the HeART of Story : History of Storytelling

Eons ago, when man discovered fire, he also discovered the wonder of telling stories around that fire. After a hard day’s hunt, he would gather his tribe and begin to converse and tell great stories. He told stories about the source of life, about the sun, about the moon and the stars.  He also told stories about the time and place where the sun was born and how the moon romanced it.  He told stories about how the moon pursued the sun and died every month to be reborn to love the sun all over again. He told stories about how every individual had a star of his own up in the teal and midnight-blue skies.

Connect, Engage and Influence your World Creatively!

Day after day, night upon night, from one season to another, man told stories –tales about love, courage, adventure, conquest, and wars. Around the fire, he told stories of ferocious Spartan warriors and heroes that battled one-eyed giants. He told stories about birds that could fly into the sun, burst into cinder, and then rise again from the ashes to fly right back into the sun.

Over the ages, stories of tradition, honor, and great courage ruled the air around the fires. There were stories told about great escapes, bold robberies, and giant shipwrecks. Discoveries were reported about new worlds, new wealth, and new people. Narrated with rhyme, repetition, and rhythm, all these stories were etched on the walls of the caves where our ancestors lived and into the hearts and minds of all mankind.  Shadows and echoes from the flickering fires left unforgettable legends visualized and represented on the walls of our current homes.  Today, many of these stories have become a large part of belief systems, of our culture and our tradition.

Storytelling Today

The ancient art of storytelling has turned into a science riding on the wave of television and technology as a laughing, talking, singing universe. This universe now surrounds us twenty-four hours a day and also reaches us through books, song, dance, stage-plays, movies, television, computers, and phones. It does not let go even when we are 10 kilometers up in the air and zooming across the skies at over 500 kilometers per hour.ccc

Stories grab us in news reports, magazine shows, commercials, documentaries, television serials, musicals, and films of epic proportions. Stories reach us through multiple media in formats like short episodes, interactive applications, gaming applications, etc.

The ancient, traditional face-to-face, oral storytelling has also morphed with the integration of poetry, improvisation, mime, and other forms. Seasoned, professional storytellers can keep us awe‑struck and engaged in their verbal and non-verbal gymnastics for hours on end.  Seasoned storytellers, thus, can influence and positively transform our worlds.

Leader as a Storyteller






Check out my book,the HeART of STORY, organizational and leadership storytelling…on Amazon



Laughing, Talking Sunshine!

“Grandma, why is there no sunshine in your room? Why is it so musty and always dark in here, Grandma?” asked li’l Teresita of her grandmother.

“Well, it’s because the room has no windows, child,” replied the kindly old woman.

“I am going to go and ask Daddy to install some windows right away,” she responded and ran down the spindly stairs towards the living room of their house.

The house they lived in was wedged between several other tall, scrawny structures and the back of the house hung on for dear life to the rocky hills of their little town in the province of Quezon, Philippines.

Her father was sitting on the dining table sifting through bills to pay that kept piling up from month to month. Her mother’s back was towards her and her father. She was busy stirring up some food on that, slightly chilly November morning in the Philippines.

“Daddy, Daddy I want us to place some windows in Grandma’s room upstairs in the attic. It’s too dark and musty there when we play,” she said in an excited and eager voice. Her father did not respond but continued to arrange and re-arrange the papers on the table. Teresita hopped up a chair and held his arm and shook it, “Dad, the room is so dark that we can barely see little shells we use for the Soonka* game we play. Please, Daddy!”

He dropped the papers and the pen he was holding, leaned back into the chair and sucked in some cold air. “Tess, our home is cramped in between other homes and has a rock-face behind, we can’t place a window anywhere in that room.”

