Dan Rosensweig was a highly sought after executive who was being wooed to become the head of Activision’s Guitar Hero by CEO Bobby Kotick. Peter Guber was curious what story Bobby told to lure Rosensweig into his world of gaming. It turned out Kotick, who knew Dan’s penchant for being an active participant in his ventures rather than a passenger, told a story that was actually a single metaphor -a canoe that they both were in, shooting through rapids.
“If you’re going to be in a canoe,” Kotick told him, “it’s better for the canoe to go with the rapids instead of against them. In rapids, you’re going to hit walls; you might flip over, but if you’re in with the right people and the current is moving in the right direction, then you’re likely to succeed. And I’m the right people.”
That story resonated with Rosensweig who told Kotick that throughout his career he’d sought opportunities to leverage technology for the future, which meant joining companies that moved with the currents of technology instead of against them. “The two things that young people are using today are the internet and gaming. And if this is the river of change, then you’re right, I have to decide who to be in the canoe with.”
Rosensweig said, “Kotick could simply have pitched me impressive numbers about Guitar Hero. But it would have lacked the sense of adventure that I wanted. By telling his story using the metaphor of a canoe, I jumped in.”
MORE ABOUT TELL TO WIN
To validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.