Allison Kluger: "Telling your Story Can Lead to Success and Opportunity"
When. I was 23, I was working at Good Morning America, and I, had just been promoted to the field and series unit which was the unit where you could go out into the field and produce pieces and do live remotes and they were called chutes and it was a dream come true. One. Of the first assignments that came up was to go and produce a remote at the field of dreams now. Who by show, of hands remembers, the movie of Field of Dreams okay. That's pretty good so we all knows with Kevin Costner, it's, a magical, movie about baseball, and there's, a real baseball, field in the middle of a cornfield right. I had, no competition though for this assignment because it was July. 4th weekend a three-day weekend and everybody wanted Friday off so. They're like Alison you can go to Dubuque Iowa and produce the remote so. Being a New York City girl I had to go and I had to rent a car which was not. Great for me I wasn't a big driver and my mom was not happy, but, I was more worried about getting lost because, I'm not great with directions since, I'm in New York her and I grew up on a grid but. I flew into Dubuque, I rented, my car I went to the farm I met, Don Larson who was the farmer and it looked exactly like my picture and I, figured out what all my shots would be for the next morning and I was so excited went, back to the Best Western the next morning I got up at 3:30, in the morning gave, myself a half an hour to get to the site because with Good Morning America, you need to be there three hours before to get set up with the satellite trucks so. As I'm driving to the site, it's. Pitch black and, I had no idea how dark it would be on rural roads and I'm. Driving and trying to remember my way to this farm and the, air condition, was just blasting, on me so. I went to turn it off but being an inexperienced, driver while, I turned it off this arm also. Parroted, those moves and I, swerved, off the road I hit the accelerator instead of the brake and my panic, careened. Off the road hit, something and my car flipped twice and then, just kept going until it stopped in the, middle of a field at 3:30. In the morning on a holiday, weekend, before, cellphones existed. So. When the car stopped I looked, down the door was open and everything above my right my left leg above the muscle was sliced open and sitting, in my lap hanging. By some skin, and my. First thought was my mom is going to kill me. My. Second thought was I just, can't sit here and bleed to death I gotta do something about this so, I put my leg back on I took my shirt off I tied up my leg and I, got out of the car I started. Screaming the God God, please, help me god I'm scared and, then I said okay I've done that and, I. Figured I'd start walking, but all of a sudden I remembered this dark curtain, going. Down on me and when I came to I was crouched on the ground near, my car and. I remember saying Alison if you pass out you're gonna die, no one is going to find you get, up so. I got up and the, miracle was actually making way my way back to the road because I'm terrible with directions but, I made it back and, I figure I'm gonna walk til I get help go to a farm, eventually. A car stopped it was Randy in a red car going, fishing and he. Stopped and I went up to his window and I said hi, my name is Alison, I'm going, to a shoot I haven't been shot I'm from Good Morning America, and he, said I'm not from here and I said I'm not either I need your help so, he pushed the door open and I came around the front of the car and I got in and then. He closed the door and then he saw that I was really damaged, and he. Told me later he just was so frightened by seeing me come out of nowhere, I'm. Not sure my hair was a mess it's. Bleeding so he, goes I know paramedic, five towns away so. He drove and at that point I remember my shirt was completely, soaked with blood went, down to my ankle I'm bleeding, all over his car and I'm apologizing. For his upholstery, and the. Next stop is there's a man in a blue robe running, towards my window he goes the ambulance, is on its way I kind. Of went in and out of consciousness then. The ambulance came they're putting braces on me they have no idea I've been walking I said, you need to call Don Larson at this number and tell him I'm not showing up for the shoot you need to call my mother at this number she's gonna be really pissed off and now, you need to give me a painkiller and they said we can't give you that and I said well then I'm not going to talk to you and.
They. Were rolling me into the ambulance and it was then that it occurred to me, what. Did I do to myself how. Much damage did I do so. I looked up in this guy's face and I said, am I gonna be okay and, he said I hope, so and, I remember thinking that's the wrong answer. So. Even then I'm trying to produce this poor guy, so. What ended up happening is, I stayed in Iowa for a week they sewed my leg back on it died everything, above, the muscle had been severed all the nerves that turned black, ABC. Flew me back to, New York in a private plane I was in the hospital for six weeks they removed the whole portion of my leg they skin grafted, from my butt I had, a bone graft into my arm which was broken in three places and, dislocated, I had broken ribs I had injured my pancreas I had cuts and scrapes but my seat belt had saved my life from going through the roof of the car. Now. I was in I, was in therapy for two years to regain all my movement, and you, think okay this is pretty traumatic but, the most traumatic part was that I lied about the accident, I told. People I had swerved to avoid hitting an animal because. I was so worried about my reputation I was. Worried that I had messed up my first big assignment and, that they, would never give me another assignment at Good Morning America, and I, lived with this lie for. Years and it. Was like an anvil on my chest and what. I didn't realize was. That they didn't care how I got into the accident they. Cared how I got out of the accident, and that, my reputation was, fine because people knew me as someone who was a problem, solver and reliable. And friendly and eager. To do the work and, that. Was a hard lesson for me to learn and. It's. Always made me very interested in, reputation. And how. You overcome, obstacles and, how, you are consistent, with your messaging, and as. A lot of people know we'll definitely Devon knows that I teach reputation, management here. So. That. Story. There's. A reason I told you that story one. Hopefully. It caught your attention and, none of you were on your cell phones. -. It. Kind, of showed you a. Life-changing. Moment and how. I how. It informed, me moving on it, showed how I deal with adversity it showed the origin story of creating, a reputation management it, was memorable and it's a story that only I can tell when. You tell a story but. You're basically saying is I want you to know me I want you to know who, I am and what I believe in and why I do what I do and. What. My strengths, are and what my quirks are what. Differentiates, me from somebody else, and. You're. Trying to prove your credibility by, showing your history. When. You're creating your own narrative, I feel it's really important to start with a story because. It's so much more interesting than data and facts did you know that in a presentation, you can only take away two to, three facts but.
