Blog

  • How Amazon uses story to engage its managers

    Our last blog entry ended with the assertion that Winston Churchill and Jeff Bezos share a deep appreciation of the power of narrative. As we will see in future posts, their approaches, their contexts and their focus are different in a number of ways. Nonetheless, it is clear that both of them tackle the act of storytelling with diligence, rigor

    Read more
    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Story is what connects unusual pairs of effective leaders

    In the previous post, I referenced my doctoral research—specifically my use of  “unlikely pairs”. During those years, in fact, I was quite fond of considering duos of effective leaders who would seem to have little in common at first glance. Among my favorite examples of this approach is one I spoke of in my TED talk, juxtaposing the abrasive narcissist

    Read more
    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • What do outstanding leaders have in common?

    When I was preparing my TED talk in the Netherlands last March, I was considering telling a few personal stories that I had not thought about for a long time. One of these concerned a crucial event that changed the course of my professional life. It was an anecdote that explained how I came to understand the strong connection between

    Read more
    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • The 4 key elements of highly effective learning

    In the last post, I wrote of how Yul Brynner’s attitude toward daily rehearsal caused me to reflect on my own acting experience of long ago. One of my observations was that the time spent with the French Theater in America had led to some more intense learning—and more lasting lessons—than I realized at the time. As I was reprocessing

    Read more
    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Of Foxes and Snakes: My theater story

    The last post closed with the thought that hearing actor Yul Brynner’s attitude toward rehearsal provoked a reprocessing of one of my life experiences. As such, I decided to write a bit about my own time in the theater. When I was studying for my master’s degree in French literature at Middlebury College, I took a theater course from one

    Read more
    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Why we improve more from practicing than from performing

    The tales from the life of Yul Brynner that I referenced last time feature some ingredients that resonate with me on a number of levels. First of all, given my well-established interest in personal storytelling, I simply enjoy hearing about unusual lives, particularly those with exotic and cross-cultural aspects. Second, learning of this remarkable actor’s approach to rehearsal brought back

    Read more
    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling