In 2009, Peter Guber was enlisted in the search committee for a new dean of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. The school needed to make a profound change.
And this wouldn’t come without a certain amount of internal struggle, since UCLA was a mature institution. The hero of the story – the future dean – would have to be someone who could galvanize everyone from students to administrators to go down a very new and special road. Teri Schwartz, a candidate, uniquely captured the committee’s attention by telling a vision story.
“It’s not about me,” Teri said. “It’s about a vision for a great school whose graduates will become industry leaders and inspire change for a better world.” But it was the way she narrated this vision that captivated and stayed with Guber. Teri concluded her story with the magical analogy of the school as a reflecting pool into which every person associated with the school would drop a new quality of diversity, innovation and technology. All these drops would ripple outward into the world and into the future, and each ripple would reflect the individual and collective vision and participation.
Through the many meetings, her vision story using the reflecting pool analogy continued to resonate. By articulating the heart of her goal so clearly in the context of the school’s problem, Dean Schwartz established an emotional connection, putting the committee, her audience, into her story that served her well. The committee advanced her to the Chancellor as one of the finalists, and just a few weeks later she was hired.
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.