You Can remember an entire story, and, if. You can control your, own narrative others. Won't. Fill in gaps that, you've left open, also. You. Can someone can carry your store if you tell it succinctly, and and. Powerfully, to someone else and that, could create opportunities, for you because. Then. Maybe you'll find a mentor or an investor, or a colleague. It. Also is a great way to connect to the audience and it. Shows you at your most authentic self, so. What makes a great, story, well. You. Want it to be rich in detail you want it to be differentiated, authentically. You and, hopefully, inspire somebody. A lot. Of times you want to solve a problem and that's, where your origin story comes, in because. Whatever you're doing in life we. Need to show people why you care, and where, the idea came from. Who. Here knows about TOMS shoes. Okay. Most of you right there, just canvas, shoes they're like a thousand, canvas shoes all over but. What made toms so, special well. His story so. Blake Makowski I thought if I'm pronouncing the makovski, he. Was on The Amazing Race which, is a reality, show where. You go to different countries and you do challenges, and he was partnered, with his sister and one of the stops was Argentina and when. He was there he noticed they had these shoe. Call a legatos. Which. Were little. Canvas shoes and. When. He finished the Amazing Race he now had some money and some notoriety but. He never forgot Argentina, and he went back a few years later and. He. Saw a lot of the kids running around without shoes and they, were getting their, feet scraped and they were spreading, disease and he wanted to do something of value so. He decided he was going to create a shoe company based on the Alpen or Gatos and, he. Was gonna call it TOMS which, means shoes of tomorrow and. The. Difference is that he, decided that if you buy a pair of shoes a kid in a developing, country or a person who's in need is going to get a pair of shoes so, if any of you received the Box you, get the shoes there's a little flag on top of it there's a little note that says thank you for donating a pair of shoes, that's. Why TOMS are better or different, than other canvas, shoes around, it's how they told the story it's, inspiring, it's authentic, it's solving a problem it's, rich in detail and it's a story that only Blake can tell. Spanx. Sara baked Blakely she was here about a year ago she's a big hero of mine any woman over 30 thanks. Thanks. So. What Sara says with her story is never underestimate a woman who wants her butt to look good in a pair of pants and her. Story is she was trying on those white pants and she, didn't like the way her butt looked she took a pair of support hose and, she cut off the pantyhose part and just put the little support part on and, she looked, so much better why isn't there a product like that so, she took five thousand dollars of savings that she had gotten from, selling fax machines, door-to-door, and she. Made a prototype and she said everybody was saying oh my god what are you doing and she, cold called and went to buyers and she was finally at Neiman Marcus and. She. Saw that the buyer was losing interest so she took the buyer by the hand took, her took her into the bathroom and tried on her. Prototype, under the white pants and the buyer said I'll take 3000 and that. Was the beginning again. Her. Story is very relatable, she's solving a problem it's rich in detail and only Sarah can tell that story. Bombas. I picked this because I am being bombarded by, bombas I don't know if any of you are but the ads, I'm up on my TV and, on, my computer and I get mailings, but, this is like TOMS shoes on steroids. Take, a look at this story of the greatest sock never, sold it's. Not for sale in any stores and you. Can't buy it online, but. Somehow we. Just shipped our ten million pair. You. May be wondering who. Makes the sock that no one can buy.
