Ty Bennett on Leadership and Storytelling
Achievement at a young age is nothing new for Ty, who started a direct sales business with his brother Scott at the age of 21; before the decade was out the company was bringing in $20 million in revenue. Since then, while still engaged in entrepreneurship through a multimillion dollar sales organization, he has personally assisted the development of more than 500 sales managers across the world in 37 countries.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the main challenges and opportunities faced today by leaders?
BENNETT: Leaders will always deal with employee engagement – how do we get our people more committed. But today that is affected by technology as well as generationally diverse work forces. We are not in a simple world and so it requires more from leadership than it ever has.
SPEAKING.COM: How do you suggest organizations embrace storytelling as a communication and sales strategy?
BENNETT: I think that storytelling is the art of influential communication and so it needs to be part of your leadership style, your branding, your sales process and the way you reinforce the values that make up your culture. Companies who embody storytelling, preach storytelling and train their people to do it effectively are thriving.
SPEAKING.COM: Can you give us three tips for creating influential presentations?
1. Turn your presentation into a conversation – without engagement there is never any influence.
2. Change your goal from perfection – to connection
3. Remember the rule of three. Share three points. Not 12, not 7 – THREE. We learn in threes, we can remember three and your presentation will stick if you use three solid points.
SPEAKING.COM: How does a leader provide value that will create influence?
BENNETT: There are a lot of ways that leaders can provide value. Knowledge, mentoring, skill, understanding, time and attention – are all examples of value. But leaders must recognize that value always precedes influence.
SPEAKING.COM: What are three tips for building relationships that last?
1. Genuinely care about them. – You can love people without leading them, but you can’t lead them without loving them.
2. Invest in People – make an effort that goes above and beyond. Investments pay dividends in relationships.
3. Focus on being interested, not interesting. If you make it about them – you grow in their eyes.
SPEAKING.COM: One of your keynote speech titles states that “partnership is the new leadership” – what does this mean?
BENNETT: I conducted a survey of more than 5000 leaders and asked, “As a leader, what do you want from your people?” Over 75% of the leaders responded, “commitment.”
The interesting thing is that people aren’t committed to jobs or companies. People are committed to people. So if we want commitment from our people, we need to approach leadership as a partnership. As I’ve studied it, this is not a cliché phrase; this is the approach of the most relevant, influential and effective leaders in today’s world.
SPEAKING.COM: What are your main professional passions?
BENNETT: I love helping people. I love the game of business – the growth, the pursuit, the competition. And most of all, I love seeing people grow.
SPEAKING.COM: What other projects are you working on currently?
BENNETT: I have another book coming out in 2016. I am also in conversations with some great friends and industry leaders in the foodservice industry to start a company that would serve a specific need within training departments.