“But Daddy, the room is so dark, so musty. Please Daddy place in a window. Grandma will be happy. We’ll be able to play,” she said in a raised voice. Her mother let go of the spatula she was stirring the food with, turned around and a lump formed up in her throat. She knew her mother who’d been their dependent for years now was getting old and they were living through some hard times. Her husband worked hard but he was still unable to bring in enough. “Don’t be such a pest child! Our home faces south. We have no money. There is no way we can place a window in Grandma’s room!” he snapped at his daughter. Teresita’s mother saw her little girl’s face shrink and her eyes water as she got off the chair and ran out of the house sobbing.

Out on the street, the sun was about to set and the country breeze quickly dried up the tears that had run down Teresita’s face. Within moments she got engrossed with the birds, the bees and the flowers that abound in the provinces of the Philippines. The evening sun was kind on her face and as the sun-rays fell on her arms, she smiled warmly, “Why don’t I,” she thought to herself “catch some sunshine and then bring it up to Grandma’s room in the attic?”

Quickly she held up the edges off her long, frilly skirt and faced the sun so the rays fell right into the open, carved out apron front. She held her breath as the apron-front of her skirt filled up with sunshine. She quickly scooped it up, brought the ends together, captured the sunshine in her skirt and ran up to Grandma’s room. “Grandma, Grandma, I brought you something. I brought you sunshine,” she yelled and let drop the apron-front. Nothing happened. She was shocked. “I brought you sunshine Grandma. I really did. I don’t know where it went,” she said as her lips pursed up in pain. “Oh, not to worry,” said her Grandma “come let me tell you a Christmas story.” She grabbed, scooped up the child in her arms and began to tell her a story.Teresita-230x300

The next morning, Teresita was out again playing in the yard. The sun was brighter and richer upon her as she played in the yard. “This time” she said to her-self “I will not fail. I will not spill the sunshine as I run up to Grandma’s room.” She held out the front of her skirt for a longer time. When she felt the heat gather, she wrapped it very tightly and then sprinted into her house and up the shanty stairs to her Grandma’s room and announced, “I brought sunshine. I did. I did!” Yet, when she let drop the apron-front of her skirt there was nothing. Again the grandmother scooped her up in her arms and began to hum her a little love song.

On another day Teresita resolved to win against the disappearing sunshine from her trap. She glued a large piece of a black, plastic sheet to her skirt’s apron-front. She grabbed a few clothe-spins and set out onto the front yard. With her jaws tightened and her lips narrowed, she faced the sun with squinted eyes and held up the plastic-coated, apron-front of her dress for a long while. With a large swing of her hands, she mightily closed and captured the sunshine. Stuck in a few clothespins on the little openings in the wrap and bolted up to her grandmother’s room. Again, when she opened up her huge gift-package for Grandma there was nothing in it. Nothing! Nada!

Tears the size of tennis balls rolled down her cheeks, her shoulders slumped and her knees were about to buckle when the kindly, old Grandmother quickly caught her and sat her on her lap at the bed. “Why can’t I bring you any sunshine, Grandma?” she cried. “Why can’t I make your room a happier and a brighter place, Grandma?”

“Child, sweet child” cried out her grandmother with tears forming up in her old eyes too, “every time you come up here and spend time with me, I become happy. Your sounds, your smiles and your sheer presence, here in my life, make my whole world brilliant. You are my laughing, talking and living sunshine. Yes, you are li’l Teresita. In your presence my spirits light up as if it were Christmas all the time.”

From that day on, the sounds of Teresita and her Grandmother’s happy laughter echo through the little, rolling hills of the Philippines.


Story inspired by the book, the HeART of STORY.

the HeART of STORY: Science behind Stories and Storytelling

What exactly is the science behind a story? Why do stories stir up so much of our emotions and our humanity? Why do they have such a lasting effect on us? What happens when we tell stories? What happens to people when they listen to a story? What happens to me when I tell a story?

Firstly, as I tell the story, I begin to relive the experience. I relive the wonder and the excitement that is part of the truth in the story. As I use my left brain to recreate the setting, the context, and the characters involved, my right brain jumps in to participate by offering images, colors, sounds, and textures.  Then, both my left and the right brain begin to have fun together and go to play. The whole exercise of storytelling becomes a whole brain activity for me, the storyteller.

