

People prepared for it. They stocked up on food and survival kits. They made plans with friends and family about what they would do when the catastrophe hit. But nothing happened. It was so overblown.

Retirement is different than Y2K, Chris points out, because it’s going to happen. Yet, most people ignore it. A recent survey revealed that over half of the study population has less than $100,000 in their retirement account and one-third of those people have less than a thousand!

Chris hopes people will get around this obstacle and start planning. He points out how people spend a month planning for a week’s vacation but they still haven’t thought about their ultimate vacation — the last 20 to 25 years of their lives.

People spend a month planning for a week’s vacation but they still haven’t thought about their ultimate vacation — the last 20 to 25 years of their lives

For some of you, these great points aren’t enough to spur you on to make some changes. If that’s the case, then consider the people you love. You would never wish to become a burden to them. You may be one of the lucky ones who can take care of yourself until you die in your sleep. But there’s a slew of not-so-lucky scenarios that can drain your family financially. Think about them.

Start asking about what you do to be ready for retirement. And if you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the people you love.


Don’t let any of these obstacles trip you up on the road to retirement. You owe it to yourself and your family to spend your golden years free of worry and anxiety.
Just a reminder, in the podcast, Chris gives us the steps we need to start working our plan. Listen to it sometime this week and you’ll be on your way to a secure, exciting retirement.

Need help in creating your BrandScript?

Start clarifying your message right away with the online BrandScript!

The online version simplifies the process of clarifying your message by asking you just the right questions. As you answer, you’re guided through the StoryBrand framework without hassles and confusion. You’ll get a clear message in a matter of minutes. When you apply it to your marketing strategy, you’ll start seeing results fast.

Your marketing needs a clear message and now you’ve got everything you need to start on it right away.


The 4 Disciplines That Will Make You Win In Business

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Does running your business feel like you’re caught in a whirlwind?

That ringing phone, the unexpected appointment, the stuff piling up from last week? Urgent matters keep popping up. All the while, more important things like growing your company gets pushed aside.

You know the answer lies in getting help from your team, but trying to get your team to do something new in the midst of the whirlwind is extremely difficult. To be successful, you’ll need more than compliance; you’ll need commitment. You must find a way to rally your team’s hearts and minds together so they can execute in the midst of the daily grind.

Today, you’ll discover the solution to that problem. I sit down with Chris McChesney, co-author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX). He and his team implemented and refined these disciplines with over fifteen hundred companies before writing this book so they’re very confident these strategies will work for you.

Trying to change the behaviors of the people around you is one of the biggest challenges you’ll ever face. With the 4 Disciplines of Execution, you can rest assured you’re implementing a proven method. Once everyone is moving together in one direction, you and your team will no longer be tending to urgent matters only. Instead, you’ll be achieving goals and moving the company forward in exciting ways.


Discipline #1: Focus on the Wildly Important Goal (WIG)

As a business leader, you’ve probably encountered this principle:

The more you try to do, the less you accomplish.

That’s why your WIG is not this year’s version of your goals.

“This is not a shotgun,” Chris says. “Nor is it a process for managing your whole operation. It’s a rifle to aim at your strategic bottleneck.”

It’s one endeavor that, if everyone applies the four disciplines to it, will transform your company, Chris explains. If you create a graph with your x-axis representing how strategically critical a behavior or activity is, and your y-axis showing how at risk it is of failing, then the plot point in the upper right-hand corner is a really good candidate for your WIG.

By intensely focusing on one wildly important goal, you’ll see far more results in your company or team than you ever would by simply working longer and harder.

The important part to remember is to choose just one. Chris cautions it’s better to choose the wrong WIG and go after it than choose three or four good things and lose momentum.

“It’s about getting narrow and it’s about getting clear,” Chris says.

By intensely focusing on one wildly important goal, you’ll see far more results in your company or team than you ever would by simply working longer and harder.

Discipline #2: Act on the Lead Measures

Have you ever received your child’s report card and been unpleasantly surprised?

Lag measures are like your kid’s grades at school. They do a good job of measuring your child’s performance at school but they arrive too late to do anything about them.

Chris calls it an “Oh, cool,” or an “Oh, crap,” measure. Those numbers are history. In business, lag measures are things like revenue, quality, customer satisfaction or profit.

It’s a rare parent who knows what Sarah’s current homework average is or how many hours Sarah spent studying last week, Chris says, but that’s where you should focus if you want to ensure Sarah’s grades are the best they can be.

In business, rather than trying to sell more or increase customer satisfaction, aim at something more tangible that actually delivers those results. They are called lead measures and they have two requirements:

In business, rather than trying to sell more or increase customer satisfaction, aim at something more tangible that actually delivers those results.

  • They are predictors of success. For example, in weight loss, counting the calories you’ve eaten would be a predictive measure because you know if you stay under a target number, you’re going to lose weight.
  • You can directly influence them. In a grocery store, weekly out-of-stock numbers would be an influencing measure because a manager would be able to work with his team to reduce out-of-stock items.

“The definitions around lead measures become very important so they’ve got to do both things,” Chris says.

We’re hardwired to fixate on the lag measures, he points out, but if you discipline yourself to act on the lead measures, you’ll influence your results.

Discipline #3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard

After you’ve identified your WIG and you’re acting on your lead measures, it’s time to go live.

Create a scoreboard and let your team in on the score. Even better, let them design the scoreboard. At Franklin Covey, they have a web-based scoreboard with red, yellow, and green indicators for the lag and lead measures. Whoever sets it up should make it so simple that anyone can see in a glance what the score is in real time.

People play differently when they’re keeping score. If you want to get the highest level of engagement from your team, set up a winnable game they understand.

“For human beings, this is very important,” Chris says. The lag and lead measures won’t have much meaning to the team unless they’re able to see whether they’re winning or losing in the moment.

If players 1) know the score, 2) see they can influence the lead measure, and 3) know the lead measure moves the lag, then you’ve got a winnable game. You’ve created a system that will motivate your team to propel your business forward.

People play differently when they’re keeping score. If you want to get the highest level of engagement from your team, set up a winnable game they understand.

Discipline #4: Create a Cadence of Accountability

Disciplines 1, 2, and 3 are about defining the objectives and rules of the game. Discipline 4 is about playing the game.

“It’s everybody, one at a time, reporting on and making commitments this week,” Chris says.

Create a rhythm of regular accountability meetings that focus on your WIG. They should:

  • • Happen at least weekly.
  • • Be short — no longer than 20 minutes.
  • • Consist of team members holding each other accountable to their commitments to move the score.

Create a rhythm of regular accountability meetings that focus on your WIG.

In a shoe store, you may share how many kids’ feet you measured. Or if you’re a copywriter, it might be how many proposals you sent. Are you going to get 14 new candidate opportunities to call or are you going to go over the script with a team member?

In a truck parts department, you may commit to organize the salvage inventory because you’re getting a lot of parts out of salvage and losing precious time in truck repair. Or it may be to get the mechanics to wear a remote on their belt so they can order a part and keep working. These are real WIG commitments by the way. This company had the lowest truck driver turnover in their history and had the best financials in 12 years.

Discipline 4 brings results home.

If you create a rhythm that reminds your players of the objective and rules of the game, your team will play to win.

“Each team should feel like they’re in a winnable game,” Chris says.


The whirlwind isn’t going away. But if you and your team focus your energies on these 4 disciplines of execution, those urgent matters will no longer shunt aside the important things that grow your business. You and your team will be playing a game that drives your company forward and helps everyone win.


When you sign up for a StoryBrand workshop, you get the StoryBrand team to walk by your side as you develop your BrandScript. You’ll walk away with:

  • • A way to talk about your business so people will listen
  • • A clear message that no longer confuses people and loses you money
  • • Relationships you’ve built with other business leaders
  • • A completed BrandScript with feedback every step of the way from the StoryBrand team
  • • Access to StoryBrand Experts Academy
  • • Access to StoryBrand worksheets and extra online help

Stop losing money because you’re unclear. Sign up for two days of wisdom and guidance from the StoryBrand team!


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