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Retired Sgt. Maj. Craig Keith pens transformative guide to leadership

What motivated you to put a book together for the community based on your experiences?

I came up with the title because I understand that most people go to school to get this education because the world society has told us if you check these blocks, this will make you successful. Most people go out and check these blocks to become successful so that they get this high-paying job with the big title. Most of that is about themselves. So I did Serving to Lead because it’s an oxymoron.

Nobody goes into this wanting to be this big-time CEO of this company to take care [of] and serve others, their subordinates. Being in the military, I’ve seen so much loyalty. I’ve gained so much trust, so much respect by making sure I understand Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I understand how each person wants their future to be. What I do to make sure that they’re happy about their future is to provide them a good snapshot of where their life is going to be. It’s my responsibility to make sure that I raised up my replacements and they’ll feel good about that.

How was the process of putting your book together?

It took a while because I’m not a natural-born writer. I said to myself, I’m going to close my door at 5 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, and I’m going to either write something down or record something and I did that for six months. Then I started trying to frame it like this could be a chapter [and] this could be a title of a chapter, and it started to shape itself. Then I started adding body to it and putting things in the proper context. Eventually, it morphed into what we have today, Serving to Lead.

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