Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez: Leading Through The Abyss


For most of us, dealing with change is tough. We’re wired to avoid wading into the abyss where we don’t know how things are going to end.

Even tougher, though, is leading others through change. Today’s guests, Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez know this. Nancy is the co-founder of her eponymous firm, Duarte, the top presentation design firm in the world. Patti is the Chief Strategy Officer, and a lifelong storyteller and communications savant.

Nancy has been on the show before when we filmed a powerful conversation about her “origin story.” Today’s focus is on the deep collaboration Nancy and Patti have formed, leading the firm through a disruptive, yet transformational reorganization, while simultaneously co-writing a book on leading through change, Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies and Symbols.

In today’s conversation, we talk about the simultaneously visionary, yet often brutal process of creative destruction in the name of building something better and how to tell the story of what’s going on in a way that lets those you’re about to disrupt understand why it’s necessary and share a believable path to where you’re all going together.

But, there’s a deeper story that also unfolds. It’s the story about Nancy and Patti’s very personal journey, the dance between the fiercely future-focused visionary and deeply empathic and present-focused storyteller. We also dive into what it’s like to write a book on change when you’re simultaneously trying to take your company through its own process of transformational change.

If you’re leading people in any endeavor now, or hope to in the future, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

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