Leadercast Live is the world’s largest one-day leadership event, with more than 100,000 attendees at 500+ locations across 20 different countries around the world.  This simulcast event is targeted at those who desire to learn and grow in their leadership aptitudes.

Over the next week I will post my notes from last Friday’s Leadercast event I attended with thousands of others in the Atlanta, GA area. Today’s post is my notes from Donald Miller’s talk.

Donald Miller

Most companies waste an enormous amount of money on marketing because they can’t communicate their purpose clearly. People don’t necessarily buy the best products but the ones they understand the clearest and fastest.

During the election, what did Jeb Bush want to do with America? No clue. What does Donald Trump want to do with America? Make America Great Again. Who’s the president?

People don’t necessarily follow the best leaders. They often follow the ones who communicate the best. They may not be the best politician, but instead they are the one with clearest message.

People buy things because they hear the words that make them want to buy things.


Our Human Brain is trying to do two things at all times:

#1> Survive

#2> Thrive

  • Our brains are tasked with keeping us alive.

Unless I am communicating how my customers can survive and thrive they are not interested in what I have to say or what I am selling!


The problem is that you’re telling your story! You are not entering into their story. Your story doesn’t matter to them! Their story does matter to them. Your Customers care about their story!

Our brains are trying to conserve calories, if I process too many calories trying to process a message I am going to check out.  The average brain will spend 30% of  its time day dreaming. It is a survival method.  It says, “I don’t need this information.” If you are asking them to spend to too much time trying to process your message they will check out on you. They will move on. 

Your customers have to understand your message in 3 seconds. Your message has to be simple. Every piece of information you give your team is like giving them an 8 pound bowling ball. They may be able to handle 2-3 bowling balls but hand them a 4th  bowling ball and they drop them all.

The brand that communicates the simplest is going WIN!

If You Confuse You Lose

You Must Clarify your message!

  • If you clarify your message, you customers will listen.

Everybody pays attention when a story starts. The story hijacks the brain. Every brain speaks the power of story. Stories are based on formulas. Story is sense making device. Story helps us understand our world. It helps your customer make sense of why you matter in their life.

The StoryBrand Marketing Framework

#1 A Character is revealed who really wants something.

  • The character you introduce has to really want something. What the character really wants has to be determined in first 3 minutes.
  • Many companies make a mistake because they’re too vague. You want to define it. Make it clear.

#2 The Character has a problem.

  • There is no story without a problem.
  • You must define problem clearly and simply.
  • You can’t provide too many issues.
  • When you solve the problem the story is over.
  • The problem is the story.

The only reason anyone calls you is that they have a problem that needs to be solved. You must define what the problem is. It is the heart of the story.

  • I need to see my story on your website, not yours
  • We choose guides as leaders in this nation, not heroes, (McCain, Kerry, Dole)
  • I am looking for a guide, someone who is going to help me solve my problems

#3 The Guide: The character meets a guide who understands their problem.

Heroes of stories can’t solve their own problems. They need a Guide. If the hero solves the problem then the story is no good. The guide comes along to help hero save the day,

You should never be the hero! You should always be the guide! The role of the leader is to play the guide!

  • On your website, I don’t need to hear your story. I need to see my story.

In America we love our heroes, but we choose guides not heroes to lead us. We want someone who can help us win. You need to position yourself as a guide. The guide is there to provide the hero with a plan so that the hero can save the day. You must show the customer how to do business with us in a simple easy to understand process. It must be simple steps to follow.

  • Too often people come to us to do business and they get confused by our unclear message. When the customer is confused they say I will do it later. Later never comes.

#4 The Plan: The Guide gives the Hero a Plan to follow so the hero can save the day.

#5 A Call To Action

  • You then need to call your customers to action. 
  • Put a buy now button on top right hand corner of your website, if you have other stuff here you are leaving money on the table
  • The Buy Now button on your website must be the most important part of your website.
  • When you’re passive, the customer hears that you don’t believe in your product.
  • Do you want to do business with someone who doesn’t believe in their product?

Questions to ask:

  • What to get started?
  • Learn More?

You must give customers something to accept or reject.

We then have to paint a picture of what life will be life with us. People move toward a vision of success!

#6 That Results in one of two outcomes:

#7 Comedy or Tragedy

  •  We want them to know if you don’t do business with us, it might not go well.–>Tragedy
  • Your website should show a picture of success. You should have happy people on your site, not your buildings or products.
  • There should be a clear vision of success for your customers to see when they come to your website.
  • Failure: if you don’t use my business it might not go well for you. You must show a consequence for not taking action. 


People like following leaders who are clear.

Try it for 90 days:  Clarify your message! You will see that your people like you better as a leader.

People love clarity and detest confusion


Learn To Lead

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