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Story Driven: You don't need to compete when you know who you are

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  448 ratings  ·  40 reviews
"When you have something to say, you don't need to shout. Bernadette Jiwa helps us learn how to create the change we seek to make in the world."

Every one of us—regardless of where we were born, how we were brought up, how many setbacks we’ve endured or privileges we’ve been afforded—has been conditioned to compete to win. Ironically, the people who create ful
Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Perceptive Press
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  448 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I found this book helpful, inspiring and at once simple and profound. I recommend highly. I underlined many portions.

From page 13, one of my favorite excerpts.

“Great companies have something in common: they don’t try to matter by winning. They win by mattering. The people who build them know what they stand for and act on those beliefs. What they think, say and do are always in alignment. Their story is consistent. Great companies rise to our expectations by being who they said they would be.”
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Can you put your finger on what it is that will make your business successful? What will enable it to thrive, outlive the hype, stand out and pave a clear path through the distraction around us? Do you know what will grow it out of 'survival' mode into a business that flourishes and leads for years to come?

In a day and age of outsourcing, manufacturing abroad, easy digital scale, competition, clutter, and noise- Your vision, your team, your partners and even your business goals may all change ov
Paul Ince
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an easy read, with concepts being familiar to you if you have done any content marketing. I enjoyed the case studies included (although there didn’t need to be so many in my view) and including the framework has given me something practical that I can apply.
Joy Kidney
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"History, heritage, and hindsight are powerful teachers."

This book is mainly for businesses, but writers and others will also find it fascinating and useful. The author uses stories of companies as examples, including how Wikipedia got its start, the thinking and values behind Tesla, IKEA, Same Day Dental, even the Michelin Group.

She also has the reader sort through their own backstory as to begin contemplating how you became who you are, who you'd like to inspire, etc.

It includes a whole list
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A go-to resource for brand development

I have referenced concepts and ideas from this book multiple times since I began reading it. I will be using the framework of a story driven brand with my own business as well as incorporating it into the work I do with clients. If you are looking at the brand or culture of your business, this book is a must read.
Sue Cartwright
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful book by Bernadette which advocates an alternative path to success. Rather than trying to beat the competition there is another, better way. This is to establish a powerful sense of 'identity' where you tell your real story - the story that gets to the heart of what makes you and the work you do so unique and valuable.

I love the idea of creating a 'business philosophy' that shapes both your internal and external narratives to authentically amplify the best of you and the benefi
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
On the recommendation of Seth Godin, I picked this up, however, it wasn’t quite what I expected.

It’s a marketing book, but not quite a how-to guide. Rather, Jiwa clearly articulates the need to tell your (or your business’) story as the core of what you do.

There were a few gems to walk away with, especially in the first part of the book. My favourite is your marketing should be an amplification of your story, not a manipulation of it.

When you revolve your business around your story, the marketin
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A straightforward clear book arguing that business doesn't have to be a cutthroat appeal to money and is instead far better driven by the story of human beings. Jiwa outlines her theory and then offers real life examples of businesses that follow their personal stories -- including backstory, history and values -- to create growing and lucrative businesses in an authentic way.

I had the opportunity soon after reading the book to be part of an online book club she joined. Someone asked her what to
Caroline Flanagan
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Worth a speed read

While I loved the premise and underlying message of this book - to connect with who you are and what matters most and to be driven by your story - I was slightly disappointed to discover that this was purely focused on business owners. As a business owner myself I did find the book was relevant, but I was disappointed not to see the subject of being Story Driven applied and explored in a more personal context - e.g. how does an employee become story driven as an individual, and
Muhammad Khan
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful on personal & professional topics.

As I recently completed re-reading Seth Godin's "What to do when it's your turn", I looked up Bernadette Jiwa, and was so glad that I did, quite timely indeed as I found myself reflecting on my own path as an individual and working professional.
There is plenty in this book that shows how stories are becoming absolutely critical in shaping a company / product or service. Plenty of of case studies for reference.
The framework is also quite useful
Dr. Byron Ernest
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rewriting The Story To Create The Future!