The second amazing secret behind this whole activity where the brain goes to play is the fact that this sense of play is also very contagious. How is it contagious? It releases endorphins and other sweet smells of bliss and fun that draw in and attract other people to join.  Because this activity was started by the left brain setting up a logical scene and then was ignited by the right brain firing up a party, the minds of all those around fully participate in the thrill by suspending their wariness and dropping their normal cerebral resistance to novelty.  This phenomenon is quite similar to when we see people dance and we are drawn in to join the dance.

When we see a bunch of people on the street joyfully laughing and playing, our own spirits light up. If inhibitions are holding us back, we feel like dropping them and jumping right into the fun.  In storytelling, the listeners’ minds begin to likewise log in, plug in, and salsa with our imagination and train of thoughts. They do this regardless of how much or how little they know about the story background or about the storyteller’s experience. This is because as we create and put up verbal holograms/holographs in the conversation space, the listeners also set up movie screens in their minds and watch movies of their own making, with themselves as the main character.  The movie we are putting across through storytelling inspires and projects a parallel movie in their minds.  The images, colors, sounds, and drama in our conversations spark multiple, similar, copies of scenes running in the minds of our audience. This is magic in action.


Illustration 1: When you start telling a story, it helps others recall and relive their own stories, their own experiences.

This is exactly why the streets of Hollywood glitter with gold. Because in our minds and in the minds of countless audiences, we all think and believe we are part of the magic and mystique that rises out of Hollywood. In my mind, I am Peter Pan or the Lone Ranger and you must be Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

This is synergy and co-creativity in action.  This is the real story behind the power of storytelling.

Now, the third most powerful thing about stories and storytelling is the fact that they impact the deepest part of our brain and our emotions. They cut through our cerebral defenses and sink in. What are cerebral defenses and  why do they have to be surpassed? The human brain of a newborn baby comes with some pre-embedded coding towards his traits and character. These are acquired from parental traits and characters. This is genetics. Right after birth, the newborn baby’s brain starts to absorb and accumulate data from what he sees, hears, smells, touches, and tastes. This data gathers fast, accumulates rapidly, and integrates really swiftly in early childhood. All this data is acquired and stored in the form of pixels, sound bytes, touch and other modalities of sensory inputs.

Most of the data that is primarily absorbed, accumulated,and integrated acquires importance over time. They maintain their importance throughout our lives. We call them our values and beliefs. We can be, and we do turn emotional about our values and beliefs.  Emotions burst out from thinking of things sensitive to us—images, sounds and smells that have been around us, within us for a long time. Our emotions, thus, are the stories of our lives.

All forms of communication address and tap into recent memories that are not ancient or primal to us. Storytelling is the exception.  All other forms of communication connect with images, sounds, and smells acquired not so long ago that reside in our recent memories. This neighborhood of our “recent” memories is a highly congested, constantly active desktop of chaos and novelty. And the older and tender memories of our growing years fear and avoid such chaos and congestion.

When narrating and listening to stories, the sights, sounds, aromas, textures, and flavors from our growing-up, formative years begin to surface.  They burst through the fear of the current, cerebral chaos and part through it like an old, bearded man once mythically parted the sea to get his people across to the other side.

Every time we tune into a story, the chaos and the confusion of cognition fall away to make a path so our emotions easily dance with the emotions expressed by the storyteller, as we see and hear them. Every time our emotions are happily touched, we become eager to do something, to take action, to build new things, and to stretch our limits as individuals, communities, and organizations.


Check out my book, the HeART of STORY, organizational and leadership storytelling…


the Truth behind Stories: the HeART of STORY

The reality today is very few people in the world want to see or hear the bold truth. In fact, the bolder and starker the truth gets, the lesser attention it receives. It can, more often than not, be despised such that people thwart and rebel against it. And yet, the same beautiful truth when wrapped in color, garnished with flowers, and accompanied by song can become a reigning reality. That is the power of Story. Stories are core Truths wrapped in roses, rainbows and rhythm. That is the story behind storytelling.