I'm. Randy and I'm Dave and we're Bob's socks, are the number one most requested clothing. Item of homeless shelters so. For every pair of super comfortable bomba socks you buy we, donate this pair to, someone who needs they're. Specifically, designed to meet the needs of the homeless community with reinforced, seams and antimicrobial, treatment. In darker, colors to show less visible, wear and thanks, to your purchases, and support we just donated, our 10 millionth, pair to shelters around the country it's, these 10 million small acts of human kindness that, make this the. Greatest sock never. Sold give. A pair when you buy a pair at bombas com. What. I love about that is the story it tells we've, met Randy, and Dave right. We know why they care they care about the homeless we know what makes their socks differentiated. And the. Story they tell is very powerful, which is why their campaign, has been so successful, when. I have a student who tells me that she's been in the military and tells me about her experiences. I automatically. Understand the context, I say, this is a disciplined, person this is someone who's probably a leader this is someone who knows how to take orders and knows how to give orders this, is someone who probably knows how to present herself well, and this, is a person who's good with with, delivering, results. She. Doesn't have to list all those qualities for, me but, if she tells me a story I'm going to Intuit that just. From her story and her narrative if, I, have a student who was in the Olympic swimming which I have you. Know this is what I already know, I know that they are. Goal oriented I know they've sacrificed I know that they're used to performing, while other people watch them and I, know that they they. Are so determined to reach that goal. So. What you want to do is to. Increase your reputation. Your executive, presence in your personal branding is to figure out what. In your story is going to give these clues to people about who you are I, really. Believe you should have five stories in your pocket and what. That means is five stories, that you can pull out at different times in your life that. Can illustrate, who, you are what your values, are what they mean I remember. That when I came out here 20 years ago when I was trying to start a website the CEO said, to me Allison can you tell me if a time when you, overcame, something and that was the first time I told my car accident story and it, would just came from my gut and you know what she had been in a motorcycle accident so, we completely, bonded over that and I swear I think that's what got me the job she's. Like I want someone who'll tie up her leg to work for me. So. A few months ago I went to Qualtrics, which is a switch's a big, conference and I got to see three of my idols, Oprah, Obama, and, Sir. Richard Branson, but. In between these presentations. Someone else came on stage who. By a show of hands knows Billy McDermott. Great. That, was exactly what I was hoping I, didn't, know him either okay. He's the CEO of sa P and he. Comes out and he. Looks really. Handsome and slick he's got the gray, and salt-and-pepper, gray hair and he has these sunglasses and so. While he's just sent all I can think of his why isn't this guy removing his sunglasses. It's. Kind of slick and kind of smarmy, and I am so distracted that I don't listen to anything that is being said in this interview, I'm just hating on him so, I pull out my my cell phone which I really try not to do because it's so rude just.
Telling You and and. I, look him up and it says that about seven, eight years ago he was walking down the stairs carrying a glass of water he fell and a shard of glass went, into his left eye he, had all these surgeries and lost his eye so. Obviously he wears glasses now. I am sure that Billy does not want to tell this story every single time he goes somewhere new but, it's very important, to know your audience and because, he didn't tell me his narrative I made, all these assumptions about him, what. I would have suggested if I had been coaching him would have been before, he started answering Ryan's, question, who was the host to, say oh by the way everybody, I've had some surgeries on my eye I need to wear glasses don't worry I'm not giving you any shade something. Like that and you know what would have happened then it, would have been a non-issue I wouldn't, have been focusing, on it and I could have concentrated, on his message. So. To me it's really, important, to, anticipate pushback, and to. Think how is the audience going to take this information in if. You are presenting an idea if, you are telling a story think about where someone might be skeptical or someone. Might say hey that doesn't work for me or, I. Don't, really understand, and then build, in the answers ahead of time into your narrative be, proactive, so, that no one RV no one's gonna fill in the gaps for you you're gonna control your own narrative. So. Amy Cuddy who's famous for the power pose wrote this book presence, and there. Was a study in this book which I really loved, which is about a bunch of groups of entrepreneurs who, are trying to get funding from VCS. What. The study said was that the entrepreneurs. Who, showed. Emotion, told. A story we're more personable, used, humor, had facial expressions, expressions those, were the ones who got the funding the, ones who just talked about data and showed graphs and what kind of linear did, not get the funding what. Does that tell you it. Tells you that people want to connect that. They want to understand, why, you're doing what you're doing that. They want to like you and it's. Really important and that's all about how you tell your story. So. I was sent to the Missouri floods. With. Good Morning America sounds like if Good Morning America is trying to kill me doesn't it. So. He sent me to cover the floods in Missouri and my, first day I had to get in a helicopter with my crew and take b-roll, or footage and all, I saw were these these houses, with their tips. Just above the water and it was really horrifying, and then my assignment, was to go to the Red Cross shelter, and find a family that would be willing to go back to their house and try to rescue either their pets or their personal belongings so. After. I shot the b-roll I went to the Red Cross shelter. And I, found a head of the fire department, I said can I borrow a boat for, my crew so we can go and take it back to one of the houses and he said sure then, I had to go find someone, so. I went I saw this man standing, against the wall and his family was a little bit off to the side and I went up to him and I said hi I'm Alison Kluger I'm from Good Morning America, and I, said I have a boat and I have a crew and would you be interested in coming back with us and seeing, if we can rescue anything, from your house well. He just started screaming at me he's. Like how dare, you how. Exploitive. Are you this. Has been the worst time of my life this is a complete. Tragedy, and you're gonna fly out of here in three, days and go back to your warm house and I'm gonna be here homeless. He. Says this is just the worst time and and I just stood there and I took it and I felt horrible and when he was done telling me his story I put, my hand on his arm and I said I am so sorry you're, absolutely right, and forgive. Me if I have caused you any more grief, during, this terrible time in your life please. Accept my apology, god bless you and I, walked away, two. Minutes later there's. A tap on my shoulder so. How would it work with the boat. Storytelling. Goes both ways, he, needed to tell me his story I needed.
