S2,Ep8: Steven Pressfield- The Warrior’s Life

The team sits down with author Steven Pressfield to discuss his newest book, A Man at Arms. In addition to providing a peek into the ancient world, Pressfield shares his thoughts how leaders can overcome Resistance to lead with the best version of themselves. If you are a fan of Gates of Fire and The War of Art, you won’t want to miss this episode!

Click here to listen to the episode.

 

 About Steven (@SPressfield)

Steven Pressfield is the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign, Killing Rommel, The Profession, The Lion’s Gate, The War of Art, Turning Pro, Do the Work, The Warrior Ethos, The Authentic Swing, An American Jew, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, The Knowledge, The Artist’s Journey, and A Man at Arms.

His debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was adapted for screen. A film of the same title was released in 2000, directed by Robert Redford and starring Matt Damon, Will Smith and Charlize Theron.

His father was in the Navy, and he was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943. Since graduating from Duke University in 1965, he has been a U.S. Marine, an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital and screenwriter.

His struggles to earn a living as a writer (it took seventeen years to get the first paycheck) are detailed in The War of Art, Turning Pro, The Authentic Swing, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, and The Knowledge.

There’s a recurring character in his books, named Telamon, a mercenary of ancient days. Telamon doesn’t say much. He rarely gets hurt or wounded. And he never seems to age. His view of the profession of arms is a lot like Pressfield’s conception of art and the artist:

“It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior’s life.”

One comment

  1. Joe and Jacob,

    I want to highlight the following takeaways from this podcast.

    Resistance: this was an interesting approach to the “change is hard” struggle we face in organizations. I’d link this back to Gen McChrystal’s message of self discipline. It takes a lot of energy and effort to get a train started down the tracks but once it has momentum, it moves along easily. The devil of self doubt and, as you guys discussed, third party affirmation (outsider judgement) feed that devil.

    The leadership struggle of instant gratification: This podcast had great reminders that success doesn’t happen fast. What kind of challenges have you all faced with a team regarding this? We joke around in our office about “doing things in the brochure” (i.e. all the cool things we trained to do) when we get wrapped up in office work.

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