Eons ago, when man discovered fire, he also discovered the wonder of telling stories around that fire. After a hard day’s hunt, he would gather his tribe and begin to converse and tell great stories. He told stories about the source of life, about the sun, about the moon and the stars. He also told stories about the time and place where the sun was born and how the moon romanced it. He told stories about how the moon pursued the sun and died every month to be reborn to love the sun all over again. He told stories about how every individual had a star of his own up in the teal and midnight-blue skies.

Day after day, night upon night, from one season to another, man told stories –tales about love, courage, adventure, conquest, and wars. Around the fire, he told stories of ferocious Spartan warriors and heroes that battled one-eyed giants. He told stories about birds that could fly into the sun, burst into cinder, and then rise again from the ashes to fly right back into the sun.

Over the ages, stories of tradition, honor, and great courage ruled the air around the fires. There were stories told about great escapes, bold robberies, and giant shipwrecks. Discoveries were reported about new worlds, new wealth, and new people. Narrated with rhyme, repetition, and rhythm, all these stories were etched on the walls of the caves where our ancestors lived and into the hearts and minds of all mankind. Shadows and echoes from the flickering fires left unforgettable legends visualized and represented on the walls of our current homes. Today, many of these stories have become a large part of belief systems, of our culture and our tradition.


Taken from the book, the HeART of STORY.

the HeART of STORY; in leading organizational change


At the heart of it all, organizational storytelling must be about putting across a certain truth—a truth that teaches, inspires, sustains and strengthens the moral fiber of the organization’s spine, structure and culture.

When the leadership of such an organization promotes and publishes such a truth then it follows that it has ethical intention at the core and this, automatically, drives the organization and its members to execute the elements necessary progress and flourish in a whole-hearted and an inclusive way. The reason behind it is that, in essence, stories are the chronicles and the records of the values that an organization espouses and the values that the organization has already lived and continues to live by on a daily basis.

Connect, Engage and Influence your World Creatively!

Though organizations like living many living systems naturally grow and morph, human organizations that can recall, re-tell and re-live their values repeatedly and consistently do not easily change driven by the forces of nature, changing economies or changing times. Such organization stake an active part in navigating and nurturing their own growth and development, progressively, towards their espoused values and visions. They also consistently upgrade their values and raise the bar on their own performance towards commercial success and service towards a greater good for society.

This fact does bring to mind the age-old debate of what leads and drives growth and what creates success. Is it nature or is it nurture?

Transformative leaders and authentic change agents know that there is a third, often ignored and underrated, factor-the creative intelligence innate in all human systems. Unlike most other living organisms and other living systems, a human system has the cognitive ability to look back at its past, compare it to the present and then create a concoction of ideas, images, arguments in the form of vision, in the form of a future-paced story and design and deliver that ideal future for itself and the world that it is a part of. It is only humans that have the uncanny ability to curate, collect and diffuse stories of innovation which impact and shape our future.

Take a walk through the halls and corridors of any of the global locations of Procter & Gamble Co., and you will see strewn on their walls stories of growth, of success, of mergers, of acquisitions, of challenges faced and overcome by them since their birth in 1837.  In their logs, on their walls amongst the stories, amongst the colors stand out faces of their leaders, their heroes who not only created those stories but also told and retold them in multiple forms and on numerous occasions.

Have a conversation with any one of the thousands of employees of Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company, Smart Telecom, Philex Mining Corp; Beacon, Manila North Tollways Corporation, Maynilad Water Services Corporation, Landco Pacific Corporation, Medical Doctors Incorporated are any of the subsidiaries of the First Pacific Group found by Manuel V. Pangalinan of the Philippines and hear stories of how a single leader inspires and motivates them with forthrightness, ethical action and his pioneering spirit. In less than 20 years, he bought into dormant and decaying businesses and, single-handedly and courageously, brought them back to life to growth by telling future-based stories of increased efficiency, unleashed innovation and growth. Each of these organizations dug up what they valued from their past and attached it to a future they are, together, building.