To Hear it it put everything in perspective the. Empathy, I showed, the connection, he felt to me made, him feel safe we, ended up taking him back to his house he, rescued belongings, it was a great piece and, he. Was actually very happy about it. Communicating. Effectively needs, all four of these elements. Connection. Of some sort, off anticipate. And. Then. Your presence. Being. Very present I. Always. Say that making a first impression is, not. A choice it's strategic. And. I see some of my students, nodding. You. Can make three impressions. Positive. Neutral. Or, negative, to. Make a negative first impression, you. Have to try you, want to be controversial, you want to be obnoxious, but. For the most part people opt for the neutral, impression, you, go to a meeting you go to a cocktail party you go to an off-site you, go to a gathering and you really want to be home watching game Thrones with Devin I know, I do. But. What I look about it is it's an opportunity, not. Only to connect but. To create. Possibilities. For you so. When. You go there there, needs to be some self-awareness I. Believe. That your brand and your reputation are, tied into your executive, presence and how, you show up to. Me your, reputation is an echo that precedes you into the room before you even get there it can do the work for you oh my, gosh you need to meet Matt he's, awesome he's, one of the smartest people I know and he's doing this project, and you're, gonna love him but. It's also what remains after you leave, and the, little murmurs. So. You're, basically saying what is left behind for, people to remember. Do. They want to remember that you were a good person or a value-add, person, or a funny person, or a helpful, person and. What. Impression, remains long after you've left you may not know initially. However. Somebody, might come up to you and say. I remember the first time I met you and here. You are at Reunion Weekend and there's, gonna be a lot of that going up to old friends and saying I, remember. You the first time I met you in that class, that's. Reputational. Currency, if people. Have something great to remember, you by. How. Did you treat people did. You look at them did you connect, with them when you talked were you very present, or were you looking over their shoulder to see who else is better coming into the room. What. Did you say, did. You just gossip. Did you just shoot, the or, did, you add value how. Can I help you with that project who can I connect you with that you might know I really. Admire what you just did. To. Whom did you talk to did. You only talk to the people who can help you did you only talk to the people who you know or, did you recognize someone sitting on the fringe by themselves, and you welcomed, them in and have a conversation they'll. Never forget you and. How. Did you say it when you talk are. You talking really really fast and you're just overwhelming, them and they just want you to shut up or, are. You really present, in the conversation. So. These are all elements, of your, brand your reputation your, executive, presence and storytelling. Can help you connect. How. Was received, you, may not hear it till you come back to this reunion but. You might hear from someone who calls you and says my, friend met you and I want to meet you for this this, venture. Executive. Presence is basically. Made up of 20% of what people see right away, it's a sliver and what's. Unfair they can we use this iceberg analogy is, that, you're. Feeling judged on only 20% of who you are the rest of it's under the war to the 80% but not a lot of people have time to spend getting to know that 80% of you so. What, do you need to know well. You. Need to know that they're gonna be judging you and some things that don't have to do with your intelligence, your skills or your experience, they're, gonna make a snap judgment but, the good news is you can control that, so. They're gonna judge you in your appearance and I'm not talking, about being a supermodel, I'm talking. About being appropriately, dressed or dressed, with power or dressed. For, the occasion or, dressed in a way that signals, your brand. Your. Communication. Skills for sure can. You connect, all the things we just talked about and your gravitas, so, I usually show a picture of a swan and I, say what does that remind you of and most people say elegance, calmness. But. The Swan has the little webbed, feet underneath the water paddling, furiously. Gravitas. Is being the Swan and not letting people see your feet it's. Basically saying I got this I can. Take care of this you're, safe with me and that's. A very important, element of executive. Presence. This. Is what they're gonna see in that sliver the, first three gender, age ethnic, background, you.
