“Three thousand years ago, the first king of Egypt — a notorious asshole — was screwing around during a hunting party and so pissed off his dogs that they turned on him.
The pack chased him all the way to the Nile, which was infested with crocodiles. One of these huge reptiles lay sunning itself on the bank. It offered to ferry the king across the river, and he was so desperate he agreed. To his surprise, the croc actually did take him safely across, but then his savior revealed that he was Sobek, the crocodile spirit. In return for saving the king’s life, Sobek demanded some serious change. The king had to wise up and lead his people to treat the river and all its creatures with due respect. As long as the humans paid homage, their boats would be granted safe passage.”
At this point in the story Richard Bangs glanced down at Lava Falls, a class five rapids in the Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon, and raised his voice to a rambunctious crew, invited on this expedition by Peter Guber, who he was shepherding down the river. “Only once, about 2,000 years later, did a military flotilla forget to appease Sobek. During that crossing the river claimed a thousand lives.”
“So now there are crocs in the Colorado?” Pierce Brosnan one of the guests asked, attempting levity.
“No. But these falls will tear you all to pieces just like the crocodiles if you don’t respect them.” Encoded in these words was the message that nature can be ferocious. To survive and advance, you need to honor the environment.
For the first time, a hush fell over the group as they trudged back to camp. Bangs had delivered his message that they better respect the river and act together.
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.