In my recently published book, the HeART of STORY, there’s a detailed case description of how the Lopez Group of the Philippines successfully used interactive, online storytelling to revive their values and increase engagement across its 14,000 strong organization.

Intentionally, authentically and assertively leading change in human systems is a matter of exercising our imaginations and using our intelligences’ creatively. Leading change through storytelling is the act of backing up our change initiatives with the positive power from our pasts then stretching ourselves into the images and visions of an exciting future. That is the heart of storytelling and that is the creative tension that leaders of change use to transform our worlds.


Here’s also a link on How to Tell a Story.

Here’s also the link to the book, the HeART of STORY.


Be Not Afraid!

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I must confess that it’s been months since anyone has placed me in the interviewees’ hot seat. Also, during talks, training or other presentations I shy away from talking about myself and, usually, beg that my introduction, if any, be shortened. Then, last week, this request for a written interview from India comes about and I casually and candidly responded to it. After responding, I posted the link on my social media channels and gave it little thought until a dear friend commented and said, “Awesome interview!”

That made me go back look at the questions and my answers to those questions. It wasn’t until I reached the end of the interview did I realize that it was the last few words of my responses that earned me that “Awesome interview, ” compliment. I realize that the reader recognized the fact that while I was responding to the interview and, besides, by habit wanting to inspire others I was also indulging in positive, self talk. Today, again,  I confess I was indulging in self talk because like most every person on earth, I too am. sometimes, at an unconscious level afraid of things, of life and of taking action.

Yes, my statement at the end is more for myself than it was and is for others. Yet, I hope it resonates with you. Be Not Afraid!

Here’s the whole interview: Raju Mandhyan – International Coach & Learning Facilitator from Manila, Philippines

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this Business/ Entrepreneurship?

Well, I have had three careers – engineering, export marketing and what I now like to call “education.”In the late 90s, after the Asian crisis, I was hungering to do something other than just “business.” I went back to study and discovered that I had an ability to clarify ideas, enter-train and inspire people. I began to do that in social and business circles when the British Council in Manila invited me to come to do, for them, what I was doing for fun, for myself. and wrote me a check for it. At about the same time I attended a conference where Deepak Chopra, Mark Victor Hansen and Ron Kaufman were presenting. From the stage, Ron Kaufman, singled me out and told me that I should be, on stage, doing what he was doing. I did and here I am.

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here.

Well I speak, train and coach in the areas of communications skills, business and leadership innovation.

But, here’s my first “but”, more than that I work with individuals and organizations in un-cluttering their minds, getting clarity and going after what they truly want in their lives and businesses.

My first book, the HeART of Public Speaking though caters to skill-building in making business presentations but also motivates people into creating true value. My second, the HeART of Humor, again, caters to being funny in conversations but, in reality, inspires to be kind, compassionate and forgiving to self and others. My third book, Pit Bulls & Entrepreneurs, which is a lot of fun to read tells stories of entrepreneurial successes but drives the reader into being gritty, gumption filled and practice tenacity.

Books by Raju Mandhyan –

Q3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business?

Moving from one profession to another was a challenge. It was like jumping off a cliff and enjoying the rush. It was like creating and living another life while still being Raju Mandhyan. Now, if I don’t have challenges, I go looking for some. You know what they say; challenges are the proof of life.

Q4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business?

Yes, there are moments when you feel like hanging up your guns, taking off your boots and rotting in front of the television watching Sponge Bob and Square Pants. During these times, I discovered that there is no giving up. There is one truth to this life and that is that the universe is constantly expanding and growing and we must, because we’ve been gifted with intelligence, get off that couch and grow.

Q5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period?

Obviously, I did not experiment with surrender or resignation, I got more creative and kept plugging on.

Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?

Vision and strategy and goals are western concepts. I am inspired by what Professor Ram Charan believes and practices. Just keep on doing what you like to do. In what you like to do lies the purpose of your life.