Can't Change but, the last four you, can you, can control your, posture and how you stand, you, can control your appearance, you can control, your eye contact, and you, can control how you talk, to people and. I. Feel like your presence can be your most powerful tool so now, you're probably thinking oh my, god I'm exhausted does. This mean every time I go into a new area I have to be so aware. Got to stand a certain way dress, a certain way and, if I'm doing this am I really authentic. It's. A good question isn't it well. When. I was at Good Morning America. My. First two months there I was. Crying at work, and it wasn't about something to do with work it was personal, and this, producer, Sonja Selby right who was small. And English and terrifying, pulled. Me into her office and, she, said Alison I don't. Want to ever see you crying again at work do you understand, why and I, intuitively I knew I and I said uh-huh, and she said but she told me anyway she said because you're young you're, attractive, and you're female and no. One is going to think you're reliable and no, one is going to give you any responsibility. And no, one is gonna think you're capable of doing the job you want to do do, you understand I'm like who and she, said so if you're having if. You want to cry come into my office and close the door but. If someone says to you how's your day you, say I'm having a great day thanks so much now, get the hell out of here and she slammed the door and what do you think I want to do cry. But, I didn't have an office then so I couldn't cry but. This was the most impactful, lesson in my life, because. What it told me is I wanted, to be seen as reliable, I wanted. To have responsibility, I wanted. People to think I was capable so. Then I decided well I better act that way so. I developed. A reputation for, being, unflappable. For. Getting along with people for. Being easygoing, for. Multitasking and, the funny thing is in TV I went. To all these jobs that were so high pressure being, on air being. On live TV. Being, in the control room where anything could go wrong at a minutes notice but, I, was. Able to handle it and so the question of authenticity is, when you practice, something every, day it becomes. Authentic, to you so. It doesn't matter where you are right now if there's, a way that you want to be you can just tweak it and you. Can start doing it every day and then it becomes authentic, to you. So. For you I say act like the leader that you want to be and maybe. There's someone around you who's a role model who you think handles everything really well what. Is it about that leader that you like can, you emulate it maybe. You're someone who's always late, maybe. You should show up on time and keep, doing that right. Maybe you don't talk as much in meetings force yourself to say one thing at each meeting maybe. You volunteer, to give a seminar or take on some new responsibilities. But. Starting, to do something, different, will. Help you take it more naturally. So. I teach this course that I created called strategic pivoting, for your next chapter and I. Teach it with Alex, Rodriguez, a-rod who's, our featured, guest speaker, and I'm, so, happy he joined me because he's someone who is strategically, pivoted, through his life from a baseball icon, to, philanthropist, and investor, a. Host. Commentator. And he's, been very strategic, about it what. I loved about this class is I used this book by Jenny Blake called pivot and she has a framework, that is so easy to learn and. A. Lot of it does involve your narrative, but these are the four steps it's. Ants can pilot and launch, planting. Means you, just assess, who, are you what are you good at because whatever you pivot into. You're. Gonna take the same skills with you you're not gonna reinvent, the wheel even, if it's a completely new area, there's. Still a part of you that is responding, to this area because of the talents, and the strengths you already have, the. Next step which is plant, is figuring. Out where your knowledge gaps, and how do you fill them do, you take, a course do you take a seminar do you shadow someone do you offer to intern somewhere. Do you have dinners with people who can help you and guide you you also, have to figure out how. To broadcast, your new. Direction, because, if you want to pivot if you don't tell people they're not going to be able to help you so. It's important to figure out how. Are you gonna broadcast this change are you going to have a small dinner and tell people this is what I plan to do are you going to send out an email you're gonna make a little video whatever. It is or, put it on social media you've got to let people know what you're doing so that they can help you and you also have to learn how to tell your story about it.
Finally. There's piloting, small, little incremental, experiments. To see if it fits if it feels good so. And the purpose really is to get data so you might fail it may not go the way you want this is what beta testing is right but. It's a good idea to at least try it do you have a financial runway, have you figured it out, there. Ways to also do this you can go on Craigslist or one of these other sites where you say I'd like to do a project for a very low price and someone will hire you to, try your side hustle, and then, you can leverage that for your pivot, lots. Of creative ways to, to step into your pivot and then finally you launch but, there's a lot of iteration, and reiteration, of those three steps before you actually launch your new direction. This. Is hard to read but I'm putting this up because this is an actual letter that I received from one of my friends he. Wanted to pivot and he sent me this email and I was bcc'd so I know that he sent it to tons, of people basically, saying what his talents, were as a CEO what he was looking for what he's done but, the last line please feel free to share my CV with appropriate, parties and I can be reached at my cell. He. Did exactly what you need to do because every. And I see something that could fit him I send. It his way if. He hadn't done this how would I know. It's. Important, to use your origin, story, to. Create your own narrative we, did Tom's we, did Sarah I'm gonna talk about mine a little bit even though Devon filled you in new york city girl went to Penn I always, worked at TV stations on my free time hired. At Good Morning America, three days after graduation, I stayed there for eight years I was promoted three times within went. To a lot of disaster, zones they didn't kill me and. After. Eight years I hit my proverbial, ceiling, so, then I was invited to go to. Q2. Which, is part of QVC it was started by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg and, it was a Home Shopping Network I really, thought that was it for me in my career I'm going into cheese ville but. They paid me twice as much money and so, I went the. Host quit I was going there to produce all the home products and they said you go on air I was, like oh but. Then I realized what are my skills what have I been doing for eight years I've been coaching people to be on TV I've been helping them message I've been helping them tell their story so. I went on air and I would do four hours of TV, a day and I, would sell twenty items in each hour and this, is where I honed my storytelling, skills I had to convince people to, buy a a barbecue. Or a pot or a gardening, gnome and I'm, telling you that's challenging, so. You. Have to demonstrate and tell a story it, was the best education. I ever had on how to message and, then. They. Hide they got a new host and I, went into the control room where I wanted to be this, was awesome for me I got to control the whole show all the talent wanted me to produce them because I had been a talent, and I knew how to talk to them in their ear I was, gentle I was encouraging, all the things I wanted someone to be for me but this. Was awesome because I got to figure out if something was selling if something wasn't how I would I'm in, the moment switch the show around again, another great education, and.
