152 – Present a united front

Present a united front to avoid bad outcomes. Listen to hear how Ryan Reynolds and his brothers avoided their father’s fury.


Welcome back to another episode of Anecdotally Speaking! This week, it’s Shawn’s turn to share a story. He retells an anecdote Ryan Reynolds shared on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.

The anecdote reminds the pair of the story Mark shared in 024 – U2 can protect your tribe. They also discuss a study involving a functional MRI machine included in our paper on the science of storytelling.

For your storybank

Tags: caring, loyalty, support, teamwork

This story starts at 01:08

David Letterman interviewed Ryan Reynolds for his show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. And for the show, he went to Ryan’s house to help him prepare a meal.

He asked Ryan, “When you were a kid, were you rebellious?”

Ryan answered, “Well, I don’t know if I was that rebellious. Like many 12-year-olds, I remember I really wanted to get an earring, but I knew my father would kill me. But I soon thought, ‘No, I’m going to do it!’”

Ryan then detailed how he went to a friend’s house, his friend’s mother took him and his friend to the mall, and he got an earring.

That night, Ryan got home at dinner time and sat at his dining room table. He kept his head down, knowing that all hell would break loose when his father sat down and saw the earring.

His three brothers, mother and father all sat down at the table. He heard his dad mutter, “Bloody hell,” then say, “You bastards.”

He looked up and saw all of his brothers had earrings in their ears. They’d all decided to help him out by getting earrings that day.

As a result, Ryan didn’t have to face the full force of his father’s anger, and he got away with it.

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.

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