Q7. How would you advice/suggest new entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain in business?

Be not afraid!

Almost like the story in this video for SIYLI

Q8. LinkedIn profile URL link

Q9. Facebook profile URL link

Q10 Twitter profile URL link

Q11. Personal blog URL link

Q12. Company website & Company blog URL link ,

Four Score and Seven Years Ago


As you grow up the corporate ladder you realize that besides your technical skills and management savvy, it is your ability to choose the right people, assign the right jobs and most important of all your ability to inspire people that takes the top credence.

A survey claims that at an average CEO spends over 90% of his time in working at communicating and inspiring people around him. Accomplished and successful CEOs do this with élan and there are many CEOs who need to work up and sharpen this edge of their competence.

There are numerous ways to do this and the most important and the most needed way to accomplish this is to get into the often and talk to people, facilitate thought and inspire action. Here is where your ability to think well, structure thought, connect suavely, engage deeply and influence with authenticity and congruence others needs tuning up and enhancing.

Raju Mandhyan & Ram CharanBW

Raju Mandhyan & Ram CharanBW

Of the many methods and approaches to connect, engage and influence others the most powerful way to do this is to tell stories. Not just stories that start with ‘Once upon a time..,” but stories that are stylishly crafted, deeply researched, cannily assembled, effectively succinct, powerfully inspiring and stylishly delivered.

Stories that can start with “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent…” and claim that Lincoln’s Gettysburg address was regarded as one of the shortest possible speeches made by a President of the United States in those days but it was the most succinct, hit the nail bang on the head and was also awesomely inspiring.

Stories also claim that Lincoln spent a lot of time editing and practicing it his mind, while walking on a beach, before he settled with those set of words, that speech structure and that powerful story format to change the direction and history of a great country. CEOs today in the 21st century can learn from these classic cases and examples and tell stories to inspire.

What happens when you tell a story?

When you tell a story, you are handing out concepts and paradigm without indoctrinating and without being overbearing and boorish with details, data or delegation. With stories you are handing out dynamic, empowering flux and wisdom which listeners can use in any which way they want and mould it according to their understanding, according to their needs and yet be able to find common ground between them and you the CEO, the leader. Stories land upon the psyche of others but grip and move powerfully because the listener participates and takes ownership of ideas, emotions and interpretations that rise out their own being and their own value systems. Thus, not only do the listeners take ownership but also, subtly and smoothly but also make silent commitments to act and be responsible for what is co-created and generated between them and their leader.

This is powerful. This is one of the ways how effective CEOs and all leaders inspire others.

Why Coaching Salespeople Creates Champions

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Though early on in my career I did not get any sales specific training I was fortunate to intern under several successful sales champions. My mentors had learned their skills through the school of hard knocks and over a long period of time. Mentoring me, though, was far from their minds and all they really cared was if I made enough sales and if my success at sales put money into their coffers.  Amazingly though, and such is life, I picked up a million little lessons from them which over time gave me an uncanny and an unfair advantage over many sales people and endeared me to my clientele and the market I played in. The learning was in-depth and the growth was exhilarating and long lasting. Years into the profession, when side by side with my mentors I had developed an uncanny and subtle set of playing rules which almost always helped me close deals and serve my clients consistently and to the benefit of both sides.

Over time, I realized that the art of selling was not just an art but an extremely refined science. The rules of this science, in the past, were learned through by getting into the pit again and again. Today, the culture of learning through long and strenuous interactions over a  l o n g period of time does not need to be continued. It still has its benefits but keeping in mind the principle of “Anything can be accomplished if the task is broken down into small enough steps,” from the school of Nuero Linguistics Programming, a sales leader can transfer these uncanny and subtle set of playing rules to almost anyone willing to learn and wanting to make a success out of his sales career.