Then. I went to a new shopping network called GSN, it was 16 hours of live television I was the executive producer I hired people fired, them I managed, a hundred people I created, new shows and I became kind, of the face of the network and I did these promos, where I have to cinge in 30, seconds, what something was about to take a look. And. I now listen Kluger your host for designers Corning here at GSN, we, get New York City designers, to bringing their jewelry and all the jewelry is like a piece of art each, one is handcrafted, semi-precious. Stones, unique, design and you can't find it anywhere else you, don't have to wander around the streets downtown looking, for that very special piece of jewelry we're, gonna bring it to you we're gonna bring you the piece of jewelry that's beautiful, interesting, that you can't find anywhere else with the price that you can afford so. Be sure to catch me here at TSN the smart shoppers Channel. Right. Thank. You. So. Cheesy, but I bet some of you want that piece of jewelry don't you I know you do I actually still own that. So. After I worked there the view came calling and now. I'm back at ABC, at higher stakes I'm in the control room with Barbara. In my ear and Starr and Meredith and Lisa. Ling and Debbie Matenopoulos and, this was a dream job and I. Really enjoyed it but then my husband who's sitting right there wanted, to go to Stanford Graduate, School of Business he made me move and. I left the best job and I came here I started nothing. Don't. Be embarrassed honey and I, started up a website for women and we. Work on disaster a year later and then, open, TV snapped me up because when you fail you really, succeed, and I. Was, executive producer, of interactive, applications, all. Of these jobs tapped into my television. Skills and the, story that I'd always tell is how to create great content how. To coach people so. Didn't matter where I was going in my pivots, and. I would adjust my story but I'd still focus in on what my strengths, were and, then. I worked with out for a year and helped him start up Current TV and it was really, an amazing opportunity to work with him the, day that I finished my consultancy, I found out I was pregnant after, nine in vitro and I stayed home for seven years and I raised trouble, and more trouble, trouble. More troubles right there hyper. More trouble and and. Then I also did some Media Consulting on the side just to keep my foot in. The door but. I to tell you that for seven years I really didn't work that much so then, I came to this which I'm sure a lot of you can play chew what. The hell am I gonna do Who, am I what, is my story, and I. Was like I don't want to go back and do all the same things but. I had to just repackage, myself, and so. This is what I did I figured out well what's. My narrative what are my strengths, those, are the things I do really well I coach, people I create innovative content, I message. Effectively I present. Publicly, and I'm great, across all different platforms, so, I had to repackage myself, and I came up with a proposal of a course I want to teach here. And I. My, husband sent, my proposal to one of his professors he introduced me to JD Schrom who we all know worship, and love and JD. Said. I'll take a chance on you and we. Created, reputation. Management strategies. For, successful communicators. And teaching. It for the sixth year now, when. I finished the thank you thank. You. Under, that under then I was invited to co-teach to teach a communication. Under that umbrella, I developed, electives, for media training executive, presence for women and then, Tyra.
Came So. I was sitting right there. And seat 110 and Tyra, was here talking about her. Life and her personal, brand and she talked about how. She pivoted, from being a supermodel, on the runway to, getting curvy, and being a Victoria's, Secret model to, being the first African, African, American, model on the cover of Sports Illustrated it's, being an actress to being an author to being a roving reporter for Oprah to having her own talk show called the Tyra's show then. From developing, and creating. America's. Next top model which, had 23 cycles, going, to Harvard for a nine week OPM, degree and then creating Tyra Beauty just, some of the things she did I'm sitting, there my brains going crazy I'm learning, so much about personal, branding I'm thinking I've got to teach with her so. When the when it's over I go backstage and there's a guard and I. Say, hi, I'd, like to go in and, he said. And. He said you're not allowed in here I saw no no I am I said I teach here and I used to produce the view in Good Morning America, and Tyra's been on those shows boom. Let, me in. Very. Short narrative but it worked and I go in and I meet, Tyre and I just give her my short spiel our narrative, I'm like Tyra I'm a television producer by trade I produced Good Morning America, in the view I teach, here now and I listen to you and in that hour I learned more about personal branding that I have ever learned before and I have an idea of wanting to teach a compress course with you would, you be interested and, fortunately. Her agent was there she was she gave me if their number we made a phone call for the next week and in, that week I just started putting that proposal, together and I said to myself how. Am I going to make this course really, serve my students, how, is it going to be innovative, I'm gonna stream it live on Facebook we're gonna come live out of a television station. I'm. Gonna have to what can Tyra add to it who, are the guests that we're going to book so, I had everything in order when I called her I had all the dates for compressed courses available I had, all six classes, already kind, of fashioned down I said Tyra what, do you want to do what do you want to teach in this she, gave me all these great ideas we, collaborated.
