Leadership Secrets from the Game of Thrones
“Fans of the multi-book series or HBO’s adaptation will enjoy Craven’s analyses of characters’ personal development and motivations in strategy...Would-be senior managers looking to hone their people skills might glean more as Craven breaks down step-by-step exercises in self-advocacy, social awareness, and relationship management.” —Fortune
Just in time for the final season of HBO’s smash television series Game of Thrones, Bruce Craven provides a vital business guide to leading without losing your head. In WIN OR DIE: Leadership Secrets from Game of Thrones, Craven brilliantly analyzes the journeys of the best and worst leaders in Westeros, so that leaders can create their own narratives of success.
One of the great joys of Game of Thrones is strategizing what bold moves you'd make in this bloody, volatile world—from the comfort of your living room. And one of the great terrors of being a leader is knowing your real world can be just as brutal—and offices bring no comfort. Every day you're presented with opportunities and challenges, and must decide which roads to follow, which risks to confront, when to deny an opportunity and when to pursue the call to adventure. And you won't know whether you'll profit or fail while you're in the thick of it.
Based on Craven’s popular Columbia University MBA/EMBA elective “Leadership through Fiction,” WIN OR DIE uses his years of executive teaching and coaching expertise to analyze beloved characters such as Ned Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister as they make terrible decisions and fatal mistakes. Craven also evaluates the ways these characters achieve incredible victories and surprising successes, learning and growing along their (often bloody) ways. Readers will learn how to face conflict and build resilience, cultivate contextual and emotional intelligence, develop their vision, and more.
This entertaining and accessible guide will show readers how to turn danger into opportunity, even when dragons threaten. As we prepare to say goodbye to the beloved HBO series Game of Thrones, Bruce Craven’s WIN OR DIE provides lessons that will last long after the series finale.
BRUCE CRAVEN, a member of the Columbia Business School Executive Education faculty, serves as program director of the Advanced Management Program and faculty director of several custom executive education programs. He also teaches his popular MBA/EMBA elective Leadership Through Fiction. He studied politics and literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz and has an MFA in writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Coachella Valley in California.
Advance Praise for WIN OR DIE
“In C-suite roles, organizational success depends on educating your teams. Knowledge transfer is how senior executives improve overall performance. Win or Die presents a method to understand and implement proven leadership capabilities. Read it and prepare to compete. Winter is coming!”—Barry Salzberg, former CEO, Deloitte
“Readable and accessible, exciting and engaging, Win or Die provides a master-class in leadership.”—Paul Ingram, Kravitz Professor of Business, Columbia Business School
“Neuroscience tells us that sometimes looking at challenges through unconventional lenses can prompt higher levels of creative thinking. In this entertaining and instructive work for fans familiar with the Game of Thrones, fans are sure to experience a few ‘aha’ moments to help shape their own journeys.” —Rita Gunther McGrath, Professor of Management, Columbia Business School, and author of The End of Competitive Advantage
“Bruce Craven has extracted applicable leadership lessons from Game of Thrones, creating a masterful guide to drive business success. Win or Die is insightful, compelling and impossible to stop reading. If you face leadership battles, if winter is heading your way, read this book, go forward and win!” —Bob Kulhan, President, Business Improv, and author of Getting to Yes, And
“Win or Die is an impressive and creative piece of work that tackles the complex realities of leadership in the 21st century. Bruce provides examples from the series to illustrate coaching, risk, politics, planning and implementation, and he dovetails characters and plot lines to help the modern leader confront day-to-day strategic and operational challenges.” —Dil Sidhu, former Vice Dean of Executive Education, Columbia Business School
"Bruce brings the concepts of leadership to life. His teaching at Columbia Business School covers a wide range of styles, from the challenging to the supportive, highlighting the importance of purpose, flexibility and communication. His insights on leadership, storytelling and fiction help leaders to motivate their teams to achieve great things, building resilience, judgment and empathy." —Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary at the Department of International Trade, United Kingdom