Today is a really big day. My first book sold through a publisher, Be Chief, is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be released in September, 10 years after this whole process began.
This project actually started in September 2008 when I read O, The Oprah Magazine’s What I Know for Sure, a column at the back of the magazine where Oprah gives us a glimpse of her own thoughts. I was struck. “Leadership is the key to everything,” she reflected on the statement often shared by her longtime partner, Stedman Graham. I’ve kept the article close ever since.
Shortly after, I was inspired to write a book on a topic I had come to believe to my core—one that I had successfully applied in my business career over 25 years. Specifically, I wanted to write about how, yes, leadership is the key to everything, but with an important highlight—that leadership choices are available to everyone.
Fast forward 10 years and almost as many iterations and potential publishers later, and I have many people to thank. To Ann McIndoo, who helped me rewrite the first version. To Michael Black for creating the Being Chief brand and applying his creative gifts to all aspects of the project. To Jamey Jones for helping me hone my message and keep it consistent.
To Jack Canfield, who I shared the stage with as a speaker, for introducing me to his agent, Margaret McBride, one of the top literary agents in the country. To Nils Parker, one of Margaret’s preferred ghostwriters, who rewrote the book stem-to-stern. To Spencer Johnson, bestselling author for more than 30 years, who read the book and invited me to spend the day with him at his estate where I received invaluable feedback (more on that story soon) and the new title, Be Chief.
To Ann Maynard, who took over for Nils to bring the book where it needed to be based on Johnson’s advice. To Margaret McBride, for helping me get my book to where it is today, for bringing my book to Penguin, St. Martin’s Press, and Hachette, all three publishers that later declined, but not before showing enthusiasm that Margaret interpreted as leading to a possible “bidding war.”
To the many readers who provided additional feedback on the book to help me understand what they wanted from the book and how I could give it to them. And finally, to Justin Sachs at Motivational Press, who is publishing my book this September.
What a ride! I am grateful.
Be Chief is a manual for unleashing power—a power available to anyone—in your organization to drive sustainable growth. Pre-order it today.