How many times have you worked on a big project where you may have gotten the results you wanted, but wound up feeling lousy, dispirited and frustrated?

Our protagonist, Max, is a young manager who gets in over his head leading a group of colleagues with clashing styles. But a chance meeting with an unlikely mentor leads him on a journey to help him better understand himself and the people he works with.

Join Max in this unique educational odyssey⁠—created by a team leader at Google⁠—to learn how to gain the confidence and expertise to lead your winning team!

Graphic novels are not just a cutting-edge educational tool—they’re just good fun! Immerse yourself in a dramatic office story by Stephen Gay, a passionate and creative leader currently working at Google. For years, Stephen has taken pride in nurturing high performing teams to solve complex problems, and in delivering innovative and delightful experiences. With a deep understanding of the best practices in facilitation, collaboration, and communication, Stephen is excited to share years of practical wisdom into his first book.

Why Always Wins is a versatile resource for individual professionals or organizational leaders at all stages of their careers. Early career  professionals and recent grads will have an invaluable book on  accelerating your career with practical, proven methods. Managers,  mentors, and team leaders will find a fun, compelling tool to share and  discuss best practices in groups or 1:1. Educators and organizational  leaders will have a unique resource for fostering a culture of impactful  collaboration and respect.

The book features the expressive and dynamic art by Der-shing Helmer, creator of critically acclaimed, award-winning comics including The Meek and Mare Internum, and the elegant design sensibilities of GB Tran, award-winning author of Vietnamerica.

Why Always Wins is an exciting passion project of 5 years in the making, uniting Stephen’s love of play, of comics, and of coaching others for impact into one engaging package.Included with your book are multiple worksheets that allow you to hone your own skills while you join Max on his journey.

About Our Team

Stephen Gay is a passionate and creative design leader in the Bay Area. Stephen takes pride in nurture high performing teams to solve complex problems and delivering innovative, simple, and delightful experiences.

Der-shing Helmer is a game and comic artist living in the California Bay Area. She has a formal background in science and education, and an informal one in art, and enjoys making comics whenever possible.

Ron  Kertzner supports individuals, teams and organizations in acting from a deeply-held purpose and vision that is empowering to all. Ron served as a facilitative consultant, helping organizations and teams gain clarity around their vision, organizational culture and strategy. 

A Chicagoland native, Matt Silady taught eighth grade for six years in Champaign, Illinois, before moving west to study creative writing at the University of California at Davis. It was there he discovered comics as a medium for fine art.