And Then I went back and redid the proposal, then. I went to the assistant dean of the business school and, I said to him I want to teach a course of Tyra Banks this, is why it's going to be this. Is why it's going to be great this is why it's going to be innovative this is how we're gonna serve our students, this is what they're gonna learn from it Tyra is committed for either this two weeks or this two weeks she's going to be there for all six classes, we're gonna come live out of a television studio we're, gonna do life we're gonna stream live on Facebook, and I, just told my narrative and I. Explained, my vision through my story and he said yes. Now. I'm gonna say something if I had gone to him the day after Tyra, and said you know I think I'd like to teach with Tyra Banks I know, in, my heart the categorically, the answer would have been no because. People would say that's not the brand here we. Don't want Tyra teaching, here, but. I knew she was an amazing businesswoman. And educator, and she proved it out we just finished teaching project. You for, the third year in a row and this. Is my secret weapon when. You're creating a narrative, present. The solution not. The suggestion. Remember. What I said about anticipating. Pushback I, anticipated. Everything the Dean might say to me, we. Don't do this I know you don't but that's why it's gonna be great. Tyra. Is a supermom no she's not she's a businesswoman, look what he's created everything that I was expecting, I got, but I had an answer for it so. When you're creating your story in your narrative think. About, anticipating. What, someone can say and then come up with the answers ahead of time and there's. Time I'm the one on the left. That's. Tyra in our first year and that was us just a few weeks ago in the TV station, and she's. Gonna come back next year. So. What. Does a narrative, sound like well. I'm. Gonna share, it with you high two classes. Where the final, project. In strategic, pivoting, for your next chapter and project you my, students, had to come up with. In either two minute or one a minute and a half pitch, so. For strategic, pivoting, they, have to tell me who. They are, where. They come from what their talents, are where, want to pivot to and why they're, gonna be great so let's go take a look at one of my students, and what he did for his pitch. Hi. Everyone, my name is Thomas and, as the accent may already have given away I'm originally from the UK prior. To coming here to Stanford Business School I worked, in London in private equity I'm, here today to talk about my pivot to social impact and specifically. Within that to impact investing, which I think brings those two things together perfectly. My. Passion for social impact started. When, I had the experience of speaking of my grandfather's, funeral that. Day as I stepped up to the lectern and I looked out at hundreds, of faces I realized. What it is to live a fulfilling life and, it's. To make a positive impact on the lives of people you touch as. I ask myself what is it all add up to that. Is what I hold in my mind how, can I make sure every, interaction I have positively. Changes, the lives of others I. Think. I'm set up to be a great impact investor, because, I'm a fast learner and I'm extremely, adventurous, in. My prior roles I've had to learn about industries, I hadn't even heard of and just weeks later be an expert, in, investing. We covered such a range of sectors, from, asset to waste management, and my. Adventurous side keeps. Me take going to new cultures and new places all the time I love, nothing more than connecting with people understanding. What drives them, and what makes their cultures, so special, I believe. These skills will enable me to venture into developing, markets, where, they could benefit so fundamentally. From fresh financial capital, which, will give them future economic, prosperity. I've. Been fortunate to already start to, pilot this change in my life this.
Summer I spent three months in Israel, and then Kenya and I got to be really excited, about going to work every day with a purpose, we, were trying to empower rural, farmers in Kenya and, trying to redefine the financial market in Israel, and that, purpose, is what I want to carry with me through my life so. As I now think about what does it all add up to its. That how do I make a positive impact on the lives of others for the rest of my career, thank. You very much and I look forward to all of your comments, so. The next part which I'm not showing you is where I give him feedback on his munication skills, Alex. Gave and feedback on the business idea, of what he wants to do and Jenny Blake the author of pivot talked, about how he used the frameworks, from art from the book and what. I love about this it's only two minutes it might have seemed longer but he's. Gonna use this narrative in a lot of different iterations he'll shorten, it he'll, tweak. It, he'll edit it and he, will focus on, certain areas of it depending, on his audience, but, he knows now how. To give his narrative he we knew his origin, story we. Knew he's adventurous we knew why he cares about social, impact and we know what he wants to do and now that he can express it it's, going to be easier to take his story and pass, it on let's. Take a look at one more this is from project G with Tyra and this is one of my students Nancy. Hi. I'm Nancy and I love to live life out loud from. The necklaces, I love to rock to. The melon and I proudly wear on my skin color. And vibrancy is such a huge part of who I am but. It hasn't always been that way I was. Born with a disability in my arm in my spinal called, conky's palsy, before. I even knew my name doctors. Put limits on what I could achieve and they told my parents I could never live independently. But. I refused to believe that and I, rebelled. I saw. How vibrant, I could be and I grew up passion, for helping other people see that their own vibrancy, through. Photography, photography. Has, shown me that I'm so much bigger than this body and it's allowed me to connect, with people in deep and intimate ways I built. My company a kostenko to. Share the stories, of women of color it's. In my absolute, honor to, share their vibrancy, with the world and. It's my big hairy, scary, dream to. Take this company from being about, photography to. A lifestyle, brand think. Cookware. And interior design but. Designed, with, the needs and wants of women in color in mind I want. To help other women expose. Their true color in, every, aspect of their lives. That. Pitch to me had everything, we. Learned so much about Nancy, in a minute and a half we. Know that she's overcome, adversity, we. Know what she wanted to do in her life we. Know why she wants to do it and you can see all the strengths, and unique characteristics.
