cover image Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones

Win or Die: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones

Bruce Craven. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-25030-117-8

Craven (Fast Sofa), director of Columbia Business School’s Advanced Management Program, extracts intriguing management lessons from George R.R. Martin’s wildly popular A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels and the series’ smash hit television adaptation, HBO’s Game of Thrones, in this enjoyable and surprisingly relevant guide. He introduces various leadership tenets by analyzing turning points in the fantasy saga, such as the demise of one of its most noble and popular characters, Ned Stark, showing how Stark’s high standards and inability to consider the values of others led to his downfall. Craven also connects ideas on coaching, resilience, emotional and contextual intelligence, and adaptability to key decisions made by Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Daenerys Tagaryen, and other figures from the series. These examples are accompanied by useful exercises designed to determine one’s managerial strengths and weaknesses, such as writing a “resilience story,” with such stages as “Falling of the Hero” and “Hero Faces Internal Fears,” to help oneself visualize overcoming future challenges. This manual demonstrates a clever and fun way of understanding effective leadership, bringing new life to a tired topic and providing wisdom that readers—particularly Game of Thrones’ many avid fans—can put to use at the office. (Mar.)