Lead With A Story by Paul Smith: My Unbiased Review

I recently had the opportunity to read the book Lead with a Story by Paul Smith, and I must say that it was an eye-opening and informative read. As someone who is always looking for ways to improve my leadership skills, I found the concept of using storytelling to be both fascinating and effective. The book provides a comprehensive guide on how to craft and use stories in a business setting to captivate, convince, and inspire others.

Lead with a Story

Pros and Cons

What I Liked

  1. The book provides a vast collection of over 100 usable stories that can be adapted to various leadership situations. These stories are not only impactful but also memorable, making them an excellent tool for effective communication.
  2. The author does an excellent job of explaining how to create good stories, highlighting the key elements and techniques that make a story compelling and relatable.
  3. The book offers insights on where and how to use stories to increase leadership effectiveness. It covers five leadership themes and provides insightful stories that help address and deal with different issues.
  4. The book emphasizes the importance of understanding the purpose of one’s work and how it fits into the overall objectives of an organization. It provides thought-provoking stories that illustrate the value of having a clear understanding of purpose for both individuals and teams.
  5. The book showcases real-life examples of companies, including Nike, Microsoft, and Disney, that have successfully integrated storytelling into their leadership approach. It demonstrates the effectiveness of storytelling as a primary leadership tool.

What Can Be Improved

  1. While the book contains a wealth of stories, it may benefit from a more consolidated storyline throughout the book. The lack of a cohesive narrative can make it challenging to stay engaged and remember all the stories presented.
  2. Some of the stylistic and structural elements of storytelling explained in the book may be easily forgotten. It would be helpful if the author provided additional techniques or exercises to help readers remember and apply these elements effectively.

Quick Verdict

Overall, Lead with a Story is a valuable resource for leaders looking to enhance their communication and leadership skills. The book offers a wealth of real-life stories that can be adapted to various leadership situations, providing a powerful tool to captivate and inspire others. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to improve their leadership effectiveness through the use of storytelling.

Check out Lead with a Story on Amazon!


– Publication date: July 13, 2022

– Print length: 288 pages

– Best Sellers Rank: See Top 100 in Books

– Dimensions: 6 x 0.75 x 9.13 inches

– Item Weight: 10.4 ounces

– ISBN-13: 978-1400242375

– ISBN-10: 1400242371

– Paperback: 288 pages

– Language: English

– Publisher: AMACOM (July 13, 2022)

Features – What I Found

Engaging Storytelling

Lead with a Story demonstrates how powerful stories can be used to convey important messages, inspire action, and lead with impact. The author, Paul Smith, shares many captivating stories encompassing various topics and industries. Through these stories, readers can understand the art of storytelling and its impact on leadership.

The engaging storytelling feature helps readers learn how to craft compelling narratives that resonate with their audience. Smith highlights the key elements of a powerful story, such as relatability, emotional connection, and clear messaging. This feature also provides practical guidance on finding and selecting appropriate stories for different leadership situations. By mastering the art of storytelling, leaders can effectively communicate their ideas, build trust, and motivate their teams.

Pro-tip: To make your stories even more impactful, try incorporating personal anecdotes and experiences that align with the message or lesson you want to convey. This personal touch will make your stories more relatable and memorable for your audience.

Practical Application

Lead with a Story offers practical application techniques that allow readers to implement storytelling into their leadership approach immediately. The book provides step-by-step guidance on how to create and structure compelling stories for different leadership scenarios. It also offers tips on using stories to handle challenging situations, such as motivating a demoralized team or overcoming resistance to change.

Versatility in Application

One notable feature of Lead with a Story is its versatility in application. The book demonstrates how storytelling can be applied to various leadership contexts, making it suitable for leaders across different industries and hierarchical levels. Whether you are a CEO, manager, or team leader, this feature ensures that you can find valuable insights and examples that resonate with your specific leadership challenges.

