Q1. Patrick Alain, you are the author of The Leader Phrase Book published at Career Press. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a Video Game Developer by profession, and have worked on a number of best selling video games. I’ve contributed to the release of 12 titles so far. Some of them are the Red Dead Redemption, which won the Best Game of the Year 2010, Midnight Club, and of course, Grand Theft Auto. I’ve recently authored a published business book titled, “The Leader Phrase Book” and I’m working on a number of other volumes in the series.
I’m often asked how I chose to become an author and I think my background has a lot to do with it- I was born in Paris and I lived in numerous countries all over the world, I learnt to speak five languages and had a diverse cultural and social upbringing. Participating in all kinds of spheres and relying on my communication skills to do well gave me the idea of sharing my experience with others. I got my master’s degree from the University of Paris, alongside working on my books.
Q2. Did you always intend to be an Author?
Yes, for my entire life. I’m a game developer by profession, but I’ve learnt many amazing skills along the way and a lot of my achievements and success have been because I learnt to communicate well at an early age. Being multi-lingual and being exposed to different places, people and cultures taught me the nuances of communication. With over ten years of research, I was able to come to the conclusion that there are some very real, tangible communication skills that people can adopt in business and everyday life to transform their world. Being a leader isn’t just about dressing impressively or heading a large team of people: in fact, just choosing to include a few phrases in your daily communication can take you from a follower to a leader.
I decided to share my findings and tried-and-tested techniques with people and here I am, one book published and three more in the offing! And I’ve loved every minute of the writing experience, meeting new people and sharing ideas and opinions. So hopefully, penning books will be as fruitful and rewarding as video game development has been!
Q3. How has your career transformed you into a leader?
I’m often asked why some people achieve a lot, move ahead and become leaders while their counterparts stay stuck in the same place and remain followers. I’ve always maintained that if you’re running not to get ahead but to maintain your current place, you’re doing something wrong. I started developing video games at a time when it wasn’t a mainstream career choice and that’s essential to being a leader: staying ahead of the masses! I’ve followed my instinct, chosen to work in fields where I’ve enjoyed myself and had a chance to grow and haven’t been limited by any obstacles and the best part is, I look forward to work every day.
How many people can say that? My career choices might have been daring or risky at one time, but they’ve paid off and I’ve worked hard, taken risks and put my all into each endeavor. People always ask me if I like being a leader or not, and I say this: I’ve come a long way and I’ve learnt a lot of great skills that I know I can help others with, and if anyone’s willing to follow my advice, I’m thrilled to be a leader.
Q4. Why did you decide to write "The Leader Phrase Book?"
I realized that everyone, especially business professionals, wants to learn how to communicate well, how to be a powerful speaker and motivator, and most popularly, how to be a great leader. While I was researching these questions for myself and trying to help others, I noticed that there was no real, comprehensive tool available that could teach people how to think and talk and behave like leaders. There are tons of books out there teaching people leadership skills and qualities, but none that gives you an actual list of specific phrases and verbal techniques you can use to transform your personality. My book will teach people how to speak well each time, all the time. You’ll learn how to build a powerful presence, inspire the respect and confidence of other people, be on top of any and every conversation- regardless of the topic. This will make you the envy of everyone. The Leader Phrase Book will be your hands-on guide on what to say when and how best to say it- each time.
Q5. Is this the first of many books for you?
Absolutely! There’s a really big need for books that teach people real-life skills. Today’s readers are smart and know what they want. We no longer want to read vague ideas and intangible advice. The readers are ready for real, practical, foolproof techniques and tips that actually work. I’ve got some great ideas about more books that can teach people skills to get far in life. I’ve got three more projects in the pipeline right now- The Entrepreneur Phrase Book, The Salesman Phrase Book and The Manager Phrase Book. Each of them is going to teach readers how to act in life situations. I’m also developing another idea for a book called, “1001 Tips to make a FORTUNE in Business”.
Q6. In your mind, what are the most important traits for a Leader to have?
I get asked this question a lot. See, there are some skills that may come naturally to you, while others you can adopt over time depending on your style of leadership. But some traits you absolutely cannot do without are foresight, confidence, creativity, proper time management and people skills. If you have the ingenuity to think ahead and plan well without hesitation, and you know how to motivate people and connect with them to get projects accomplished within deadlines, the rest will be easy. It’s important to hone these skills first because they’re the very basics! Take away any one of these and you’ve got a classic case of ineffective leadership.
Q7. Can you advise our readers how to communicate better?
Ah, this is a skill that comes only with time and practice. It’s not enough to just write or speak or send an e-mail with what you want to say: you’ve got to structure your words just right.
Some advice I have for my readers is to have a clear-cut idea of what you want to say, be creative and original, make sure your timing and the situation are right for what you want to say, and most importantly, introduce a funny quip or a witty one-liner whenever you can in your speech. Also, always keep your language simple and intelligent and don’t waste your time or that of others using complex words that throw the entire sentence off.
Patrick Alain is the founder of the business communication warehouse LeaderPhrase.com, which is one of the top business, communication, and Leadership strategy source worldwide. Patrick Alain is internationally known for his contribution on some of the best-selling video games around the world.