Two weeks in North Korea gives you the chance to get to know someone.
Few writers define a genre. Neil Strauss made himself one of the great writers of our time by creating Transformational Journalism. His About page begins:
Neilâ€™s Journey into Transformational Journalism
Neil Strauss is a seven-timeÂ New York TimesÂ best-selling author. His books,Â The GameÂ andÂ Rules Of The Game, for which he went undercover in a secret society of pickup artists for two years, made him an international celebrity and an accidental hero to men around the world. Both books toppedÂ The New York TimesÂ best-seller list and were #1 on Amazon, and the former has the dubious distinction of being the most stolen book at Barnes & Noble besides The Bible.
In his follow-up book,Â The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships, Strauss dives deep into the worlds of sex addiction, non-monogamy, infidelity, and intimacy, and explores the hidden forces that cause people to choose each other, stay together, and break up.
He was a music critic, cultural reporter, and columnist atÂ The New York TimesÂ for a decade, where he won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has also won awards for his cover stories forÂ Rolling Stone, for which heâ€™s well-known for earning the trust of some of the most guarded and secretive celebrities in the world. These interviews were collected in his best-selling bookÂ Everyone Loves You When Youâ€™re Dead.
Neil is the mutual friend of Jordan Harbinger, who invited us to North Korea. They’re both deeply into personal growth, transformation, and developing in others the skills to grow and transform. They both also buck traditional academic approaches. My kinds of guys.
The North Korea trip came when I was considering pursuing teaching leadership as my sole priority, ahead of Submedia, the company I co-founded, and my burgeoning art career, with multiple large public pieces in Manhattan, solo gallery shows, museum pieces, and so on.
I credit Neil and Jordan in Leadership Step by Step‘s Acknowledgments for helping me clarify my vision and to choose to act on it at that key time in a place as strange as North Korea.
Now, years later, my book has come out, on transformations. Neil has been very supportive, including giving me some of the most important advice I’ve had in writing.
Today, Neil excerpted chapter 12 of Leadership Step by Step, in a blog post entitled, “How to Be a Leader,” which presents one of the most accessible and useful exercises in the book. I also wrote a special introduction to that chapter for Neil’s readers.
I suggest you click to that post to read the special introduction and that chapter. Then buy the book!
In the meantime, here are a few more pictures of us in North Korea. Here we are by a Peace Arch, featuring the entire Korean peninsula in red, illustrating the North Korean view that there is one Korea.
Here we are at the Demilitarized Zone. I’m in the background. Neil and Ingrid are playing the mind-bending card game their friend created called Skittykitts, which I recommend.
Here we are throwing a Frisbee before playing in the first ever Pyongyang international ultimate Frisbee tournament.
And here’s an update on the book, with 30 5-star reviews and 1 4-star. Probably a good time to buy copies for yourself and everyone you know ;).