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Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story Hardcover – Mar 1 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (March 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307587959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307587954
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“In Tell to Win, Peter Guber demonstrates that telling purposeful stories is the best way to persuade, motivate and convince who you want to do what you need.”
--President Bill Clinton

Tell to Win gives great insight into why good storytelling skills are essential for a successful leader. It’s both an engaging read and a great practical guide on how to listen, prepare and marshal facts to tell the right kind of story to the right audience.”
--Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company

“Peter Guber has a deep understanding of the lure of story and its capacity to transform…Inhale this book so that you may breathe energy and purpose into the lives of others."
--Muhammad Yunus, Winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, author of Banker to the Poor

"If anyone knows how to survive in business, it's Peter.   This book is a manual for that.  It gives you the two keys to success -- first, everything starts with a good story, and second, don't drop names (actually Frank Sinatra told me that)."
--George Clooney

“Incredibly insightful…gets to the heart of why some entrepreneurs who start with a pile of money fail utterly and why others who begin with nothing succeed spectacularly.  It’s not enough to have a vision or even talent.  You need to get others to see the world through your eyes, to buy into your dream…Peter Guber understands that, and in this book he shows you exactly how to do it.”
--Ian Schrager, Chairman and CEO of Ian Schrager Company, and Co-Founder of Studio 54

“I wish I had this book when I was starting out, trying to break through.  It's not just a business book, it's a life book.  Buy it, and you'll hit all the right notes."
--Quincy Jones, Winner of 27 Grammy Awards

"For too long in our offices and boardrooms, story has been a mysterious and misunderstood force. Now Peter Guber draws on four decades of success to reveal [its] secrets…Whether you're running a business or navigating a career, Tell to Win is the ultimate guide to enlisting the power of narrative to do good and do well."
-- Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“With this book’s fresh and helpful insight into how the best stories are crafted and delivered, you too, like Peter Guber, can become a storytelling virtuoso.”
--Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO, Fox News

“Every great business has a great story to tell. The businesses that realize their potential are the ones that figure out how to tell their stories well. When everyone—from executives to entry-level employees, from partners to customers and clients—understands and embraces their role in a company's narrative, success isn’t just possible; it’s inevitable. Tell to Win is astonishing, a lifetime of sharp insights and invaluable takeaways distilled into a couple hundred pages of pure gold.”
---Hilary Schneider, Former EVP, Americas Region, Yahoo!

“An absorbing read.  The central concept is powerful. Guber shows that carefully crafted story telling can transform your ideas into action, win the day, and even move a few mountains.”
--Tim Kelly, President of Global Media Group, National Geographic

“I couldn’t put Peter Guber’s new book down.  It reads like a novel, entertains like a movie, and yet manages to hammer home a message everybody should take to heart.”
--Al Ries, co-author of Positioning and War in the Boardroom

 “Exceptionally well done… If your goal is making a difference, this is a book you’ll want to own.”
--Dr. Mehmet Oz, co-author of the New York Times bestseller You: The Owner's Manual

“Offers some of the best advice money can buy…Guber is particularly good at spotting patterns, and through his eyes, we come to see that behind every success there's a good story lurking.  How we, in turn, can create such stories is the great reward of this book.”
-- Frank Cooper, Chief Consumer Engagement Officer, PepsiCo Inc.

“Wonderful…packed with stories [that] make the point that whatever you’re trying to do in life, it’s vital to be able to tell a good story.”
--Financial Times

“Guber throws off ideas the way a storm hurls bolts at the prairie...a surprisingly self-aware tour.”
--New York Times

“Brisk and readable…This valuable and inspiring book will help readers deliver an authentic and meaningful story to customers, colleagues or prospective clients.”
--Publishers Weekly
"Excellent advice...Guber is always entertaining and the book never flags, even while offering some of the soundest and most practical tips you will get from any business book this year."
--The Financial Times

About the Author

PETER GUBER has had an extraordinarily varied and successful career, serving as Studio Chief at Columbia Pictures; Co-Chairman of Casablanca Records and Filmworks; CEO of Polygram Entertainment; Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures; and Chairman and CEO of his current venture, Mandalay Entertainment Group.  Among the award-winning films he has produced or executive produced are “Midnight Express,” “The Color Purple,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” “Batman,” and “Rain Man.” Guber is the co-owner of the NBA's Golden State Warriors and oversees one of the largest combinations of professional baseball teams and venues nationwide. He is also a longtime professor at UCLA, a Harvard Business Review contributor, and a thought leader who speaks at numerous business forums around the country.  For more about Peter Guber and the power of purposeful story telling visit TelltoWin.com.



