The power of crafting the right message

During my Friday Medley newsletter, I mentioned in the “what I am listening” section a new podcast series called “What really happened”. The first episode of this podcast is called “the talk” (link here).
This episode tells a story: In 1981, on a 9th floor building and in front of hundreds of people, Muhammad Ali talked a 21- year-old out of committing suicide. The story ran the following evening in front of 36 million people on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. But with new sources and information, Jenks (podcast author) questions if this was a concocted event, devised by Ali himself.

Turns out, as I’m listening to the story, that you can apply the talk to other situations. Including…. Corporate life!

Here are my top 3 take aways from this episode:

– Planning: each move we make, including what we say, has to be planned. The fact that Ali made it in 4 minutes through LA traffic was amazing! And I’m sure there was some coordination there.

– Channel: very interesting how this news came out so quickly, and in a very particular tv show. That was deliberate. So next time I want people to know, I will definitely choose the right person to share my message.

– Strategy: as it turns out, this incident happened because Ali wanted to get back to fighting, and also hide his sickness. I am thinking that this strategy should be used as part of your plan.

One last thing… special points to Ali when he kept the myth alive when it came to answer questions about the Gold Medal story. That’s my final take away – you have to keep the story consistent and alive through time.

I hope you find the podcast interesting, share your thoughts below!



Author: Sebastian Sanchez

Executive leader with experience in Supply Chain, Logistics Operations and Customer Service ready to tell stories about leadership, culture and winning teams. You can contact me at

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