Monthly Archives: February 2012

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My new book (continued)

leadership Leave a comment

Last time, I wrote that my forthcoming book will be, at least indirectly, a reflection on an age-old question: What exactly constitutes effective leadership?  For, if I have come to coach leaders in the specific way I do, it is in part because I feel that our society has gone astray in its views of what true leadership is and how leaders should communicate. In that light, I begin the book with a somewhat clichéd observation and my opinion about it:  It seems wherever I have gone in recent years, I have listened to people saying that we are experiencing a “leadership crisis”.  Many of the individuals who engage me … Continue reading

My New Book

John's reflections, leadership, Leading by autobiography 1 Comment

Though there is certainly more to write about hero stories and their role in business, I am choosing to leave that topic for another occasion, and to instead give an update on my recent writing activity. In fact, during the past weeks, much of my attention has focused on completing my latest book, which is about “leading by autobiography”.  The book describes my method of coaching a leader to become an inspirational communicator, a process of learning to express oneself through the telling of authentic personal stories of identity.  Since audiences at my leadership seminars in 2011 often asked why I have not written a book about the coaching techniques … Continue reading

The Hero’s Journey and popular culture

John's reflections, leadership, Storytelling Leave a comment

Since the Hero’s Journey is so powerful, ubiquitous and influential, I will lay out its basic pattern this week, along with an example from popular culture.  At some later date, depending on the evolution of my activities and thoughts for this blog, I will discuss the relevance of heroic tales for the world of business and marketing. As we noted last time, the Hero’s Journey follows a pattern that is elegant and simple, through four phases: separation, descent, initiation, and return.  In the separation phase, the hero is pulled from his ordinary world by a call to adventure.  Often, the hero is comfortable in the “ordinary world”, but at the … Continue reading

Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey

John's reflections, leadership, Storytelling Leave a comment

As I wrote in last week’s post, a recent series of events caused me to consider again one of my favorite storytelling concepts, the Hero’s Journey.  In fact, I have long been fascinated by classic story patterns, so I felt like writing something this week about the eminent mythologist Joseph Campbell and his theory of narrative. A diverse group of authors and scholars have written of the universal nature of human story patterns.  For example, in O Pioneers! (1913), novelist Willa Cather wrote stated: “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.”  Canadian journalist and … Continue reading

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