Stretching Limits through Sales Coaching

Stretching Limits through Sales Coaching


Across the world trainers and sales consultants like me have now packaged these playing rules into principles and practices which can be mastered in a matter of months if not weeks.  Gone are the days when a successful sales person or a team leader would get on stage and boost the spirits of his teams through stories and admonitions towards sales success. Today, the name of the game is Sales Coaching—and, it is potent and powerful in real time and in measurable terms.

Sales Coaching brings about a multitude of benefits at the individual, the team and the organisational level.

At the individual level, sales coaching starts with the assumption that if you can dream it then you can achieve it. This becomes an extremely powerful a paradigm for the sales person because it starts with the belief in her potentiality, its helps unleash her latent strengths and it helps her leverage on her own past successes no matter what field or discipline she comes from. Sales coaching, at the individual level, instead of imposing the manager’s or the organizations belief systems on the salesperson helps her uncover her own driving values. It help her fine tune her skills in complete alignment with her own beliefs and potential.

At the team level, Sales Coaching, helps distribute work load and challenges based on personal preferences and competencies of each player. It helps teams eliminate links which may be weak and move from strength to strength to strength. Steven Covey highlights this synergy of strengths by creating a metaphor of loading a single wooden plank with a measured downward pressure, followed by laying another layer of a wooden plank on the first one. The downward pressure and weight thus carried by two wooden planks not just doubles in tandem to the number of planks but increases multi-fold. Such is the power of Sales Coaching for a team. It strengthens each player individually and then bonds them together with their strengths thus reducing team weaknesses. At the practical level, a manager-cum-coach can assess individual strengths and assign tasks and territories to build on strengths instead of just logistical and market demands.

At the organizational level, Sales Coaching helps in the following ways:

  • Essential knowledge and organization culture is retained and enhanced in the process.
  • Employee engagement and thus retention peaks up because of increased performance and satisfaction.
  • Alignment of personal, team and organizational goals are constantly aligned thereby boosting rapid and sustainable growth.

In summary, the business of old-fashioned sales training has taken on a new and a vibrant face. Instead of sweeping statements about successes and successful behaviour during sales it now is a fine-tuned, highly refined and custom made one on one learning. It is not just faster, better and cheaper but it is also creative, conscientious and constructive. A well-designed sales coaching program addresses the needs of individuals, teams and organization in the areas of culture, processes, characters, visions, and competencies.  A well designed sales coaching program also provides knowledge, skills and true wisdom for playing well in the pits, where the true action is.

Culture Change


For nearly four years now I have been working with senior executives from across the world travelling in and out of the Philippines. I have worked with groups from Boeing, UPS, Coke, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, USAID, Proctor & Gamble, Fonterra and Pepsico to name a few. In all our conversations the one statement that keeps popping up is a Peter Drucker quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Though often, I must confess, we warp this quote a bit by saying, “Culture trumps strategy all the time.”

What does this mean? And, if the meaning is looking us in the face then what can we do to move, to change, to lead and win at the marketplace and win in changing economies? Our strategies for innovation, marketing or for impacting the business bottom-line will just not work. Our plans look good on paper and stay looking good on paper. Our business agility and tactics leave us with constantly aching lower backs.

Well, here’s the inside story. All the tangible moves we make; the promotions we launch, the people we pirate and the systems we reshape are moves only on the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Doing all these things in a dynamic marketplace and a constantly changing economy is like trying to turn a ship around in a raging storm by grappling with the tips of its mast.  That, as we have all known and experienced in Reagan-speak, “Just doesn’t cut it. No way, José!”

The way to handle and drive change is to go get to the bottom of things. The way to drive change and rewrite a new culture is to dive under the ship and get a handle on its hull, work the rudders and open up the sails in the direction of the organizational desire-dream.

One of the world’s top 100 change agents, Dr. Roland Sullivan calls this holistic process “Whole Systems Transformation.” I think of his process as change from deep within, from the core and hull of a large, dynamic system called an organization.  Dr. Sullivan recommends a four-step process;

  1. Transform leadership

Work with the decision makers, the core and the powers that be. Let them, first, sink their mental and emotional fangs into meat of the dream. Let them lock their jaws on crystallizing and clarifying the direction in which their organizational ship needs to go.

