What motivates me? – Stories

InsuranceA point the Heath brothers drive home in Made to Stick is that good ideas spread through the use of stories.  I experienced this first hand last night at the Financial Peace University course Meredith and I are taking.

The lesson was on insurance.  We all know it’s important to have various coverages to mitigate risk but often we get lost in the numbers, options and volume of products that are available.  We don’t buy insurance cause it can be hard to know what you actually need or you think “it’ll never happen to me”.

The speaker, Dave Ramsey, did a fantastic job of going through all the details, options and numbers for all sorts of insurance.  But it was what he did last that I’ll always remember.  He told a story.

He told the story of a 28 year old man that was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The man died three days before the birth of his first son.  However, because of the financial peace course, the man had learned the importance of term life and long-term disability insurance.  He died knowing that his wife and child would be looked after.

As a non-profit operational leader, I realize that I can often get caught up in the technical details of budgets, spreadsheets and algorithms.  These are important and vital to decision making.  However, I’m learning that stories provide a crucial link in motivating people to action.

I will buy the right insurance this week because I want to be prepared like the guy with cancer.  The numbers Dave presented will guide my decision, but the story has made me put this on my ‘A’ priority list.

[Photo courtesy of http://www.istockphoto.com/mipan]


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