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What I Learned from the Accidental Thief

By Jean Storlie / December 1, 2015 /

After herding my three rambunctious and exhausted kids out of the ski chalet, I discovered that my skis were missing. In a panic, I alerted my husband, and we searched high and low … to no avail. As I went inside to report the (probable) theft, he did some sleuthing and noticed that close to…

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Learning from My Mistakes in Webinar-Based Storytelling

By Jean Storlie / November 2, 2015 /

In my first professional job, I was charged with building a nutrition capability for an adult fitness/cardiac rehabilitation program. Passionate and naively optimistic, I would develop 1-page proposals for new offerings. I was particularly excited about a proposal for a new weight management course, but when the executive director, Phil, red-lined my proposal, I was…

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Storlie – What’s With the Name?

By Jean Storlie / October 1, 2015 /

People frequently ask me about my last name, “Storlie,” and my company name, “Storlietelling.” I guess it starts in grade school . . . As I set off for school with my older sister, Cindy, I heard the neighborhood kids shouting, “There’s Cindy Big Meadow!” and chanting, “Jean Big Meadow!” I shrunk away, confused and…

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Letters from Camp Offer Lessons for the Workplace

By Jean Storlie / August 3, 2015 /

Anxious to hear from my kids who were at a summer camp, I was excited to open the mailbox and see two letters from Camp Iduhapi. We had dropped them off at this charming YMCA camp on the shores of a Minnesota lake four days earlier. The first letter I opened was from Eleanor (10…

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How [Ms.] Switzerland Managed [Dr.] Divergent

By Jean Storlie / July 1, 2015 /

Her nickname was “Switzerland,” which she earned by staying calm, rational, and neutral during conflict. These traits made her the perfect fit for her role in leading the department of consumer complaints. When “Dr. Divergent,” a senior PhD statistician, started working for her, she told him, “I’d like you to bring a typed agenda to…

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Opportunity Disguised as Loss … Three Years Later

By Jean Storlie / June 3, 2015 /

Instead of checking my email before work, I called my mom to wish her happy birthday. When I walked into the office, I could tell something was odd. My boss walked past me without greeting or eye contact. Looking out at the sea of cubicles, I noticed that everyone had their heads down, and I…

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A “Super Senior” Decision Led to Her Dream Job

By Jean Storlie / May 2, 2015 /

Something about my daughter’s text, “When are you getting home?” alarmed me as I was getting off the plane on a beautiful summer evening in late August 2013. I suppressed my “mother instinct” to worry as I drove home and joined my husband on our patio. About 20 minutes later, Abby came out and asked…

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Sewing Zippers in a Factory Ignited My Career Passion

By Jean Storlie / April 1, 2015 /

Sewing machines buzzed around me, as I quickly loaded another zipper and started to sew. My co-worker at the next station was sewing like a whirling dervish; her hands flying forward and backward, up and down, as she installed zippers on sleeping bags at a rate of 90-100/hour. She screamed at the handlers, who were…

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Shrinking the Monster Named Fear

By Jean Storlie / March 3, 2015 /

“Mom, are you coming?” Jackson called from the next plateau. I was sitting on a rock ledge trying to overcome the vertigo triggered by my fear of heights. Next to me sat a woman who’d confessed that she did not have the fitness to proceed. Observing her contented defeat, I knew I didn’t want to…

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“Stationwagon Trouble”: Stories to Convey Rather Than Convince

By Jean Storlie / August 1, 2014 /

My dad loaded the last pieces of luggage into the back of the station wagon. While spreading sleeping bags on top of the cooler and suitcases, he told my sister and me how “comfy” we would be riding in our “cozy bed.” At first, we thought it was fun, cuddled together, whispering and giggling. But…

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