A truly game-changing manual on leadership
Jean-Francois Cousin is an executive coach and speaker based in Bangkok and working worldwide. He just authored an unconventional book about leadership: "Game Changers at the Circus: how leaders can unleash Greatness in their organization", including a fa
Marshall Goldsmith wrote about it: “Enjoyable and compelling, the timely fable and its lessons read like a novel but serves as an important business manual. With wisdom and context from a long and successful business career, Cousin has painted a vivid picture of how to enact change effectively.
WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT?
It is about what it really takes from leaders –deep within themselves- to unleash high performance in their organisation. The book inspires them with a fable about the transformation of a sluggish circus where animal leaders were stirred into dropping their toxic habits and producing together the greatest performance possible. Then a Leadership Workbook offers straightforward and proven steps leaders and their teams can apply to “change even the most stagnant and inflexible organisations into thriving, dynamic performers”, as Marshall Goldsmith commented.
WHERE DID THE IDEAS COME FROM?
From countless conversations with CEOs and leadership teams in Asian and Western companies. I realised that most often, leaders and their teams are just a couple of steps away from reaching far greater outcomes. In our discussions, we found out which further steps they needed to take, to change their game and contribute their best performance, and how they could take those steps.
The book captures the learning from our failures and successes.
WHY A FABLE?
I actually started writing a serious book… Luckily, I asked feedback from senior leaders early on. And they told me, in essence, “your book is interesting, solid, different, but that’s just the serious part of you speaking. We want to see the fun part of you in there as well! Tell us a story, unlock our emotions! Make your book a fun way to question ourselves. We take ourselves seriously enough already and we have read so many dry and serious leadership books!” Hence I decided to write a fable with a workbook, and add illustrations for good measure!
Fables have the advantage to invite reflection at many levels. Therefore people can enjoy them several times and share the story-line and crusty anecdotes, which anchors more learning in their minds.
By the way, for more fun, there is an audio-book too, with terrific voice-actors impersonating animals, and a board game that can involve whole teams to ‘change their game’ together.
WHAT KIND OF EFFORT DID IT TAKE FROM YOU?
Ten times more effort than I ever imagined! Well, I think I did all possible mistakes… despite having read all about them before I started writing… Fortunately I had my panel of senior leaders as advisers, and a fantastic team of editors, illustrator and designer in Singapore and North America.
WHAT SHOULD THE READERS LEARN FROM THE BOOK?
A lot about themselves first, as the book invites readers to look deep into themselves, in some places they haven’t looked at before, and discover how they can unleash more of their personal greatness as leaders, along a journey from self-awareness to self acceptance, growth, self confidence and ultimately authenticity and self-leadership.
Then readers learn how to transform their relationships and find new ways to display -and invite- more openness and help others to grow faster. The next step is for leaders to engage their teams differently about how they will play together to inspire greater passion, performance and accountability across their organisation.
Finally the workbook supports in very practical ways leaders to cascade down across and beyond their organisation a culture of high performance by integrating both Asian and Western approaches in the leadership and by enhancing the organisation agility ruthlessly. That’s when the Game Change is complete and Greatness is delivered!
“Game Changers at the Circus: how leaders can unleash Greatness in their organization” is available in major bookstores in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, and as an e-book on Amazon.com.