United Breaks Guitars and Business Storytelling

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 29, 2019
Filed in Business storytelling, Fun

Do you remember Dave Carroll’s 2009 YouTube sensation, United Breaks Guitars?


Dave was flying United and as they they were waiting to take off a passenger noticed that the ground crew were throwing around a guitar case. It was Dave’s expensive Taylor guitar, and the bag handlers broke it in the shenanigans. Dave complained, but United staff showed little interest. So in protest, Dave wrote a song called United Breaks Guitars and in hours of posting it on YouTube it had 100,000s of views. It now has 19 million. Needless to say he now had United’s attention.

So imagine my surprise when I get an email from Dave Carroll asking whether I might help him with some ideas with a workshop he had to run on storytelling in Nova Scotia. I thought, yeah, sounds excellent. So we jumped on Zoom and I shared some of my favourite story-based workshop exercises.

Dave said his workshop was a hit. And as a thank-you, he sent me this cute video from his workshop participants.


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About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


  1. John Groarke says:

    Fantastic Shawn … you are the consummate professional!

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