This book is outstanding and warrants the writing of a review. I did a great deal of highlighting while reading this book and tweeting. Bernadette does an outstanding job of guiding us through how to differentiate ourselves, our brands, and our organizations by telling the right story. In order to do this she teaches us in the reading how to know who we are, what we stand for, where we are headed, and what has made us personally, our brand, and our organi
Maybelline Tan
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good read

Good ideas and questions at the back section to help business brainstorm ideas. For people without a business, this book can still be used to gain clarity on personal life’s directions and growth. Became a little dull when I got to the part where the author shares examples of other businesses, there were too many examples. However I know it can be helpful to gain different perspectives from these businesses and their model and make it applicable to our own business. Since I don’t own a
Jul 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Bernadette looks to be an extremely successful marketer so while I will not argue the value of the content in the book, it is cookie-cutter and formulaic and repackaged as a novel concept. You can scan through any 20-minute read on Medium and be provided the same advice. Or pay Accenture, Booze Allen Hamilton, or another enormous consulting firm a ton of money to receive the same staid advice. 'Be true to yourself.' 'Articulate your identity - stand out from your peers.' 'Put personal story befo ...more
Flor Bradley
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fast and very insightful read.

She writes about being story driven by storytelling. The story about her brother and about moments like this one as well as “good, happy” moments change our perspective on life was what resonated the most for me because like her this is so true in my life as well and has definitely been the ignition for this self exploratory journey I have been on in the last two years. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and nuggets with the world.
Justin Smith
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve often wondered why so many companies start to suck after the founder has left or passed away. I now know that it’s because they have transitioned from being a story-driven company to a competition-driven company. I also learned that being story-driven isn’t just a good business model, it’s a good model for your personal life as well.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
At this time I am thinking the actual massage behind Chimamand Ngozi Adichie most popular TED talk "The danger of of a single story" is that we all have our own unique story and we need to tell it. Jiwa's take that the most successful people and business are not driven by competition but a story may not be entirely whole but is relevant and part to a powerful story.
Jasky Singh
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This book would have been better as a long form blog post. It would be an incredible blog post. There was nothing substantial in this, that it had to be stretched out to a book, lots of repetition. Great ideas and valuable for someone new to marketing. Not worth investing hours into reading though.
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Like many business books, could have been an article, but the central claim seemed fair enough. Continue to wonder if all these glorious B corps are just evolving to fill a segment niche and will reach a natural limit. Did appreciate diversity of examples. Worry that mission/story/value driven companies can abuse that mantle as a way to wring ever-more from their workforces.
Rick Yvanovich
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stories clearly move things

For hundreds of years stories have driven the agenda and success (and failure) of both people and organisations. In today’s VUCA world it’s even more important to use stories to communicate more clearly and emotionally and thus drive things.
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Story Driven is a book that is supposed to help us build our story and be authentic with our customers about where we are at and what we stand for. The book gets rolling well as it dives into convincing us that being authentic is what is needed to stand out. That we should not focus on competition, but on being a brand that is driven by our story.

It has what looks like a good framework to build our story and take it into action in our business.

Bernadette Jiwa just never brings it home for me. Th
Daniel B-G
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, dnf, business
I should have read the blurb more carefully, I thought this was a psychology book, but it was a book on management and product development, so I got nothing out of it. I tried to struggle through, but it just isn't the sort of thing I'm interested in.
Elizabeth Bienas
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I skim-read this because it seemed repetitive. There are good case studies about large corporations, but it failed to bring relevance to small business for me. I was hoping the framework would be more relatable too.
Goktug Oguz
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good but not Great

The book stated good with soma to the point conclusions but It lost me near the end. I recommend this book to People who are not there at building culture with stories
Stacy-Ann Hayles
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Expected more.

While well-researched, I felt this book was lacking in substance. I want more about the specifics behind a brand what compels people to buy, how stories work, etc. Good case studies though!
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Inspiring. Concise and to the point. YMMV on how useful you find the detailed examples of companies at the end (I didn't particularly). I'd prefer a bit more depth.
Andres Silva O.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great and easy to digest reading

Bernadette never gets complicated nor boring - liked every chapter and the practical advices on each of them
Nice way of closing the book
Jeffrey Stasko
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, this little book is one of the best things I've ever read regarding branding. I highlighted so many insightful lines. Five stars all the way.
Ola  Hesselroth
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Nothing new!
Alexander Novicov
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing book to understand why brand storytelling is important. Highly recommend it.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
fluffy book.
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Bernadette Jiwa is a leading story strategist and author who is on a mission to help people to find own and tell the stories that set them apart.

Her eight bestselling books are modern classics on mastering the art of storytelling to persuade, influence and inspire.

Bernadette’s award-winning blog The Story of Telling is a go-to source of inspiration for leaders from Disney, UNICEF, Louis Vuitton,

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18 likes · 10 comments
“The critical question is not “How can I achieve?” but “What can I contribute?” 1 likes
“If having a sense of purpose can improve your chances of success, it’s vital to imagine how what you’re working on creates change and to articulate your reasons for wanting to do it. Why you? Why this? Why now? Why for them? Why there? Why that way and not this? What’s your story and how will you stay true to it?” 0 likes
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