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Format: Hardcover
Others have their own reasons for praising Peter Guber's book. Here are three of mine. First, I really appreciate the scope and depth as well as the variety of the personal and professional experiences that he shares. Who doesn't he know? What hasn't he done, or at least attempted to do? He can thus draw upon an abundance of real-world situations within which to insert observations and lessons-to-be-learned about how to "connect, persuade, and triumph with the hidden power of story." His unofficial mentors ("voices") include Muhammad Ali, David Begelman, Jack Canfield, Deepak Chopra, David Copperfield, Steve Denning, Al Giddings, Oscar Goodman, Adolph Hitler, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jackson, Ervin ("Magic") Johnson, Kirk Kerkorian, T.H. Lawrence (of Arabia), George Lopez, Nelson Mandela, Dean Martin, John McCain, Mike Milken, Dennis Miller, Rupert Murdoch...and that's only those whose last names are A-M.

I also appreciate how specific Guber is when explaining how to get listeners' attention with an unexpected challenge, then how to give them an emotional experience by narrating the struggle to overcome that challenge or to find the answer to the opening question, and finally, how to galvanize listeners' response with an eye-opening resolution that calls [begin italics] them [end italics] to action. Drawing upon all his sources as well as his own extensive experience, Guber shares what he has learned about what could be characterized as the strategies for "dramatic persuasion": seize attention, establish tension with conflict or uncertainty, introduce setting (context, frame-of-reference, background) and the "players" who populate it, establish dominant themes, develop the plot (i.e.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 9 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences." -- 2 Corinthians 5:11 (NKJV)

Peter Guber has written an excellent book about using storytelling to cut a deal during a high stakes negotiation, especially when access to the other person is limited. If you are such a deal maker or depend on making large sales where there may be little common ground, Tell to Win is an excellent resource. I particularly enjoyed the long list of rich examples, especially from entertainment-related negotiations.

What you won't find is nearly as good a resource for story telling to teach someone else, to inspire imagination, or to build a cultural foundation for future success. For those purposes, seek out Stephen Denning's books. To Mr. Guber's credit, Denning is well referenced in this book relative to negotiating deals.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa2c2daec) out of 5 stars 134 reviews
123 of 133 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2c522c4) out of 5 stars Unleash the Power of Compelling Stories Feb. 8 2011
By David Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Lately, I have been reading about the power of persuasion, and some experts believe stories can be used to induce a trance-like state. I like telling stories, and have found that as a teacher, students remember the personal stories I tell long after they have forgotten basic facts. However, I don't think I am always a great storyteller, and I have rarely tried to craft a good story. I hoped this book would shed light on the power of a story, and show me how to tell an effective one.

Guber highlights the times he failed to connect with a client, and most of the time, it was because he failed to tell a story. This may sound counter-intuitive to many in the business world. After all, isn't business about being sober and logical? Where do stories fit in? According to Guber, most people in business forget that they are dealing with humans, and in order to reach people, a sales pitch has to have an emotional component. Stories not only add an emotional dimension to business interactions, but also appeal to our natural love of good stories (which contain a challenge, struggle, and resolution). This love of the challenge-struggle-resolution story is, according to research in the book, hard-wired into our brains. Thus, stories are not just entertaining: they are powerful tools that help us connect with others, and persuade them to see our point of view.

I have to respectfully disagree with other reviewers that suggest the author doesn't explain how to tell good stories. It is true that this is not a book you would use in a creative writing class. You won't learn about the elements of a short story, or what personification is. However, the book explains how to use a certain type of story to become more successful. Guber does clearly explain how to tell an effective story. The entire book is about this, surrounded by stories of him and others. He tells readers how to find the right hero, where to find inspiration, ways to make a story emotionally relevant, how to make sure a story connects with a given audience, how to be authentic, the importance of proper intention (thus sending out proper body language), using props, and many other tips and tricks that clearly indicate how a good, purposeful, story is told. Many of these tips are condensed in the "aHHa" sections at the end of each chapter. He may not treat the topic the way an English teacher would, but he does offer practical advice.

One possible drawback is that this book may not appeal to all readers because it is short on hard data, which isn't too surprising, given that it is about shifting away from that sort of approach. Guber does include research, it is just that the book itself is based on Guber's personal ideas and stories. I am convinced, but it is definitely a new way of looking at business interaction.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It opened my eyes to the power of the stories I regularly tell, and ones I have been told. After reading this book, I know how to craft a compelling story, that will entertain, build rapport with others, persuade others, and help me accomplish my goals. Since reading the book, I have made an effort to tell more stories, and the response has been positive. The fodder for stories is all around, in what I have done, and what I have seen others do. As I start my own business, and continue to teach in the classroom, I plan to craft my storytelling ability to not only educate, but also make more money.
95 of 106 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2c56198) out of 5 stars Would have made a good magazine article, but the premise is just too simple for a full-blown book. March 3 2011
By Jeff Lippincott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Stories have power. They can be used to motivate, pursuade, entertain, educate, train, coach, communicate, etc. And the instant book being reviewed reminds the reader that stories often play a significant role in the rise of a person not yet successful who ultimately becomes successful.

