Game Plan: A Man's Guide to Achieving Emotional Fitness
Co-authored by Stephen R. Andrew, with Alan P. Lyme, LCSW and David J. Powell, PhD
Available now on Amazon
Forward 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 generations.
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 book.
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 book.
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.