Perform To Win: Unlocking the secrets of the arts for personal and business success
Perform To Win is written as a business novel: a lightly fictionalised account of four business directors attending the kinds of arts-based leadership programme that Dr Powell designed and facilitated over many years as Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, helping business leaders to gain new perspectives on leadership, teamwork and performance by working closely with top performing artists.
Dr Powell’s methods are based on his belief that simply giving leaders new information – ‘telling people things’ – is unlikely to make a real change to their behaviour. Allowing business leaders to interact with top-flight performing artists – watching the artists perform at close quarters and talking to them about their methods and techniques – gives the leaders real ‘gut level’ insights, leading to new ways of seeing things and to new ways of working with colleagues to develop winning performances of their own.
As the book progresses, the leading characters begin to ‘get’ different aspects of the performers’ approaches, finding a way to deliver their own winning performance to solve a very real business problem of their own.
“This is by far the best book on management and leadership that I have read in years because it allows you to identify with successful performers and ensembles rather than preaching at you. Ensemble performance is a much better model for teamwork than the usual fallback on measuring the talents and styles of team members with silly tests. The focus is the emotional connection between leaders, members, and most important the audience.”
Edgar H. Schein, former professor at MIT Sloan School of Management