How do you hear about someone if you don't hear their story or a story that they tell you? You're correct - you don't. And if you don't hear about someone, then how likely is it that they are going to become successful? You're right - it's unlikely. The author in this book has strung together a bunch of stories, dropped a lot of names of famous people, and told us that telling stories is where it is at. I thought many of the stories were pretty good, but few were all that compelling.

I found the book to be an easy and quick read. There really wasn't anything earth-shattering between its covers. The message was quite simple, and you'd get it just by reading the title on the cover. So I don't really recommend someone waste their money on this tome.

I have read or skimmed a number of other books on storytelling. I think the following books are pretty good reads and probably would prove to be a better way to spend your money if you would buy one of them instead "Tell to Win." 3 stars!

>>Storytelling for Grantseekers: A Guide to Creative Nonprofit Fundraising
>>What's Your Story? Storytelling to Move Markets, Audiences, People, and Brands
>>Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact
>>Storytelling: Branding in Practice
>>The Leader's Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative
>>Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories in Work and Play (American Storytelling)
>>The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2c563cc) out of 5 stars An Essential Skill For Success Feb. 18 2011
By John Chancellor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
"Everybody in business shares one universal problem: To succeed you have to persuade others to support your vision, dream or cause. ... you have to deliver a clarion call that will get your listeners' attention, emotionalize your goals as theirs, and move them to act in your favor. You have to reach their hearts as well as their minds - and this is just what story telling does."

I would go one step further and say that the above statement applies to all of life, not just business. We are all constantly trying to sell our ideas and points of view. We are constantly trying to convince others to see things our way - no matter if it is to buy our products/services, become our friends, join our club/organization or cause. Yet most of the time we rely on logical reasons to try and convince others.

Humans make decisions based on emotions and then use logic to justify those decisions. So if we are going to be successful we need a way to engage others emotionally. And from the earliest of history, the most successful way to engage others emotionally is with stories.

So Tell to Win is the story of the importance of stories in whatever we do. Stories have the ability to touch our hearts - to make the connection between our minds and our hearts. Stories are much easier to remember than a set of data or historical facts. Therefore we can retain, remember and retell the stories.

Peter Guber has spent his life in the entertainment industry and draws on his wealth of experience to make Tell to Win come to life. The book is filled with interesting stories about how his success was totally dependent on telling the right story. He also shares some failures which were primarily because he failed to craft a good story.

While the book is not a how to manual, there are plenty of lessons scattered throughout the book on the essential elements necessary for crafting and telling a story. Storytelling cannot be reduced to a formula. An effective story is a living, evolving thing. It will and should change with the audience.

One of the real benefits of an effective story is the audience adopts the story and retells/shares the experience.

Storytelling is an art and you will only become successful with practice. We all grew up using/telling stories. Somewhere along the way most of us abandoned stories for facts. We may never achieve the level of proficiency required for the entertainment business, but by studying the tips, techniques and stories in this book, we can become much better at telling our own stories. Crafting our own stories and paying attention to the feedback, we will become better.

The better we become at telling stories, the more successful we will become. This is an important skill to master and there are lots of lessons in this book.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2c56708) out of 5 stars Save your money and most importantly your time May 30 2011
By KellyMotivates - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I don't like posting negative comments but I had to let you know this book is not worth it. Very promising in the beginning and then it dies. I have tried to pick it back up with an open mind on many occasions and its just painstakingly boring. It's like forcing yourself to eat when you're really not hungry and just couldn't have another bite. I feel like screaming OK, you win, I can't read another page... is that what he means by tell to win...cuz he does tell a lot... a lot of nothing. I am shocked that Tony Robbins promoted and endorsed it, I'm on his subscriber list and thought it would be good. Sorry Peter, this wasn't a winner.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2c56948) out of 5 stars thumbs down Feb. 25 2012
By Yoyoma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Keith Ferrazzi recommended this on facebook and that's why I got it. I learned so much from Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone but I think he was trying to do this author a favor by recommending it. So I expected a lot but after reading 20 pages 6 mos ago, I haven't been able to motivate myself to read more. Guber has a nice point in that telling a story can make a difference in getting a person to understand a concept, but there's not nearly enough for a book. What is most disappointing is how Guber writes about what great idea he has but then he doesn't follow through with much at all.