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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  February 18, 2016

The Best Way to Use Your Story

The Best Way to Use Your Story

All thought leaders have a story. How they use that story is the difference between the good and the great.

A fabulous example comes from Tuesday’s TED2016 conference in Vancouver. Two disrupters spoke back to back. Both had great stories. The similarities ended there.

AirBnB co-founder Joe Gebbia used his story as a springboard to a bigger idea: that “stranger danger” is a myth and what happens when we open our hearts and homes. Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, used his story to gripe about regulation. What a wasted opportunity.


Related: Your Best Brand Story


It gets better.

Both addressed complaints and controversies directed at their companies. Mr. Gebbia said, “In the beginning, I was customer service. I took those calls on my cell phone. And my heart sank after every one.” Mr. Kalanick barely acknowledged the issue.

How we talk about our story says everything about how we approach the marketplace. You can either embrace your journey to the bigger lesson, or you can complain under the guise of advocating. The former inspires everyone. The latter solidifies your base. Choose wisely.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.