What is the main point you would emphasize in telling others about this book?
My MBA and Executive MBA course is based on using novels, films, television shows and theater. The goal is to teach leadership students to learn from the decisions, opportunities, mistakes and successes of fictional characters. Game of Thrones offers a rich tapestry of characters where the stakes are high and the lessons you learn from the characters will be remembered when you need to remember them.
What are you setting out to prove or explore?
My graduate school course has proven that fictional narratives are an effective method for teaching leadership. My premise is that expanding these ideas into a book format through the lens of Game of Thrones will offer a global audience the chance to benefit from the leadership development taught in my classroom, as well as leverage insights I have learned from my colleagues, and the thought-leaders I have read to develop my teaching and my own leadership capabilities. Learning leadership through fiction helps the ideas stick!
What are your personal reasons or inspiration for writing this book?
I was offered the idea some years back by an inspirational editor. He had heard that I used fictional narratives to teach leadership and he challenged me to apply the learnings and develop them further to Game of Thrones. The challenge was daunting, on a number of levels, but the idea of connecting the epic fantasy stories to my methodology was exciting.
What kind of experience has writing your book been for you?
I have always enjoyed the full-engagement that happens when I am involved in a writing project. This project – WIN OR DIE -- has taken a number of years to reach completion. As a professor, I am in the lucky position of being able to develop the ideas, and then road-test them in the classroom with graduate students. Seeing the ideas hit home with my students is rewarding. One challenge for me is that I tend to write on the west coast and teach on the east coast, so shifting back and forth from the more introverted, isolated, reflective process of writing…and the more extroverted, interactive, communal process of teaching can be complimentary, but requires discipline and adaptability. Still, it allows me to be hiking in the desert one day and walking through Harlem the next day…and that’s not a bad way to live.