And She presents so beautifully, she, knows her story from beginning to end and, I. Feel so confident, that anyone who sees that would want to hire her and I, feel confident that she's gonna absolutely, accomplish. What she sets out to do and that. Was the power of her story and her, narrative and she controlled. It beautifully. So. I'm just gonna take a moment and read this this was one, one. Little paragraph I got from, the final papers and it really says everything, once. We understand, our substance, we can then create a compelling, narrative around it one that excites compels, and explains, who we are watching. Everyone's, final pitches on the last day of class has shown me firsthand, the. Remarkable, power of a good story in. Sharing. Their journeys I was able to understand, the logic of their passions, and I immediately felt, closer to them through, storytelling we, are able to offer more. Facets, of ourselves for. Others to connect with and in doing so we. Can build trust, and understanding. I'm gonna. Have her write my first book review. Because. That really encapsulates what, the whole point of the course was. About and what, I really, believe in controlling, your narrative. Connecting. To people. So. Whether you realize it or not I had. Five stories in my pocket today and I shared them all with you, one. Of them was. About the field of dreams which. Told you a lot about almost. A foolish. Risky thing I did when I was younger but how I overcame it and then. The Missouri floods where I learned how important, human connection, is and storytelling. Goes both ways. Sonya. Who, taught me to be the leader than, I need to be and want, to be and show, up every, day being, consistent. I've, talked about pivoting, from media to education, and how you can leverage. All your natural talents in one area and bring. Them to another and I had the connection, between media, and education, how it worked and then, finally everybody. Wants to know how Tyra got here so, I had to tell you how I got here. The. Most important, thing is I'm hoping after this time do, you have a sense of Who I am then. You know who. I am and why, I care about what I do and what, what differentiates. Me from other people and you know more about my credibility. And you feel more connected to me and that. I've convinced, you how, important, is to, own your narrative. What. Are your five stories, thank. You does, anyone have any questions, Spencer. Smith class, of 2009, you talked about how stories go both ways in the example of the Missouri floods and the, reaction, you got from the man when you walked up to him to make an ask. Coming. Out of that have you thought about how do you solicit, someone's story ahead of time so, that they don't have an explosive, reaction necessarily. But that you can have that one-on-one to. Get their story hear, from them and then be able to tell your story to connect with them it's, a great question and it. Goes back to anticipating. The push back if I had been more experienced.
And Had even thought about it a little bit more I would, have approached him in a different way I would, have said I know, this, is probably the worst time in your life and you, don't want to talk to me right now I said, I'm here to do a piece and I, really actually want to help you and I've, got a boat and if. It would help you in any way during this terrible time would. You like to go back and take, a look at your house and see if you can rescue things I know, you've got so much on your mind and this may be the last thing you want to do but, if this in any way can. Aid you I would, love to be part of that solution. Now. I've learned that how to approach people but. It's knowing your audience ahead, of time doing some research and again anticipating. How, they might react to your content, it's. Using your emotional, intelligence and, taking a little bit of time to prep, hope. That helped in. The process, of, pivoting. To the next step of your life what. There are moments when. You doubted yourself and, whether there were fear of the, uncertainties. In the future, and how did you handle those emotions thank, you for the question, I, doubted. Myself every, single step of the way I had impostor, syndrome with every single job I was waiting to be found out I hated, my husband on many occasions, for pushing me out of my comfort zone and what. I say to people is, that. Double. Down on what you know you're good at and, it's. How you tell your narrative, so, if you're pivoting and people. Say well you came from there you. Know that's, totally, disconnected to where you want to go and you say I know that I did, this for this reason and, then you tell a story and, you say I know, what I realized, for these years is it's not fulfilling, this passion, I have inside, of me but. These skills that I learned here are going, to be so helpful, and informative as I move into this new area and I'm gonna be even better at this job with you because. Of this experience, so a lot of it is how you change, your narrative and for. Me a lot, of it was knowing. My audience, and saying I'm going into this new area I'm telling you when I went into the website into digital I was, just like I'm not a technical person I just play one on TV, I don't, know anything, but. I was really good at managing people I was good at asking questions I was little good at research so. I would double down and what I was good at and the things I didn't I would help fill the knowledge gaps with, asking for help being, really transparent or, going. Into my office crying, and then figuring it out I, hope. That helps, anybody. Else. Thank. You so much I'm Paul Jay and class of 2014, I loved, first, half of my life in China second. Half of my life in America and the. Tension, between these two countries is making me feel confused, at us and depressed. At worse how. Do you tell your story in, a. Larger context, where. People. Increasingly. Hate each other thank, you that's. A really big question and so, and, I'm gonna try to answer that thoughtfully, I had a talk, with one of my alums this morning about culture, differences, and, assumptions. Right Matt and. This. Is what I believe it's all about connection. And finding, common ground so. Small. Talk is important, asking. Questions is important, and being transparent, is important, so. When you're going up against somebody who maybe is from a different culture, or is coming with stereo stereotypes. Of you it's. Your job to, tell. Your story in a way that shows empathy, and understanding and. Credibility again, assuming, that they might have pushback so saying you know you might not trust me so much I'm from America we seem very mercenary. You. Know we don't value this things but the truth is I come. From, I come from here as well and that's, part of who I am and part of my DNA and. What. I've learned in America, is this, so I can I can put both of these together and, be, this hybrid, and be even effective, in America, and in, China so, again it's how do you twist your story in a positive, way to, show your, empathy, your trustworthiness, your credibility, but. It's about building bridges, it's. About finding. A common ground and asking. Them about it or sharing, and also being vulnerable thank, you so much.