The following is the Forward from
A Man's Guide to Achieving Emotional Fitness
co-authored by Stephen Andrew, LCSW, LADC, CGP
with David J. Powell, Ph.D. and Alan Lyme, LCSW, CAP
which is now available!.
By John Lee
For nearly twenty-five years, I’ve been working on my own “men’s issues,” and have
counseled, coached, and facilitated men’s groups, workshops, and conferences. I’ve
read virtually every book written for and about men and have even written a few of my own.
I’ve been taught by and had the privilege to teach with leaders in men’s work—greats like
Robert Bly, Dr. Robert Moore, Malidoma Somé, Robert Johnson, and several others.
So when my friend Alan Lyme sent me Game Plan and asked me to read it and write the
foreword, I was a little reluctant to read yet another “men’s book.” Man, was I pleasantly
surprised and delighted! I found myself underlining all kinds of things I’d never heard
said or had never thought of before. The authors of Game Plan—Alan Lyme, David J.
Powell, and Stephen Andrew—are brilliant, powerful men. They not only have put their
hearts, heads, and souls into this book, but also have included genuinely useful tools to
help anyone who loves, lives with, or works with men. Thanks to books like this one,
men, women, and children will be forever different than my generation and previous
For instance, your teenage son just broke up with his first girlfriend. He tells his buddies
about it, and here’s what is so different from previous generations of men: he feels
absolutely free to ask them for support to get over it. He even sheds a few tears, but not
one of his friends makes fun of him or calls him names. His masculinity is never called
into question. How did this happen?
You’re stressed out husband opens up and tells you how scared he is in the down
economy and you don’t think he is weak or inferior in any way. You are not nearly as
worried as you would be if he kept all his feelings buried or bottled up like your father and
grandfather were taught to do. How did this come about?
Your boss is interested in all his employees’ well-being and has even been described
as a man who puts people before profits. Many have commented that he is a man who
really listens and cares.
Your youngest nephew is often paraded out as a man who does not hesitate to nurture
his new baby and takes a leave of absence from his job to do so.
Remember the day when two gay men could not adopt, and certainly no primetime
television show would dare show it?
How in the hell did this transformation from men like Don Draper of Mad Men to men like
Dr. McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy happen?
Read Game Plan and you will have a good many answers.
There is a new man in town—in our homes, in office buildings and factories, in the
Speaker of the House chair, and behind the desk in the Oval Office. He makes regular
appearances on the big and small screens, on our iPods, and on YouTube. This is a
man who has benefited from the kind of material that can be found in Game Plan. He and
his sons have been given a full pass to be as emotionally expressive and expansive as
their wives, daughters, or mothers have always been. Where did this new man come
from? Who brought about this sea change? Men like the ones who wrote this wonderful
We all have heard about the feminist movement and what it achieved. Everyone knows
what a huge impact the civil rights movement has had on society. Both movements made
us more conscious human beings and worked toward leveling the economic and
political playing fields. But what about this thing called the men’s movement? The role
this movement played in changing the status quo, redefining masculinity, and freeing
men in a multitude of ways affects nearly every facet of daily life. Yes, there really was a
game plan, though many of us didn’t know it at the time, and its legacy is now a set of
norms we take for granted.
How things have changed.
The authors of Game Plan and have achieved three important things extremely well:
• They have brought their collective knowledge, wisdom, and years of
experience in working with men and put it into one manual.
• They have successfully pulled together the best ideas, insights,
information, and guidance from their own mentors and teachers into a single, powerful
• They have written it all down in a highly organized and reader-friendly way—not always
an easy thing to do.
To be a man in these ever-changing times is challenging to say the least. Speaking for
myself, I need all the help I can get to navigate my whitewater ride through work,
relationships, recovery, parenting, and friendship. I received some real guidance from
reading this book, and I know you will as well. There is an old Arabic proverb that says, “A
man sets out on a journey that takes him two hundred years to complete. If he had a
good guide it would have only taken him two days.” With this book, you have a good
guide, a toolbox full of important information, and three mentors who are a step or two
further along on this journey into deep manhood and recovery. I hope you read it, do the
very powerful exercises in it, ponder its wisdom, and pass it on.
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