The power of story telling

There is nothing better than sitting down with my dad and listening to him talk about his day. Since I was a kid, when we gathered for dinner every night at the formal dining room table, I have loved to hear his stories.

My dad has been a CPA, the Secretary of Administration and Finance for the State of MA, Dean of a medical school, and a host of other successful pursuits.  But just imagine being a kid and listening to your dad talk about being a CPA. You might  think this would be incredibly dull and make choking down your dinner of fried liver even more dreadful, but it was actually the best part of my day.

Why? Very simple. My dad is an amazing storyteller. Never was an audit dull or quarterly tax filings something that would make you glaze over.  Nope, each client’s tale had amazing characters and crazy antics. And if there ever was an accounting or tax principal that we did not understand (and there were many), my dad used a great analogy to help us grasp the nuances and make his story compelling.

This weekend, as my dad and I walked to the general store near our vacation spot for early morning coffee, he told me all about a complex deal he is structuring for a not-for-profit to finance their “bricks and mortar.”  It involves new and old tax credits and the coming together of banks and investors. There are people vying to be part of the deal and others trying to take it apart. There is backstabbing and backroom strategizing. It’s better than the epic Game of Thrones (truly it is).

Today I eagerly anticipate his conference call at 11:00. Suddenly, I’m a new and old tax credit expert and I hang on every word to see who will win and how it all turns out.

Remember, a good story can make even liver and accounting principles riveting. What stories keep you engaged?