Thursday, March 13, 2014

Out of the Box

Because my lovely wife worked on the cover and interior design, I got to read Kris and Lawrence's new book, Sensei, Mentor, Teacher, Coach, before it became available. It's a good book. Really good. And important. And I think it will be an uphill battle to make it successful.

Why? The material is original, important, comprehensive. The writing is good, like I expect from these two. Both of the authors are well known, best-sellers in the martial arts genre. On paper,  S-M-T-C should take off. But it will be a struggle.

Largely because, somewhere in our heads, we put people into boxes. Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder? Karate guys. Martial arts authors. The people who look for their names are not looking for books on leadership. The people looking for books on leadership are not looking for those names. Even most of their fans don't know that before Kris decided to see how deeply he could simplify his life he was a professional consultant who worked on national political campaigns. Or that Lawrence, in his day job, sometimes herds $100 million+ contracts through a major bureaucracy.

These karate guys know leadership. And management. And the difference. They know that teaching is guiding growth through leadership. "Among the thousands of books on this subject I am amazed that Wilder and Kane have not only found a new approach, but one that makes a real difference."   That's what some guy named Anthony Wood wrote in the introduction. Some marine colonel-- who led the evacuation of Saigon. Just some guy.

It's a marketing puzzle. And I'm in a similar place with ConCom. Groundbreaking stuff, but it's not some former jailguard thug talking about violence and bad people. People who want communications books prefer to see a PhD or MSW after the name.

In the last month, all three of us have shattered our molds, and done some of our best work, in my opinion. But I think it's going to take something creative to get traction, to get attention in the right places. Stuff to think about.


Josh Kruschke said...

PhD or 17 yrs first hand experience?

Title or time neither guaranty quality of thought or expertice in a subject. They are the excuse we use as to not have to think for ourselves. I do not have to determine if this is correct someone already has done so. How freeing to be dependent on someone else to tell me what is correct. To be relieved of that great weight of personal responsibility. To be exoected to do for ourselves.

I like the way Ayn Rand put it in Atlas Shrugged (Part 3, Ch. 2), "If you are not convinced, ignore our certainty. Don't be tempted to substitute our judgment for your own." Just because the experts ate convinced that they are right doesn't absolve us of our responsibility to think for ourselves.

Unless you want to be a slave to the whims of others.


Craig Ma'har said...

Not strictly related to this post but...

The joint locks DVD arrived today, almost 2 weeks early which is a good time to get to Western Australia.

I really have to try the drill for accepting gifts, just need a competent spotter to act as a coach.

Awesome DVD

Lise Steenerson said...

Is there a better way to test out con com than on someone who wants to kill you??? Much more powerful in my book than trying to convince your boss to give a raise.

Charles James said...

Thanks, I didn't know they had a new book out till this post. Bought it, of course, on Kindle. Also, in regards to the comment by Lise, "I have found a few things in ConComm already that are relevant to my daily life both home and work not to forget a few things about myself and I didn't have to rely on someone trying to kill me." I try hard to find things outside the actual subject matter that would apply to things that concern me most especially outside the martial arts and/or self-defense arena. One of many reasons I like the stuff these guys write. I also look closely to the Bibliography because books like the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-defense provided some insights I would never have seen otherwise. Grateful for their work. Just sayin.

Rory said...

I know this is preaching to the choir. Kris and Lawrence do good stuff and I want them to be wildly successful. In order to do that, especially with SMTC, they need to reach a different audience. FB, the podcast, the circle of friends all center on the martial arts world...what are the avenues to expand?

Craig- Thats great. Don't worry too much about a spotter (if that means the same thing in Australian English that it means in American English.) Just get in and play. One of the first things I was told about judo is that there is no way to stand and no way to move that isn't vulnerable to a throw. You just had to recognize which throw and apply it ruthlessly.

That's doubly true for locks. No way to stand or move where you aren't handing someone the gift. The skill is recognizing and exploiting the gift.

Tiff said...

Haven't you been here before?

Maybe it's time to form your own publishing group?

Josh Kruschke said...


Been thinking about this question,

"But I think it's going to take something creative to get traction, to get attention in the right places. Stuff to think about."

Along with some questions of my own.

Q1. Where do these groups, those that need this info,  hangout?

Q2. Do you have an elevator speech or short lecture ready that can introduce and/or explain why it might be in their best interest to pursue further study?


If you feel that young women going off to college for the first time are vulnerable, maybe a college book tour is needed. Campass Police, or what kind of campus clubs are there that, might be receptive?

Most marketing boils down into figuring out where your audance is and coming up with interesting ways of getting your message or product infront of them.

Colleges(Are there other places???) might just have the largest cross section of different groups that could use this information.


Josh Kruschke said...

Further thoughts:

College groups that could possible benefit from ConCom.

Young Women —> Associal.

Young men —> Social.

Nerds —> a little of both. A rounding of the edges.

Unknown said...

Running some sessions for young women at london Uni- Monkey Dance Model works very well for some forms of sexual harassment, also social /asocial violence and responses. Some of Con Com gone into that already and Facing Violence and Con Com on their 'further reading' lists.

Rory said...

Excellent, Sue. And the other thing was totally unnecessary, but thanks.

Alvin said...

Hi Rory,

Thanks for recommending the book. I got it and ConComm and got lots from it. Both explained a lot of what I've seen happen in life and the office but couldn't really articulate (or control, and that applies to self-control as well).