Which is the better choice? When a story has served its initial purpose, you can throw it out, or you can preserve the essence of the original story but find new ways to tell it into the future. “I confronted this problem,” Tom Werner told Peter Guber when they were sitting in the Red Sox owners’ box at Fenway Park, “when my partners and I bought the Boston Red Sox in 2002. there was immediate pressure that Fenway Park, the oldest stadium in the country, needed to be torn down.” but it wasn’t such an easy decision, especially when Tom heard the countless individual voices of fans who warned that if he destroyed Fenway he would be destroying their story.
Among these stories was seeing Babe Ruth pitching in Fenway before Ruth’s sale to the Yankees that triggered the legendary Curse of the Bambino. Everyone said, “I was there” — the “there” being Fenway Park. They carried the stories of Fenway out of the park and told them to friends, family and colleagues.
“I learned that if we tore the stadium down,” Werner said, “the essence of our original story, which had endured for a hundred years, would die with it. This ballpark is the most valuable element of the Red Sox story, because it alone will survive us all. My job was to protect and refuel the flame of Fenway to ensure that our core story was never-ending by shining the light on Fenway’s enduring value.”
Ironically, as they watched, Jon Lester, a recent cancer survivor, concluded the evening by pitching a no-hitter. Events like this ignited yet more stories that attracted new and old tellers alike.
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.