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050 – Risky flight to the city of angels

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 27, 2019
Filed in Business storytelling, Podcast

On January 18, 2018, Shawn Callahan and Mark Schenk recorded the first episode of Anecdotally Speaking. For this episode, our 50th episode, we’re celebrating with a special edition!

Anecdote team

To celebrate, we’ve brought five members of the Anecdote team together: Shawn Callahan, Mark Schenk, Paul Honeywell, Mike Adams, and Paul Ichilcik.

We’ve just returned from Sydney, where we held the 2019 Anecdote Partner Conference and launched two new products: Story-Powered Sales (a new and improved version of Storytelling for Sales) and Story-Powered Strategy. In this episode, we reflect on a huge week. Our Chairman, Paul Honeywell, shares a story that stood out among many at the Conference, and which illustrates the importance of recognising and seizing opportunities.

All of our guests have featured on the podcast before. If you haven’t heard their episodes, you’ll find them here: 009 – Jackie Stewart in the pits048 – Healthcare PhDs road test strategy risk049 – Second best thing to having the actual experience

You can listen to our first episode again here.

For your storybank

Tags: action, intuition, opportunity

Some years ago, Paul was spending a lot of time in Las Vegas. He was based in London but was working on a big project for Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts.

The project had been very successful. Paul and his team were using storytelling to inspire 15,000 employees to deliver a guest experience beyond that offered anywhere else in the world.

While the project was still underway, Paul was back in London and received an unexpected phone call.

“Hello, Paul. It’s Russell Goldsmith. I’m the CEO of City National Bank, a large regional bank based in California. I’ve heard about you from Steve Wynn. He’s been talking about the power of storytelling and the difference it’s making in his business. I would like to know more about what you’re doing. We could benefit from it. Can you send me some information?”

Paul saw an opportunity.

“Russell, did you say you are based in Los Angeles?” He asked.

“Yeah. Beverly Hills to be precise.”

“Well, it’s a coincidence, but I’m travelling there next week. Would you have time for us to meet?”

“Yeah! How about Wednesday afternoon?”

“Sure. Name your time.”

“2:30 pm?”

“Okay, I’ll be there.”

Paul hadn’t been planning on being in Los Angeles, but he saw the opportunity and couldn’t risk losing it by just sending some information. So, he got off the phone and purchased a plane ticket.

The following week, Paul and Russell met as they had planned. Russell became an important client, and Paul and his team made a significant impact at City National Bank.

Later that year, Paul received a Christmas card from Russel. In it, Russell had written, “Paul, thank you for everything. This is making a difference.”

Podcast transcript coming soon!

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:

One Response to “050 – Risky flight to the city of angels”

  1. Paul Stuart Says:

    Hi All,

    Great story and thanks for sharing – I will definitely be using this one. I agree with Shawn that adding a slight pause / change of words to keep the suspense would make it even more powerful. Kind regards, Paul

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