Leadership Lessons from Tragedies, Near-Misses, Hardships, and Mistakes

Hiking on a Long Trail

Great leaders learn from even the worst situations – perhaps especially the worst. Find out what some great leaders learned from holding a man’s hand as he took his dying breath at work, a falling crate smashing to bits on the factory floor a few feet from visitors, a painstaking walk across the entire country of Spain, and a lost driver’s license that threatened to derail an entire 2-day business trip.

Today’s post is by Paul Smith, thoughtLEADERS principal and bestselling author of Lead With a Story and  Sell With a Story.

Here’s an easy way to learn some new leadership skills – in easy-to-digest podcasts you can listen to at your convenience.
These podcasts are based on interviews with 100 executives, leaders, authors, and experts at dozens of companies around the world. Each episode brings you an important leadership lesson through a single compelling story.

Does customer service this amazing ever happen at your company? If so, would you even know it?

Probably the most outrageously positive customer service story I’ve ever heard. Maybe too good. You decide. Then ask yourself these five questions…

Compensating Behavior: A Leader’s Guide to Finding Problems You Don’t Know You Have

The most dangerous problems are the ones you don’t know you have. Here’s a creative way to find them.

Two Leadership Lessons from an American Author’s Walk across Spain

My guest is Victor Prince, thoughtLEADERS Principal and author of The Camino Way. He joins me to share what he learned about leadership on his 30-day hike across Spain.

How to Earn Trust on Day One

How a Fortune 50 CEO earned the trust of the employees of a $57 billion company after his firm acquired them.

How to Hire Top Talent without an Interview

Author Scott Wintrip offers a radical idea about how to hire better talent without the traditional interview.

“How Did We Kill This Man?” A Management Nightmare that Led to a Better Leadership Philosophy

Performance coach and author Cort Dial shares a tragic incident and how it prompted him to develop a radically different approach to leadership.

So there you go… six great lessons in selling in a few minutes apiece. If you want more stories like these, you can subscribe on iTunes, or click here to sign up for a weekly newsletter delivery to your inbox. If you’re interested in becoming a better storyteller yourself, check out our Influencing through Storytelling course and our Storytelling for Salespeople course where we can come into your organization and help you build this powerful, critical skill.

Paul SmithPaul Smith is a former director and 20-year veteran of the Procter & Gamble Company, and one of the world’s leading experts on business storytelling. He’s the bestselling author of three books on harnessing the power of storytelling for some of the most important work we do as humans: Lead with a Story, Parenting with a Story, and Sell with a Story. Paul is also the primary architect of a thoughtLEADERS course on Influencing through Storytelling and Storytelling for Salespeople.

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Photo: Hiking by Jeff Turner

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