My most recent book is Real Leaders Wear Pink: The Power Starters Guide to Leadership Success. It is a realistic approach with real life examples, from the PTA to the Boardroom you can effectively lead a team. These tactics can be leveraged in parenting, business, life and relationships. Realistic leadership is about growing continually and making course corrections along the way. Tap into your inner power by becoming a R.E.A.L. leader that wears P.I.N.K. (Realistic, Effective, Authentic, Leader Led, Powerful, Innovative, Natural, Knowledgeable)
Tell us something about yourself.
Dr. Donna is a walking billboard for everyday leadership success. Using 15 years of wit, sass, hard work, determination, sweat, finesse, and class, Dr. Donna applies colorful leadership principles to accomplish the impossible. Dr. Donnas’ book R.E.A.L. Leader’s Wear P.I.N.K. is a life changing account of failure, falling and excelling. If you want to learn how to take lemon’s, make lemonade and then sell it for a profit, you need to ask Dr. Donna because she has the answer! From the hood to the suburbs Dr. Donna broke free and you can too! Dr. Donna leads with style. Having conducted 15 years of research she understands the components of achieving leadership success. Dr. Donna has the ability to transform people and organizations. Her realistic approach in every situation is different than most. By using The Colorful Leadership Principles she has developed, now the everyday leader can become extraordinary. Dr. Donna was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. Dr. Donna attended Detroit Public Schools and was awarded a ROTC scholarship to attend college. After Graduating from College, Dr. Donna served in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer. Additionally Dr. Donna spent 9 years in Corporate America working for Frito-Lay. This work experience translates into one word, Success.
Her vision is: “From the PTA to the Boardroom anyone can lead! Because Leaders are made not born!”
B.S. Public Law and Government
M.S. Criminal Justice
Ed.D Organizational Leadership
What inspired you to write this book?
My experience was that most people had been placed in leadership roles with no clue how to lead. My path to leadership was a fluke, I joined JROTC to forego PE in high school and ended up loving it. But I was a terrible awful leader and realized that others could learn from the error of my ways. I also realized having conducted extensive study and research that most leadership material is intimidating to the everyday person, there was a gap in leadership at the “local” level. It was at that point in 2008 that I decided I would take my experience, education, and normalcy use it to write a book for everyone. From the PTA to the boardroom anyone can apply the information in the book and achieve success.
How did you choose the title?
The original title was 101 tools to achieve leadership success. I googled the title and there were a million titles that were similar. I tried nine other titles and to no avail they all had similar titles. In that moment I decided from my Military and Corporate experience that adults use acronyms often so I developed a title that had a double meaning it peeks your interest because it implies that only women can be real leaders and second the REAL and the PINK are acronyms. The book is broken down into eight sections comprised of the acronyms REAL and PINK. This has proven to be invaluable to the reader.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
I self published the book because I knew that finding a publisher would be time consuming and books may have never been published. My sister has written a book, I used her editor, cover designer and printer. The entire process took about 11 months to write, editor, and publish the book. It cost less than $1,000.00. The time would have been shorter but I was working a full-time corporate job during the process.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I began to love writing while working on my Doctrine. I had no choice those writing assignments forced me to develop as a writer. The average paper was between 25-35 pages. I found my voice early on and realized that this was a skill that was necessary but I enjoyed it. I liked conducting the research and starting with one word, then transforming the pages into information that was useful. I write everyday now even its only a blog or a post on my fan page.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I don’t think this is a ritual, but I know that I write better in Starbucks. I am not sure if it’s the energy of the people coming in and out of the fact that I have to work to focus and it causes me to become very creative. The words just come out of my fingers like rain.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned that writing is re-writing and that “No tears on the writer, no tears on the reader. I spent 14 years in the military and corporate America and so I became very use to information download. I had to learn as a writer you have to recreate the moment and then describe the feeling in that moment this is how the reader understands your message. Without using this method you are simply putting words on a page. I had to be willing to become transparent and there was so much growth in the process. I have so many people tell me how their lives have changed because of my book and how it felt as if I was having a conversation with them. That was my intent and it worked. That is my writing voice, I want to converse with the reader they need to feel like leadership is something that they can do with their eyes closed, it’s really working.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would not do anything differently if I had to do it all over again. The one belief that I have is that we are constantly learning as we grow. If I changed anything about the process I don’t believe that the book would have became what it needed to be. I would not be who I am and the lessons learned are just as valuable as the finished product. “No life regrets on life moments!”
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I like to read biographies, books on grow and development, and great fictional writers. The professional development and biographies allow me to continue to develop as a leadership expert. The fictional books allow me to hone my story telling skills and my writing voice.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am actually working on two new books. One is focused on Time Management and the other is daily devotion focused on leadership quotes and anecdotes that I have developed. My platform is colorful leadership and every book will help others become colorful and vibrant in their goal to achieve leadership success.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
I would tell writers to self publish because it gets them going. Then they can shop their book for the “Big publishing deals.” I would also tell them to be honest, tell their truth and convey the message that they want to share with the world. “No tears on the writer, no tears on the reading.” The need to write with meaning, feeling and purpose, then they know that they will be successful.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The perfect reader for my book is someone that is ready to take control of their lives and begin to lead every day; someone who no longer views themselves as a victim but a victor.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
It can be ordered at Barnes & Noble’s customer service desk and on Amazon.com.