A Leader’s Guide to Storytelling : Restoring Authentic Communication in a World of Change book cover
1st Edition

A Leader’s Guide to Storytelling
Restoring Authentic Communication in a World of Change

ISBN 9781032057446
Published October 21, 2021 by Routledge
218 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Part manual, part memoir and part call to action, this book demonstrates why the core skill needed by leaders in the next decade and into the future will be authentic and effective communication.

Communications based on character, integrity and values will be critical in helping leaders navigate the two mega trends of accelerated technological change and increasing demands for social change. This book is the first to marry practical advice on deepening communication skills with insight from a coaching and cognitive point of view into what techniques works and why, and to pull together the wider societal issues and the operating context for leaders.

Counter-intuitive and written to provoke thought and awareness, the author looks at the psychological and emotional effects of our communications and what leaders can do to inspire and engage, guiding them through three sections:

• A framework for effective communications

• A toolkit, detailing what good looks like in practical situations

• The authentic leader, an exploration of the changing communications landscape and why a different kind of leadership is needed

C-suite executives, leaders about to take that last step into the C-suite or millennial leaders about to enter the boardroom will value this book as an advisory guide, as a handbook to be used in internal coaching and training sessions and as a manual and aide memoir for themselves.

Table of Contents

Part One Setting the Scene; Introduction; Chapter 1 The Cauldron of Disruption; Chapter 2 The Rise of the Authentic Leader; Part Two A Framework for Authentic Communications; Chapter 3 Audience: The Primal Response; Chapter 4 Structure and Content: Why Simple is Good and Less is More; Chapter 5 Engaging to Create Impact and Meaning; Part Three What Authentic Communications Looks Like - a toolkit; Chapter 6 Optimising Presenting; Chapter 7 Performing in the Spotlight; Chapter 8 Handling Group Dynamics; Chapter 9 Managing a Crisis; Chapter 10 Navigating Change; Chapter 11 Dealing with the Media; Part Four Activating Authentic Communications; Chapter 12 Coaching, Leadership and Communications; Chapter 13 Observations and Summary; Part Five Appendices; Appendix 1 Alternatives to Slides; Appendix 2 Understanding Stakeholder Needs in Each Stage of an Unplanned Crisis; Appendix 3 Coaching Tips and Techniques; Endnotes; Index; Acknowledgements

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Mark Dailey is a director at the Madano Partnership and advises leaders on strategy, positioning and storytelling. He has worked in television, and has been a speechwriter, a head of communications, a PR consultant and a business coach. He is married and lives in north London.


"To effectively motivate their teams, leaders must engender trust and respect via their actions. Mark Dailey has spent his career coaching these principles and working across the globe with multi-national organisations. His wide-ranging experiences provide him with the insights to deal with most modern leadership challenges. I would not be the manager I am today without Mark’s coaching." – Max Sinclair, Head of UK Division, Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate

"As the CEO of Swinton Group between 2014 and 2018, Mark’s helping hand for engaging with my colleagues in town halls or with the directors in Board meetings has been decisive for driving a complete overhaul at a fast pace of a 60-year-old regulated business. This book is an invaluable vade mecum for the bumpy coming years, as many managers will have to lead their teams through accelerated transformation and uncertainty. Indeed, the way most CEOs have shouldered their way to the top in steady situations is not fit anymore for these daunting times which require genuine authenticity to talk about the meaning of change and that will lead many to reinvent not only their jobs but also their lives as a whole." – Gilles Normand, former Swinton Group CEO

"This is a remarkable book: some of it is wholly unexpected, other parts we know – but resist…But Mark makes the case so persuasively, and his practical tips are so abundant, that I am a complete convert! A must-have for all our bookshelves." – Anne Scoular, Co-Founder Meyler Campbell

"You can have no better guide than Mark to help you navigate communications as a leader in the post-pandemic world. Mark has become a trusted advisor to many leaders for his innate ability to understand that authenticity and meaning has always mattered. Now, his advice has never been more important as the 'right thing to do' for companies shifts from legal obligations to a complex mix of moral, ethical and social challenges. In this book, Mark both pinpoints the under currents of today’s communications landscape with wisdom and insight and offers practical ways for leaders to put change into practice." – Andrea Carpenter, Co-Founder of Women Talk Real Estate

"A superlative guide for current and future leaders who, by embracing authentic and effective communications, will accelerate the success of their organisations, while enriching their careers and their personal lives. This practical and insightful book is based on strong theoretical frameworks, the author’s broad career experience, numerous personal insights and the science of how one processes information. A must-have communications book for any leader." – Stephen Swatridge, CEO, Not-for-Profit Organizations

"I’ve worked with Mark for years to help my team gain consciousness and capability in clear, concise and compassionate communication. The chance to read the early drafts and this final product has proven incredibly helpful during COVID. I can hear Mark’s true, warm voice in the stories he tells to breathe life into his advice. This book has a menu of hard-earned and well-honed wisdom, packaged in meaningful morsels. Enjoy!" – Jonathan Sullivan, Managing Director of Seabury Consulting in Europe, Middle East, Africa from 2012 to 2017, now a Managing Director at Accenture

"Mark Dailey has been advising me on internal and external communications for over 5 years. I am certain that the success of my firm is correlated to this relationship. Mark has allowed me to progress towards the best version of myself as a leader, never by changing my intention or message, but by articulating, laser focusing and growing the most valuable attributes within my leadership skillset – both hard and soft. The best leaders, he understands, are those true to themselves." – Ghada Sousou, CEO and Co- Founder, Sousou Partners

"Mark Dailey draws upon years of experience working at the highest level in Europe, Asia and North America to identify the most urgent issues facing communicators in today's rapidly-changing world. Clearly and concisely he sets out the challenges, and shows that authentic and compelling communication is a skill the lies within us all." – Martin Evans, European Communications Manager, from 1988-2021 Hong Kong Trade Development Council

"Drawing on experience of working with leaders in various sectors and countries, Mark Dailey argues for the importance of renewed authenticity with warmth, clarity and insight, and sets this against the transforming events that have marked the beginning of this decade. In doing so, he promotes a focus on audience and client that benefits from his considerable expertise in communications and experience as a business coach. Anyone concerned with the need for agile leadership, the emergence of multi-generational semi-remote workforces, sustainability and ESG, and individual and collective purpose will welcome this engaging and accessible book." – Jon Hayes, Partner, DLA-Piper

"As technological change accelerates and the business world becomes ever more complex, leaders face an extraordinary challenge in how they communicate about what’s important. Mark has reminded us that authenticity, character and storytelling will lie at the heart of navigating the changes that lie ahead." – Maggie Buggie, Chief Business Officer, SAP Services

"This book is so much more than a guide to storytelling, it truly captures the essence of leadership. Mark is a great teacher in storytelling, and with this book he places it in context of the problems we all face in today’s challenging times." – Lonneke Löwik​, Chief Executive Officer, INREV

"Mark Dailey is a master storyteller. A consummate communications professional, a strategic thinker and a trained coach, he has the perfect combination of skills to guide you through the ‘cauldron of disruption.’ A Leader’s Guide to Storytelling is full of wise advice and astute observations. It is elegantly written as well as relevant, informative and practical. Mark makes an impassioned case for effective communication and why it is at an even greater premium in the current context; then he shows his readers how to communicate authentically and meaningfully. If your job involves leading or engaging people, this book tells a story you need to read." – Dr. Liz Gooster, Professional Coach and Meyler Campbell Faculty Member