This feature also highlights that storytelling is not limited to specific functions or industries. The book offers stories and examples from areas as diverse as sales, marketing, customer service, and even personal relationships. By showcasing the wide applicability of storytelling, Lead with a Story encourages leaders to think creatively and utilize this powerful tool in all aspects of their professional and personal lives.

Pro-tip: Experiment with incorporating storytelling techniques into various aspects of your leadership role, such as team meetings, presentations, and even one-on-one conversations. This will help you discover the versatility and effectiveness of storytelling in different situations.

Emotional Connection

Lead with a Story emphasizes the importance of creating an emotional connection through storytelling. This feature delves into the psychology behind storytelling and how emotional narratives can deeply resonate with an audience. By sharing stories that evoke emotions such as empathy, inspiration, or even humor, leaders can establish a stronger connection with their teams, stakeholders, and customers.

The book provides insights into the science of emotions and how they influence decision-making and behavior. It offers guidance on using storytelling techniques to tap into emotions effectively, allowing leaders to drive action, change mindsets, and build trust. The feature also emphasizes the significance of authenticity in storytelling to establish genuine emotional connections.

Pro-tip: Before sharing a story, take a moment to connect with your own emotions related to the story. This will enable you to naturally convey the emotional nuances and make a more profound impact on your audience.

Persuasive Influence

Lead with a Story uncovers the science behind storytelling’s persuasive influence. This feature explores the neurological effects of stories on the human brain, highlighting how stories have the power to change attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. By understanding the cognitive processes triggered by storytelling, leaders can strategically use this feature to drive desired outcomes.

The book explains how storytelling activates mirror neurons in the brain, enabling individuals to experience stories as if they were their own. This phenomenon facilitates empathy and understanding, allowing leaders to influence their audience effectively. The feature also delves into the role of stories in shaping organizational culture, reinforcing values, and inspiring shared vision.

Pro-tip: To leverage the persuasive influence of storytelling, use data and statistics sparingly and emphasize the power of stories to convey complex ideas or concepts. This approach will help you engage your audience emotionally and make your messages more memorable.

Review and Score

Score: 87.0

What I loved most about this book is that it not only provided me with a collection of stories but it also taught me how to create my own compelling stories. The author explains the elements of a good story and provides guidance on how to structure and present stories that captivate and inspire an audience. I found this information to be incredibly valuable, and it has helped me become a more effective leader.

I highly recommend Lead with a Story to anyone looking to enhance their leadership effectiveness. The book is easy to read, and the stories are engaging and memorable. Whether you are a CEO, manager, or team leader, incorporating storytelling into your leadership approach will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your team and organization. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your leadership skills to the next level.

Click here to buy Lead with a Story and start leading with impact.

Best combination

Looking to take your storytelling skills to the next level? Consider buying the book Sell with a Story and the main product, Lead with a Story. This powerful combination will equip you with the tools and techniques needed to create compelling narratives that sell.

Sell with a Story is a must-have resource for anyone in sales, marketing, or leadership roles. It provides invaluable guidance on using storytelling to captivate your audience, build trust, and persuade them to take action. Whether you are crafting a sales pitch, delivering a presentation, or negotiating a deal, the art of storytelling can significantly enhance your effectiveness.

By incorporating storytelling techniques from Sell with a Story into your communication strategy, you’ll be able to create an emotional connection with your audience, making your message more memorable and influential. This book offers real-life examples, practical advice, and step-by-step guidance on how to craft and deliver stories that resonate with your listeners.

Investing in Sell with a Story alongside Lead with a Story will provide you with a comprehensive toolkit for mastering the art of storytelling in both personal and professional contexts. So, whether you’re a sales professional looking to close more deals or a leader wanting to inspire your team, this combination of books is a winning choice.

Don’t miss the opportunity to become a master storyteller and make a lasting impact on your audience. Enhance your storytelling skills by purchasing Sell with a Story and Lead with a Story today!

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About Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs, a San Antonio-based Digital Marketing Strategist, empowers local businesses with tailored AI and marketing solutions. Passionate about innovation and growth, he's your key to online success. Connect with Brian today.