Ken Lombard, president and partner, Capri Capital Partners; formally cofounder partner/president, Johnson Development Corp., and past president of Starbucks Entertainment

You Had Me At Ahha

Your story’s moment of truth is the galvanic climax when your “Ah” meets your listener”s “Ha!” to form that magically unifying “Ahha!” In this eureka MOMENT, YOUR STORY delivers its payload. Your listener experiences the same thrilling charge of emotion, purpose, and meaning that you felt when you experienced your original epiphany. Your call to action hits home with a resounding, “I got it!”

Peter Guber was on the receiving end of just such a call back in the early 1990s when basketball superstar Magic Johnson and his business partner Ken Lombard came to his office at Sony at the request of his COO to discuss a business proposition. How could Guber turn down Magic Johnson? This was one of the perks of his job.

The first thing Ken said was, “Close your eyes. I’m going to tell you a story about a foreign country.”

This seemed a little unorthodox, but Guber went along with him and shut his eyes. “Now,” he continued, “This is a land, with a strong customer base, great location, and qualified investors. You know how to build theaters in Europe and Asia and South America, right?”

Of course Guber did. As CEO of Sony, Guber had the ultimate responsibility for the enormous Loews theater circuit.

“You know how to invest in foreign countries that have different languages, different cultures, different problems. What you do, Peter, is you find a partner in that country who speaks the language, knows the culture, and can handle the local problems. Right?”



blog-telltowin-linkTo 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.


Susan R. Estrich, professor, USC Gould School of Law; first woman to manage a presidential campaign; lawyer; and commentator for Fox News

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