Book Review: The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell

Reading time ( words)

Everyone is talking about stories, and rightfully so. Anyone who knows anything about marketing in the 21st century knows that the way to get into peoples’ heads is to tell them a story. I must admit that I read every book about business storytelling that I can lay my hands on, and this little book is by far the most comprehensive and useful.

Paul Smith shares real-life examples of stories that were used successfully by companies to get their point across, or rather illustrate the point they are trying to make. Throughout the book, he describes stories used by real leaders to show how various types of stories were used to help companies improve their way to success. According to Smith, the best stories help leaders get their points across much more effectively than any other form of communication. The author also says that every great leader is a great storyteller, and he is correct.


Think about it. What would you rather listen to? An interesting story, or a hard and cold 60-slide presentation filled with “just the facts?” That’s an easy decision. First, stories are human; the human element touches and engages all of us personally. Second, stories are emotional, and the emotional element helps us to feel the story to the point of engagement. Third, stories are memorable. People might forget a name or date, but they will never forget a good story; that is the basis of not only true communication but true learning as well.

Then, Smith highlights tips on how to formulate your own stories and storytelling. This is worth the price of the book. The book even offers a storytelling workbook for free that will get you started on your path to successful storytelling.

Finally, this book is part of a terrific series of business books called Ignite Reads Series: “Spark impact in just one hour!” Their focus is on business books that can be read and remembered in just one hour. Now, that’s my kind of book: honest, direct, and impactful. This is the first one I have read, but I plan to read all of them in the next few months, so be prepared to hear about all of them soon.

The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell

Author: Paul Smith

Copyright: 2019

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Pages: 110 with an appendix and notes

List Price: $16.99

Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group.


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