At age 29, Peter Guber was running a studio. He told Jack Warner at a meeting at this home that he was overwhelmed and that the day left him with a million problems. Warner told Guber a story that changed the way he manged his days, “Don’t be confused. You’re only renting that office. You don’t own it. You’re the zookeeper in a zoo. Every person arrives comes with a monkey. Think of that monkey as their problem. They’re trying to leave it with you. Sometimes you have to discover where the monkey is. It’s hidden or dressed up. But remember you’re the zookeeper. You’ve got to keep the place clean. So when you walk them to the door, be sure they’ve got their monkey by the hand. Don’t let them leave without it. And if they come back make sure it’s trained, i.e. they have solutions to their problems. Otherwise at the end of the day, you’ll have a screaming jumping troop of monkeys and monkey shit all over the place.”
Warner’s metaphor became a valuable managerial tool and Guber told it forward often in his career.
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.