If you want to find out how a story about brussels sprouts can increase sales leads you need to read Hooked!

Gabrielle Dolan and Yamini Naidu have crafted a short, well structured, good humoured book that introduces readers to the value of business storytelling as a leadership tool. A tool that is useful at all levels of leadership and in a range of business contexts from formal presentations to team meetings and coaching. Readers are led through the key points and given practical guidance to create, hone and use stories effectively.

With well chosen examples from a range of their clients in different industries and business cultures who used stories to address different issues and drawing on research as well as professional experience this is a how to guide with substance. Each chapter provides information, examples and suggestions, ending with a very brief summary and a call to action to put into practice what has been learned.

There is a strong emphasis on authenticity with the need for business stories to be true in order to build and maintain trust and credibility. Using social media effectively to tell business stories is a short but useful section, as is the practical advice on improving confidence and skill in storytelling.

At its core is the idea that data is important but that facts and figures appeal to the head while personal stories, with a purpose that supports the data, appeal to the heart. Gabrielle Dolan and Yamini Naidu argue that together stories and data engage, connect and inspire.

Originally published in HR Monthly, October 2013