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Don’t Get Down Leveled or How to Tell a Good Story (From a Principal at Amazon)


Story Telling

🙉 Show; don’t tell.
❌ The STAR method isn’t good for generating stories. It’s too focused on what happened, and not focused enough on developing the character: you.

✅ Man in a Hole

Simplest story shape, described by Kurt Vonnegut.

  1. Start by anchoring the story on your status and responsibilities on a team, using terms from the job description.
  2. Layer in conflict, challenges, and obstacles.
  3. Don’t over think it.
  4. Effective stories have a general U-shape
    1. Magnitude of U signals your level
    2. Depth of the U’s dip describes the size of the problems you can deal with
  5. Use STAR to review the story (not to generate it) and ensure it has substance.


  1. Lie
  2. Tell someone else’s story
  3. Describe villains
  4. Describe a perfect success