Creating Brand U - Telling a Compelling Story

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Annette Simmons Great communicators know that the best way to inspire, motivate, and persuade others is to infuse a human element into discussions. The same is true when you want to differentiate yourself in the marketplace. In this CareerCast, Annette Simmons, consultant and author of Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, will share her approach to telling a persuasive career story that will help you position yourself for the next promotion, new job, or career change.

Aired December 21, 2007

Annette Simmons is a successful public speaker, consultant, and author of four books: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact; The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling (January, 2001); A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths: Using Dialogue to Overcome Fear and Distrust at Work (AMACOM, May/1999); and Territorial Games: Understanding and Ending Turf Wars at Work (AMACOM, 1997).

Annette has been president of Group Process Consulting (Greensboro, North Carolina) since 1997. A bachelor’s degree in business from Louisiana State University in 1983 gave her solid skills in her two majors: marketing and economics. For most of her 20s, she was based in Australia, working first in telecommunications (Ericsson) and then in advertising (J. Walter Thompson). 

Experience in Europe, Asia, and the Pacific provided real-life education in cultural differences. In 1991, Annette returned to the United States and earned a master’s degree in training and development from North Carolina State University. She found a mentor, Jim Farr, PhD, and spent several years teaching leadership and providing organizational consulting through Farr Associates of Greensboro, North Carolina. Experiences conducting her own research caused Annette to decide a formal doctorate would just slow her down.

After Farr sold Farr Associates, Annette conducted a self-study dissertation that resulted in the book Territorial Games: Understanding and Ending Turf Wars at Work (October 1997). Studying psychology since she was 12, she designed and conducted qualitative research, borrowed the game framework from Transactional Analysis and outlined 10 territorial games that sabotage group process. 

With 40,000 copies of the book in print and more consulting than she could handle, Annette had found a successful method for conducting and publishing useful research that might languish if subjected to academic gatekeepers. Every book she writes exploits the passion of her personal curiosity and her practitioner’s eye for tools and information people can use.

Annette has been featured on CNBC’s Power Lunch, NPR’s Market Watch, and talk-radio programs, and quoted in Fortune, Working Woman, Harvard Business Review, the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and dozens of other respected publications. In addition to English, her books have been published in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Swedish, Norwegian, and German.

Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value, Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood (2007) 

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini (2007) 

U R a Brand! How Smart People Brand Themselves for Business Success, Catherine Kaputa (2006) 

The Brand Called You: The Ultimate Personal Branding Handbook to Transform Anyone into an Indispensable Brand, Peter Montoya and Tim Vandehey (2005)

The Leader’s Edge: Using Personal Branding to Drive Performance and Profit, Susan Hodgkinson (2005) 

The Personal Branding Phenomenon, Peter Montoya, Tim Vandehey, and Paul Viti (2002)

Make a Name for Yourself: Eight Steps Every Woman Needs to Create a Personal Brand Strategy for Success, Robin Fisher Roffer (2002)

Be Your Own Brand: A Breakthrough Formula for Standing Out from the Crowd, David McNally and Karl Speak (2002)

If You’re So Brilliant ... How Come Your Brand Isn’t Working Hard Enough? The Essential Guide to Brand Management, Peter Cheverton (2002) 

Build Your Own Life Brand! A Powerful Strategy to Maximize Your Potential and Enhance Your Value for Ultimate Achievement, Stedman Graham (2001)

Annette Simmons Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins

Read an excerpt of Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact by Annette Simmons.

Read the Excerpt