The Power of a Story


Arcelor-Mittal Steel, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hired a new CEO. The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers. On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning against a wall. The room was full of workers and he wanted to let them know that he meant business. He asked the guy, “How much money do you make a week?”

A little surprised, the young man looked at him and said, “I make $400 a week. Why?”

The CEO said, “Wait right here.”  He walked back to his office, came back in 2 minutes, and handed the guy $1,600 in cash and said, “Here’s 4 week’s pay. Now, GET OUT and don’t come back.”

Feeling pretty good about himself the CEO looked around the room and asked, “Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-ball did here?

From across the room a voice said, “Pizza delivery guy from Domino’s.”

Perhaps none of you have ever gotten such an expensive lesson  in the value of checking the stories we tell ourselves. Or perhaps you have. My own former habit of not checking out my assumptions and the anger that came with it cost me a lot and was very painful. I’m more careful now.

Principle # 6 of the 12 Principles of Openness is called Check My Story“‘Truth’ is somewhere between my truth and the other person’s.  Before taking action, I verify that my perceptions are accurate.”

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment about how a story affected you.

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