Leaders Let the Story Do the Work with Esther Choy

by | Mar 23, 2022 | Podcast, Workplace Forward


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Innovation is central to the long-term success of any business. 

Persuasive storytelling creates extraordinary opportunities, allowing us to engage with customers and partners in a meaningful way.

But how do we craft a memorable story that connects with our professional goals? What does it mean for leaders to let the story do the work?

Esther Choy is the President and Chief Story Facilitator at Leadership Story Lab, a consulting firm that celebrates the art and science of storytelling as an essential element of business success. 

Esther also teaches in the executive education programs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and she is the author of Let the Story Do the Work: The Art of Storytelling for Business Success.

On this episode of Workplace Forward, Esther joins me to discuss the three levels of communication mastery outlined in her book, describing what differentiates proving from persuading and why effective leaders need to do both.

Esther explores how her research around wealth creators and experience with family-owned companies informs her work in storytelling for business.

Listen in to understand why the best storytellers are also story collectors and learn to share persuasive, personal stories without divulging your private business.

Themes explored in this week’s episode:

  • Esther’s 3 levels of communication mastery (and why most people get stuck in Level 2)
  • How self-awareness + an event with a deadline can catalyze us to Level 3 Communication Mastery
  • What differentiates proving from persuading and how effective leaders do both
  • How Esther is integrating wealth creators into her work around business storytelling
  • What Esther learned about first-generation ultra-high-net-worth individuals from her research for ‘Transforming Partnerships with Major Donors’
  • How family-owned businesses differ from other companies
  • The connection between being a good storyteller and a story collector
  • What senior leaders struggle with when it comes to storytelling
  • How Esther’s own leadership has changed in the last 2 years
  • Delineating the difference between sharing what is personal vs. what is private 
  • Why Esther encourages leaders to waste time doing something unproductive

Resources from this episode:

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