Nelson Mandela, the leader of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, called Peter Guber, as the Chairman of Sony to host his 75th birthday party.
He was coming to America to change the prevailing view of his country and raise support for his peaceful vision of a new South Africa.
He sat in Guber’s office and told him a story that aimed straight for the heart. “In my twenty-seventh year in jail,” he began, “a guard I had come to know well whispered that I was soon to be released.” Mandela said he could see that the jailer was excited for him. But Mandela himself had a different reaction. “I was sad for this man with whom I had frequently talked. He didn’t understand that my spirit and beliefs had never been locked in his prison. He didn’t understand that the only prison that takes away a man’s freedom is one that does not allow that man to dream.”
The heart of Mandela’s goal was for his people to feel the same freedom he felt, to believe they could realize their dreams. To the business folks who came later, he told this story forward and added his call to action, “I’ve come to America,” he said, “to invite you to invest not only financially but also through your reputation and belief in my country. I invite you to tell our story to help keep alive the potential for our young people’s dreams to be realized.”
Mandela’s story reached straight to and through the heart of every person in his audience. His listeners wrote checks and told his story forward.
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.