Author leadership lessons from a book coach for entrepreneurs because as authors we are businesses unto ourselves. 

“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

John A. Shedd

As a book coach for entrepreneurs, memoirists, fiction authors – really, anyone with a big vision and a will to write it into reality – I am always looking for opportunities to carry business lessons over to Author World. This is my little way of constantly reminding authors – you are a business and brand unto yourself (if you expect to sell books anyway). Strategize and act accordingly. 

To that end, I consume entrepreneurial content as much as I do content about writing and publishing. Leading Blog, one of the email newsletters that I read regularly, recently shared an article called “The Five B’s of Purposeful Leadership” excerpted from a book called The Heart of Business by former CEO of Best Buy Hubert Joly. Skimming through the list, I saw opportunities to convert the principles for authors, so away we go!

#1: Clarity of Purpose

The first leadership principle from the blog reads: “Be clear about your purpose, the purpose of people around you, and how it connects with the purpose of the company.” 

Here’s my adaptation for authors: Be clear about the core purpose of your book, your purpose as the author of that book, and how it connects with the purpose, goals, and desires of your readers. 

Alignment is the magic word here. Because as Bob Burg, my guest on the March 16th episode of Your Daily Writing Habit, my daily podcast for authors, pointed out, our readers don’t particularly care why WE want them to read our books – they read our books for their OWN reasons. It’s our job to find out what those reasons are, and be of service those reasons.

#2: Role as an Author

From Leading blog: “Be clear about your role as a leader.” 

For authors: Be clear about your role as an author. And there is no universal role so I’m asking you to determine what YOU believe the role of an author is. And YOU as an author, fit into that. Something to journal on. 

#3: Your Audience

From Leading Blog: “Be clear about whom you serve.” 

For authors: Be clear about your readers – who they are, what they want, and what they want from YOUR book. What change, transformation, or lesson are they seeking that you could offer them? And if your target reader is yourself, answer those same questions about yourself!

#4: Values Driven

From Leading blog: “Be driven by values.” 

For authors: Be driven by your core creative values as an author. No matter what type of book you’re writing, when you’re online promoting your book or anywhere else you’re representing yourself and your books. Know which core creative values you represent and represent them in everything you do. Your readers will sense the alignment between you and your books. And here’s a cool exercise to help determine your core values!

#5: Be YOU

Finally, from Leading blog: “Be authentic.” 

For authors: This should be rather self explanatory – be yourself. Stephen King and Elizabeth Gilbert are already taken. 

Related Articles:

A Skill To Bet On

One Thing I Wish My (Entrepreneurial) Grandfather Had Left Behind

Seeing Through a Bigger Lens


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