Case Studies and bedtime stories

The EMBABE Diaries

The Stories of A Most Passionate Adviser

on October 31, 2014

In the last session of our Communications elective, the professor, Saatchi and Saatchi’s Richard Hytner (whose new book, Consiglieri, is out now btw) made us step away from the world of corporate communications and look at how we could use the tools we’d just learned to tell our own stories better. The starting point, as is often the case in a good story, was a dream – our personal dream. To help “sense check” the dream, we were to “Make a list of 5 people that are most inspirational to you. Assume they know you intimately. […] Select three of them as your key advisors.” In all honesty, I struggled with this exercise. But one of my five was a no-brainer – Isabel Allende. In fact, I don’t just want her as my adviser; I want her as my fairy godmother, although she’s probably too busy writing fabulous books to be interested in the position. I’ve loved her books for years now; her magical stories, her incandescent, fearless heroines, the zest for life jumping out at you from every page. I’ve always known Allende was flawless in writing, but I was in for a real treat tonight (a Halloween gift undoubtedly brought by the espiritus that haunt all her books), when I discovered that she is almost better as a speaker. In this short TED speech, filmed in March, she delivers a lesson in living passionately at any age. I’ll be keeping it on my “to watch and re-watch” list – hope you enjoy it too!

And since we’re on the topic of stories, I heard some pretty amazing ones at the Power of Storytelling conference in Bucharest a couple of weeks ago – but more on that some other time, we’ve got pumpkins to carve! Can’t wait? Ok, ok, here’s one of the best (a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist, if you’re asking): Kelley Benham’s story about the extremely premature birth of her daughter Juniper. Yes, it’s a tear jerker, but also much more than that: a story about life, motherhood, and choices so difficult they seem impossible (and there’s a happy ending too).

Much love (y passion!), Happy Halloween,

Alex

P.S. And if you’re still in a TED mood (you know you are…) you could do much worse that Allende’s 2007 speech

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