Content Marketing

Why Do People Trust J.K. Rowling More Than Queen Elizabeth? The Power of Social Storytelling

Some time ago, I asked 3,000 people who they’d trust more as their leader: J.K. Rowling or Queen Elizabeth. The winning answer—and the landslide with which it won—surprised me.

People picked Jo Rowling. And, I realized, I think I would, too. But the question is: Why?

Why would we trust the children’s book author over the monarch, the storyteller over the woman who’s spent her entire life in leadership?

After looking at the academic research on the social power of storytelling, and the neuroscience behind how stories make us tick, I’m happy to report that we’d not be crazy for picking J.K. over the queen—and that the results of my little poll have nothing to do with age or politics.

I explored the answer—and told a few stories, of course—in this recent TEDx talk:

(Fun fact about this video: I had strep throat and was about to get swollen tonsils taken out in a few days. Yuck!)

The Native American proverb above, “Those who tell the stories rule the world,” is emblazoned on my office wall for a reason. It’s because great stories build relationships and make people care. In business, in life, and in society, those two things make all the difference.

Image by Dan Hallman

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