Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Eddie Mac about his career, what inspires him, and the work that went into his new book, Relationship Leadership.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
Born in Western Kentucky, I grew up in a low income and mixed-race neighborhood. I would not trade it for any other experience.
I was first exposed to Leadership while playing high school football, where I witnessed fellow players and coaches lead their team to a State Championship title. As an athlete, I was held to a higher standard on and off the field. Along with this Integrity, I learned about Communication, Respect, and Camaraderie. As I saw the athlete brotherhood develop, strengthen, and ultimately become a team of champions, I knew the impact would be with me for the rest of my life.
After high school, I attended college before entering a career in law enforcement. During my 20 years of service, I earned the rank of Administrative Captain and completed several hundred hours of advanced Leadership and executive development training. I was a S.W.A.T. Commander, Shift Commander, and Administrator of other specialty units. These included Bomb Squad, D.A.R.E., and Field Training.
As my law enforcement career ended, I felt my Leadership knowledge had culminated to the point that I could help others with their Leadership journey. After several more years of research and education, I decided it was time to develop a Leadership model that is simple and powerful. With a focus on new leaders, and the goal of being easy to understand and repeatedly used, Relationship Leadership was born.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
When I retired from law enforcement in 2008, I wrote a 10-page outline for a book idea. However, life continued to happen and I did not write the book. The idea of writing a book never left me. In retrospect, I’m glad I did not write a book at that time because it would have nothing like the Relationship Leadership book I ultimately wrote.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I began seriously evaluating the writing of my book in September of 2020.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
I did research first and then started writing. The research began in September 2020, and I began writing in January of 2021. The actual writing took about 9 months.
What made you want to write Relationship Leadership?
As I evaluated my position in life, and the fact of a goal (writing my book) incomplete, I felt it was time to get started. As I had time to write it, I realized it was time.
As for the subject of Leadership, this was the subject I had the most firsthand knowledge of. During most of my professional career I had either personally trained others and/or overseen training programs. Additionally, the only books I read are Leadership and self-help/improvement. So, I was very confident with my knowledge and could deliver my message in the proper form that anyone could grasp.
With this, I strongly felt (feel) that so many people just getting started in Leadership can benefit from my book, and I want to HELP! Relationship Leadership is where Leadership begins. In doing my research, I identified that almost no Leadership books address how/where to get started.
From here I researched what a newly promoted leader looks like (my audience/reader). So, I wrote a book primarily for the 20 – 40 year old that has just been promoted to Leadership. My book is very visual (this group is mostly visual learners because they grew up playing video games), witty, and culturally aware of workforce diversity. This is what the target reader identifies with.
In my book, there are two main characters. The one everyone wants to follow and always gets Leadership right is a person of color. The character that everyone LOVES to HATE is white. The CEO & COO are female, most every nationality is represented through various character names, and there is mention of a lesbian wedding. The book is not industry specific, and the Leadership principles can be applied in any profession and in personal life.
Although written for a specific reader, the Leadership principles apply to anyone in a Leadership position.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Relationship Leadership?
I knew absolutely nothing about writing a book. I mean NOTHING. I had to learn everything from formatting to cover design. Being an Indie Author on a shoestring budget, I had no choice because I could not afford the large expense of having everything done for me.
What was your research process for Relationship Leadership?
I began online researching how to write a book. This included blogs, YouTube videos, other books, etc. I became a sponge on the topic and digested any media that explained how to write a book. Often, I revisited the same media many times. Additionally, I looked at many of the books I owned to gain insight of how I wanted my book to look and read.
How did you plan the structure of Relationship Leadership?
As previously stated, I looked at the books I owned and went to bookstores to look at others. From here, I decided on paragraph style, spacing, font, font size, images, cover design, footnotes, referencing, etc.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Relationship Leadership need?
I received support for editing mainly through two sources. Both are graduate level professionals. One is a college professor and the other had been a college professor. After what I considered a final edit and printing, as I suspected would happen, I found a few errors. I chose to leave them because it synced with Chapter 9 (Less Than Perfect) in my book. In this chapter I discuss the pursuit of perfection and reference that as much editing as was done there are probably a few errors, and that I’m okay with it.
I learned (confirmed) that regardless the amount of editing, there are always going to be errors. I have read many best sellers (multi-million copies) and always seem to find an error or two. With this I figure I’m in good company and a member of the club.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Go for it! Regardless of the obstacles before you, find a way!
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Right now I have no plans to write another book. I am currently developing a corporate training course stemming from the book and will focus on this for now. However, I do have some ideas for a second writing.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Considering I knew NOTHING about writing a book, I am very proud of the accomplishment. Yes, it was well worth the effort.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Relationship Leadership: How New Leaders Harness the Power of Leading with Strong Relationships is available on all major online retailers. On most sites it’s available in paperback, digital, and audiobook. It currently only available in hardback through Amazon.com.
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