John Pearson on HITCH and “Finding Your Unique Story Angle”

Finding Your Unique Story Angle

By John Pearson/John Pearson Associates

It’s summer here in North America—so I’m always looking for “lighter” reading, hopefully with some redeeming leadership and management insights.

I found one! Maurice Possley, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, has taken co-author John Woodbridge’s story and fashioned a fascinating true story line about Hitler, a young singer/sax player/solder, an influential pastor, in-the-trenches WWII battles (the kind that create legends and heroes), new information on the German resistance movement, and a gold-plated pistol with links to the Fuehrer himself.

I could be biased because I’ve met Possley multiple times and thoroughly enjoyed his 2001 book, a true account, Everybody Pays: Two Men, One Murder and the Price of Truth, with co-author Rick Kogan.

Possley won a Pulitzer in 2008 for Investigative Reporting at the Chicago Tribune. He has now applied those same instincts and street smarts to this remarkable true story, Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI’s Story of Courage and Faith. Blend Possley with co-author John Woodbridge’s experience as Research Professor of Church History and Christian Thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, visiting prof at Northwestern University and the University of Paris, France, and you have the makings of a historically accurate, WWII page-turner.

I was struck with the story line—and the creativity of it. The authors threaded this true account around every twist and turn with both skill and drama. Some organizations, I’ve noticed, take an absolutely amazing story line of God at work and then dumb it down to unimaginable nothingness. Boring. Bored. Clunk!

Not this story! It’s historical—with new stuff. Inspirational—with disappointment and death. Separation—but with life-breathing love letters. Maturity and humility—perhaps softened by sadness. And the stunning beauty and impact of integrity—growing the fruits of faithfulness, generation after generation. Oh…and then there’s the pistol.

The story line: ingenious. The redeeming insight: maybe the form will rub off on your organization as you strategize how to tell your story in more compelling ways.

To order this book from Amazon, click on the title for Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI’s Story of Courage and Faith, by John Woodbridge and Maurice Possley.


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