As soon as I could walk I had a basketball in my hands. And as soon as I had a basketball in my hands, my dad was teaching me about the game. We watched it, we studied it together, we played it together... It was our thing. Like any good leader, he used my love of basketball to connect with me in other ways. He would talk about commitment, hard work, and team work to accomplish something. And many of these connections were through stories that he would write to me. He had an old type writer down in the basement, and whenever something big was happening in our lives we would hear him pounding away at it. "Clack clack clack clack clack" - And sure enough, the next day there would be a well written story sitting on my bed or slid under my door.
I never forgot these stories, and one of them is legendary in our family, "The Zone." I think it was a way for my dad to share parts of himself that the world didn't see, and that stuck with me, as did his love for reading and writing. Life went on, I graduated high school, went to college, and entered the work force. As I grew in my career, I realized I was I working jobs I didn’t enjoy, reporting to bosses I didn’t admire, and supporting companies whose missions I didn’t believe in.
That all changed for me when, in 2008, I got sick and received a shiny new kidney from my Aunt. Shortly after, I quit my job and used the inspiration from my dad's writing as a launchpad for Final 5. In the beginning, we produced videos. But it didn't take long for me to understand the power of story and for me to shift the direction of the company. I realize now that the same way he used story to connect me to important things that he believed in, organizations can use story to connect their audience with what's important to them.
All without the drudgery of basketball practice. Whew.