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117: John David Mann – The Cellist and The Sniper

What happens when a cellist and a sniper get together to write a few books? Magic. Perception shifting magic. At least that is what happens for me everyone time I read one of the books they have collaborated on based on Brandon Webb’s experiences as a Navy Seal Sniper, Sniper Training School re-creator and CEO of a media company valued at $100mm.

How does someone write a book with another, especially when they come from such diverse backgrounds and perspectives? It may surprise you to learn that they are actually closer in perspective than the title of this episode may lead you to believe.

As a trained cellist and composer, from a family of renowned conductors and musicians, John shares how he connects with the authors he writes with, how his latest effort with Brand Webb, Total Focus: How to Make Better Decisions Under Pressure, is a culmination of years of working together and what drives him to work with others to spread their messages to the world.

For John, “writing is music”. For me, reading his words are like listening to the most beautiful piece of music ever played. Words have the power to shift thinking, to transform the reader forever.

With their latest collaboration, my thinking is now transformed.

John and I speak about Total Focus, working with others, and his and my favorite words. After you listen to this episode, tweet out your favorite word to @thelaurasteward and @johndavidmann.

 John David Mann is an award-winning author whose writings have earned the Nautilus Award, the Axiom Business Book Award (Gold Medal), and Taiwan’s Golden Book Award for Innovation. He is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers The Red Circle (with Brandon Webb) and Flash Foresight (with Dan Burrus) and the Wall Street Journal bestsellers Real Leadership (with John Addison) and The Slight Edge (with Jeff Olson). He coauthored the international bestseller The Go-Giver, hailed by Adam Grant as “the most important parable about business?and life?of our time.” His books are available in two dozen languages and have sold more than two million copies. His 2011 Take the Lead (with Betsy Myers) was named by Tom Peters and the Washington Post as “best leadership book of 2011.”

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avatarRecently I had the opportunity to receive coaching from Laura Atchison at Author 101. Laura is presence personified - she met me right where I was; gently challenged assumptions I didn't even know I was making;  asked the right questions to open up alternatives without raising defenses or resistance; and offered me her heartfelt support and encouragement. In 15 minutes, she helped me claim my 'title' as an expert and gain more clarity about my audience - that kind of pin-pointed skill is priceless. I highly recommend working with her.

Shannon Crossman
Shannon Crossman