How we started Storytelling for Leaders w/ Shawn Callahan

Shawn Callahan Anecdote
Shawn Callahan Anecdote – Copyright Anecdote Pty Ltd

Storytelling for Leaders® began when Shawn Callahan started his training company Anecdote to help clients with storytelling training.

Story telling training is big business these days.

Organizations realize the importance of leveraging stories that articulate value and communicate key messages.

Shawn spotted a gap in the market for helping clients such as SAP, Microsoft, BHP, Accenture and others.

He then set about building a brand called Anecdote based in Melbourne, Australia.

Today, his company sells training in 28 countries with the help of licensed partners.


If you want to grow your training business into a brand, you need to develop products…

Shawn Callahan – CEO

License your training programs

At the time that we had started to look at licensing our training material we had only 5 people.

Anecdote was just a small consulting business but we had plans to grow the brand internationally.

We asked ourselves: where do we go about finding partners.

But what ended up happening is that people came to us.

LISTEN MORE: ATD author Hadiya Nuriddin shares how she makes storytelling work in her facilitation workshops.

The most difficult aspect was dealing with potential partners who had already formed their own vision of what storytelling looks like…

We had to say no to these people…

The people who were much more suitable partners were those who were perhaps communications trainers or consultants but didn’t already have any storytelling product...

And if they already had the kinds of customers that we sell our storytelling products to, it was much more likely that they would succeed with us...

It’s pretty easy for trainers to deliver training but when we are looking for partners, it’s really important that they can sell the training as well! …

Check out the rest of the episode now!

Take-aways you don’t want to miss

  • Where Shawn got the idea for storytelling training
  • How Anecdote uses a training partner conference
  • Which criteria Shawn uses to select partners
  • Why it’s difficult to find trainers who can sell
  • Where Anecdote’s biggest market is for storytelling

Some resources for you

Anecdote – Storytelling for Leaders homepage
Putting Stories to Work – Mastering Business Storytelling (book)
Hadiya Nureddin – Using storytelling in facilitation


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