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The power of strategic narrative | Andy Raskin

The power of strategic narrative | Andy Raskin

Brought to you by Coda—Meet the evolution of docs | Lenny’s Job Board—Hire the best product people. Find the best product gigs | Eco—Your most rewarding app

Andy Raskin helps CEOs align their leadership teams around a strategic narrative—a single story that powers success in sales, marketing, product, fundraising, and recruiting. His clients include Gong, Dropbox, Uber, Salesforce, Square, and IBM. In today’s episode, we discuss:

• What a strategic narrative is, and how to craft one

• How having a strategic narrative can bring alignment to your entire company

• Examples of strategic narratives in action

• Who needs a strategic narrative and who doesn’t

• Why Andy thinks about movements instead of categories

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Where to find Andy Raskin:

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andyraskin/

• Website: https://www.andyraskin.com/

• Podcast: https://andyraskin.com/podcast/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Andy’s background

(08:03) What is a strategic narrative?

(10:34) How Salesforce would have pitched the old way

(12:02) Examples of a strategic narrative in action 

(15:23) How one piece of writing skyrocketed Andy’s career

(16:40) The power of writing online

(17:53) Two paths to writing online

(19:27) Naming the old game

(20:59) Naming the stakes 

(23:29) Naming the objective

(25:17) Naming the obstacles

(26:35) Overcoming the obstacles

(26:57) How the strategic narrative parallels the hero’s journey 

(28:25) Telling one story well vs. being a good storyteller

(29:18) The 5-step framework summarized

(31:33) An example of the 5-step framework in action

(36:12) The impact of shifting to the strategic narrative approach 

(39:08) Companies that are nailing their strategic narrative 

(40:36) Why Andy thinks about movements instead of categories

(44:15) Should every company have a strategic narrative?

(46:33) Signs that something is broken in your strategic narrative

(48:53) Steps to get started on your own

(51:36) How to reach Andy

(51:53) Why the second session is the low point in the process

(55:30) Why the CEO needs to be part of the process

(57:40) Lightning round


• Salesforce: https://www.salesforce.com/

• Marc Benioff: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcbenioff/

• Zuora: https://www.zuora.com/

• The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen: https://medium.com/the-mission/the-greatest-sales-deck-ive-ever-seen-4f4ef3391ba0

• Gong: https://www.gong.io/

• Tien Tzuo: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tientzuo/

• Want a Better Pitch? Master the “Move”: https://medium.com/firm-narrative/want-a-better-pitch-master-the-move-5fbee071ca7f

Star Wars: https://www.starwars.com/

The Hero with a Thousand Faces: https://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Faces-Collected-Joseph-Campbell/dp/1577315936

• 360Learning: https://360learning.com/

• Nick Hernandez: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicoconut/

• Amit Bendov: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amitbendov/

• Drift: https://www.drift.com/

• OneTrust: https://www.onetrust.com/

• “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott: https://learning.hccs.edu/faculty/pamela.golden/engl2327/shitty-first-drafts-by-anne-lamott/view

Story: https://www.amazon.com/Story-Substance-Structure-Principles-Screenwriting/

Out of Sheer Rage: https://www.amazon.com/Out-Sheer-Rage-Wrestling-Lawrence/

Station Eleven: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10574236/

• Fitbit: https://www.fitbit.com/global/us/home

• Apple Watch: https://www.apple.com/watch

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.