The Four Swords: A Parable of Leadership, Video Games, and Dead Dragons by Paul Tozour
— Michel Sabbagh, game industry veteran
UNITED STATES, July 31, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — There are a lot of books about team development and leadership, a topic that can appear dry when handled incorrectly. For these kinds of books to be effective, the author must write a gripping narrative that keeps the reader’s attention.
Paul Tozour fulfills this in his new book, The Four Swords: A Parable of Leadership, Video Games, and Dead Dragons. This unique book is written as a “leadership fable” in the style of Patrick Lencioni’s classic The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and is sure to both entertain and inform readers.
The Four Swords was written to shine a light on the critical link between culture, values and outcomes — to illustrate how the values of an organization, whether implicit or explicit, create that organization’s culture, and how that culture drives its outcomes.
In the process, it offers a gritty, in-the-trenches view of the harsh realities of modern video game development, as four hard-working game developers — Jake, Leo, Tim and Allison — struggle with team dysfunction, obstinate leadership, broken tools and processes, difficult conversations, and personality conflicts. They are guided by a leadership consultant named Adam during their regular gaming sessions inside the Dream of Dragons video game, who helps them arrive at a new understanding of what their problems truly are and how to confront them.
The Four Swords stands on its own as a highly entertaining work of fiction. The book is full of surprises, including countless plot twists and real-world violence. Many of these plot twists were derived directly or indirectly from the author’s 28-year career in video game development.
The book has also been adapted into a highly polished audiobook with more than 35 voice actors, including sound effects and music for every chapter.
While the book is set in the video game industry, it shines a light on the things that really matter in any industry: leadership, culture and values.
In the process, it offers a perspective on the differences between high-performance and low-performance teams and offers insights on how to diagnose a team’s culture and improve team effectiveness.
Praise for The Four Swords is already pouring in.
“Tozour’s parable of game development dissects the industry with candor and wit.” Michel Sabbagh, game industry veteran
“I’ll be recommending this to lots of people.” John Harries, Engineering Manager, Riot Games
“I see people reading it, or being asked to read it, and simply reflecting on themselves, their team, their company and how that impacts what happens in their workplace. The afterword is super helpful, and I love that it is so personal … I really enjoyed it.” Chris Johnson, leadership & executive coach
The Four Swords is available on Amazon and other popular retail outlets where books are sold.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Tozour is a former game developer of 28 years and was the founder of Mothership Entertainment and design lead for sci-fi strategy game Aven Colony. Paul was a developer on Nintendo’s Metroid Prime series, Microsoft’s MechWarrior series, and Dungeon Siege by Gas Powered Games.
He received his master’s degree in technology management from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, where he studied organizational behavior and design under Adam Grant. Paul was also the founder and leader of the Game Outcomes Project in 2015, a highly acclaimed study that investigated the correlations between game studio culture and project outcomes.
Paul Tozour, Author