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March 2012
Published by Geoff Kelly, Kelly Strategic Influence

Wisdom to lead minds:

"Changing hearts and minds with a lion and a lamb..."

In 1937 Winston Churchill was desperately trying to convince Britain's elites that Adolf Hitler and his Nazi colleagues were untrustworthy and a grave threat to the whole of Europe.

Sure he gave speeches, drew parallels in history, quoted statistics and otherwise masterfully informed people of the threat he so clearly saw. However, one of the most effective things he did was draw metaphors and tell stories like the Berlin Zoo story, which he first told at a 1937 dinner party:

It seems the zoo featured a large cage where a lion and lamb lived together in peace and harmony. It was a huge drawing card for visitors.

One English tourist asked the zookeeper: "How did you find such a lion?"

"The lion isn't the hard thing," replied the zookeeper. "It's the lamb. Every morning we have to find a new one."

Churchill's audience appreciated the humour, saw the connection to the predatory Nazis, and remembered the point. Stories such as this proved some of his most effective weapons in shifting Britain's decision-makers to his view of pending calamity.

Since we sat on our motherís knee, we each have been conditioned to listen to and absorb the ideas in stories.

How are you using stories in your leadership challenges?

More next month...

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Geoff Kelly works with leaders who are frustrated that others don't fully support their ideas and strategies. He mainly works with corporate leaders around the world, but also leaders in Government and Not for Profit. He is also a popular speaker on this and related subjects. See www.kellystrategicinfluence.com.au, email gkelly@kellystrategicinfluence.com.au or call +613 9678 9218 for more information

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© 2009 - 2012 Geoff Kelly All rights reserved.
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