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Stories sit in our head like the angel and devil that are often portrayed bickering on our shoulders. The wise leader understands that we all have the innate gullibility of self-deception. This deception comes from the battle between two minds that are within all of us: our conscience mind and our survival mind. In today’s podcast, Robert McKee looks at British Petroleum, Hitler and the National Rifle Association and their abilities to tell false stories and believe them at their detriment.

“We all have more than one mind. One of the jobs of those minds is to deceive each other. You  have a conscience, which is another mind, which sits there saying this is the proper moral thing to do. This is what a descent human being would do. On the other hand, you have another voice, which is the voice of survival. The mind is telling you that no matter what, when push comes to shove, you survive. So when the voice of the conscience meets the voice of survival, which one is more likely to win the argument? The voice of survival.”

According to McKee, The story the NRA tells is that you’re going to be the hero of your own story. You’re going to pull a gun on the bad guy and you’re going to defend yourself and kill him. “That is as false a story as you can imagine,” McKee said. Because if you’re destined to be killed by a gun, four out of five times its the gun you bought. McKee said that people buy into to that story because it appeals to their desire to be a hero. “The John Wayne of their own life.”

You have to be conginizant of the truthfulness of the stories you are telling yourself. Are they stories from the conscience voice, or from the voice of survival, which is often deceitful. Make no mistake, the stories you are telling yourself are the same stories you are telling your colleagues. And the stories you live and share are what determine the trajectory of your business.