  1. Transform system critical mass

Choose a substantial number of dedicated individuals whose values not just resonate but ring church bells in sync with the values and the purpose of the organization. Let them also bite into the same dream as the leaders.

  1. Transfer competency to local change agent

Power and tool up local and internal change agents to work on the daily grind of weaving and hammering in the necessary knots and nails to turn the hull around. Let them learn to stew, to steam and serve the bits with a sizzle.

Culture change

Culture change

  1. Sustain transformation

Hold your breath, let the sails bellow, paddle consistently and evenly until we, the whole system, surfs over the storm and strengthens up for the next wave of change.

Dr. Roland Sullivan, in 2009, in conversation with the newly elected Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi put together this quote with him, “Dreams are not seen when you sleep. Dreams are those that do not let you sleep.”

Over the last few years, Indians across the nation heard these words and made them their battle-cry for change. Today, the hull and the rudder of the ship called India is now in new hands and they look forward to riding out into seas, using Whole Systems Transformation, to drive change, to change culture.

FORCE people to remember your Presentations

We all know visuals matter, stories count and drama has a large impact on how we remember, recall and react to new information. The truth is that how we first store or remember influences or ability to recall and act upon new data. In fact, this truth has a certain science and structure to memorizing and making things memorable for your audience during presentations. The following is an excerpt from my book, The HeART of Public Speaking.  The model is simple enough to put into practice for any kind of presentations.

Mind Map your way through the Head, Heart and Humor behind Public Speaking.

“The way we store information in our minds is similar to how we store books on a shelf.

 Besides storing them alphabetically or by subject and author, we also tend to look, feel and size up the book before thinking about where it should go. The first book, let’s say, we place becomes our primary reference point and we then also arrange other books by how long we’ve had them, how often we refer to them and how relevant they are to our studies.  Starting with that reference point, each group develops a certain “neighborhood” of its own.

 Likewise, new information and new learning also chunks itself up — like an internal “bookshelf” — in our memory by time, usage, relevance and novelty.

 Taking into account this fact about how our memory works and using an acronym–FORCE, we can create a template for highly memorable presentations.

F is for First: Experiences like your first date and your first plane ride are hard to forget. Similarly, the opening lines of a speech also have a lasting impression on our minds. This is also referred to as the “Law of Primacy.”

O is for Often: People you see regularly on the bus, a billboard en route to work or a song that you hear again glues easily on our memory.  Similarly, in speaking, some repetition and rephrasing, creates better recall. This is also referred to as the “Law of Repetition.”

R is for things you can easily Relate to: Things such as a face in a crowd similar to your own ethnicity or someone wearing a shirt in your favorite color. In speaking, ideas and opinions the audience can quickly relate to, improve absorption and recall. This is also called the “Law of Relevance.”

C is for Catchy: Details or objects that are strikingly different from their environment, like a big white man in a crowd of Asians or a red hat amongt a lot of white ones. In public speaking, it is a good idea to include a colorful or a catchy phrase in our talks. This is also referred to as the “Law of Outstanding-ness.”

E is for Endings: People tell dozens of stories about having seen someone for the very last time or of their last visit abroad. Just like things that are heard, seen, or felt at the end stay longer on the “desktop” of your memory. In public speaking making your closings powerful makes the whole presentation impressive. This is also referred to as the “Law of Recency.”  

Therefore, while researching data to include in our presentations, it’s a good idea to look out for things that…

•        will create a good First impression;

•        can be mentioned Often but in different words;

•        the audience can Relate to easily;

•        are different and Catchy;

•        will create a lasting impression in the End.

And, while constructing speeches, keeping in mind the principles of FORCE will make our speeches/presentations  memorable and impact-laden.”

When I, sometimes, look back at this model I feel that such a flow of thought…FORCE can also be a way to structure your presentations and talks. Yes!