Storytelling Archives - Matt Black Ink
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$4.2 billion in gambling. 30-second TV ads worth $5 million apiece. Over a billion chicken wings. Super Bowl 50 is nearly upon us…and clearly, nobody does it bigger than the NFL. While residents of the Carolinas and Denver are hyped up for their teams to lock horns in San Fran for football’s ultimate prize, I’m still feeling deflated over the Patriots loss a few weeks back (yes, pun intended). But despite not having a horse in this weekend’s race, there’s a part of me still looking forward to Sunday for a few reasons. Given its status as one of sports and entertainment’s largest social and cultural institutions, there’s a ton of slick production value that goes into promoting the Super Bowl and the teams involved. I’ve always loved getting to know specific players and coaches through the various interviews and featurettes that are published and created in the weeks leading up to the game itself. Super Bowl This year is no different and I’ve got the Carolina Panthers to thank for that. The combination of Cam Newton as MVP-to-Be Quarterback, Thomas Davis as unbreakable Linebacker and Ron Rivera as Head Coach has produced an almost perfect run to Super Bowl 50. An embrace of disparate personalities, a refusal to submit to doubt, a rock-solid culture and a vision – not a dream – have all propelled the Panthers to the biggest game of their lives. And along the way, I think they’ve truly inspired the fan base, their counterparts in the NFL and everyone else paying close enough attention. Here are a few of the lessons in leadership that Cam and company have taught me this season:

These past few weeks have been crazy. I won 1st overall at the World Yo-Yo Championships in Tokyo. Spent some time basking in my victory by the pool at the Ritz Carlton South Beach in Miami. I crossed continents and toured a vineyard in Bordeaux, France. Hitched a ride to the Big Apple and people-watched while strolling through Washington Square Park. I threw a cut on and went to Bike Night in Fort Worth, TX. I went blueberry picking in Sharon, MA... and STILL had time to make it to Hunter's 4th Birthday Party in Fresno, CA. Okay, so maybe I didn't literally do all these things in all those places... But it sure feels like I did! That's the power of Snapchat, which is quickly cementing itself as my favourite social media platform out there today. With a legitimate community that is honest, supportive, creative and genuine, my "Snapchat Fam" is everything that's right about social... all in 10 seconds or less. So what is it about Snapchat - the platform that a lot of people "just don't get" - that has helped it become part of my daily ritual? Are there certain qualities about the UX itself that make it more enjoyable to consume content on? Of course, I have my reasons for loving the time I spend viewing Snapchat stories and creating snaps myself... but I figured I would ask my community for some assistance.

Every decision we make in life is driven by story. Let that marinate for a second. Can you argue with me? When was the last time you pursued or accomplished anything in your life that wasn't shaped by what you heard from someone else? ... I'm guessing you're still struggling for an example. Truth be told, storytelling exists at the heart of the human experience. [embed][/embed] There's a great video on YouTube that focuses on the six universal principles of persuasion, all covered in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s groundbreaking book, Influence. Not surprisingly, 'consensus' is on the list (#6 if you watch the Doc's video, and I think you should!) - which ties into what I opened with: one of the most intriguing things about the societies and communities we develop is the undeniable link between how people make decisions based on what others say or do. That's why it's so important that YOUR story - whether it's about your life, your business, your career goals or the relationships you've built - is rich in human emotion, contains compelling details and remains authentic at all times. To better your chances of closing a deal, making new meaningful connections or just becoming a more effective communicator, it is critical that you appreciate how the story you write and tell for yourself will shape the success you experience as a person and professional.