A Diamond in the Rough – How to Skillfully Write a Trade Book about a Leadership Topic

In 1949, in the Broadway production of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Carol Channing originally released a jazz song called “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Later, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” was popularized by this same 1949 song sung by Marilyn Monroe in the film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. 1

What does a song about women and diamonds have to do with writing a leadership trade topic book? As a metaphor for diamond mining, the same would be true when discovering a vital leadership topic. The research discovered in various topics will bring out specially crafted diamonds women could eventually wear. In a simple dive into research about diamond mines, I found there are more than ten largest diamond mines in the world, in countries like Angola, Botswana, Africa, Canada, and Russia, to name a few. Diamond pieces are found in rock and dug into the earth to create large type craters. Large quantities have been found and then sold as a consumer product.

There are various cuts and clarity of diamonds, and the same is true for being a thought leader in discussing leadership topics. What topic would you write about? My favorites are subjects in Leadership Development. However, according to Intelligent Relations.com they report there are six trending topics to consider in the leadership discussion such as Sustainable Leadership, Navigating ESG Practices for a Greener Future, The AI Revolution, Charting Ethical Waters in Machine Learning, Remote Work Renaissance: Crafting the Future of Work Beyond in the Office, Wellness Warriors: Leading the Charge in Mental Health Advocacy, Inclusivity Imperative: Diving Deep into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Corporate Citizenship: Sailing Towards Social Responsibility and Impact. 2

When considering writing a trade book on a subject of leadership we will look at the purpose and goal for writing this book by first considering who you are as an author and then who your audience will be.

What type of voice will you be writing as some authors write in a professional or causal tone. Consider the tone in which you will reach your audience. What will your tone be like? Your desire to be a well-known thought leader and write in a professional tone to supporting leadership empowering organizations with purpose. In considering a parallel like someone digging for diamonds you—as a writer will want to begin digging for pieces of rock to then we collected, be fired which later results in a beautifully fine carat diamond for purchase.

When writing a trade book on a leadership topic, define your purpose in writing and determine who your audience will be. Writing a book is a grand undertaking for any author because you must first consider the costs of writing a book; Jesus explained to the disciples about counting the costs to follow him with the metaphor of building a tower, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?” 3

You will begin by designing the message to your target audience and clearly define what you desire to discuss from the content you gather. The tone in this an innovation book called The Myths of Innovation, the author, Scott Berkun, has a humorous, sarcastic, and matter-of-fact tone, which I thoroughly enjoyed. His colorful writing style captured my attention with various stories added in. 4

Next, you will begin to dig into research to gather specific insights exploring gaps in leadership subjects to expound on. A thought leader in leadership will look further into perspectives and bring insightful information to gain the reader’s attention and manage descriptions of personal experiences. In your research, seek more detailed information to present as the narrative because, as a leader, you can leave actionable steps for readers to utilize for their respective organizations.

When digging for diamonds in the earth, the mine will go deeper to delve into your unique perspective, which will take some time and pressure. How will you present your research in a specific detailed leadership philosophy? Will you use historic data and details, personal narrative, or case studies? You understand thought leaders will take time to reveal their designs. Once diamonds are found, they will become intricate details of fine jewelry, from rings, bracelets, and necklaces. The research you represent will prepare your reader for extraordinary, insightful perspectives apart from others. The question to yourself is—do you desire to stand out from the crowd? Enter the purposeful outline to guide your writing process and establish the depth and flow of the knowledge you possess or discover. Also, consider your hook point, storytelling efficiently shows people the value you or a product has to offer. 5 How will you engage your reader from the beginning to captivate your audience and make them pay attention? How will you inspire your readers to continue to read your book cover to cover? The key to a great trade book in leadership is to write compelling content because your words should create the power to act, leaving a lasting impression. Remember to take your time because a well- written leadership trade book should last more than a lifetime.

Once your manuscript is written, the cutting and refining of your work then editing and proofing process will take the most time and attention. Getting proper feedback from professionals is essential because reading work with errors is challenging. The last step as you complete your leadership book is to research every opportunity for a buyer of your work. There are several steps to publishing and various publishing options—traditional, hybrid, online, or self-publishing. You may consider hiring a literary consultant for support and guidance. With the proper publishing support, you will be aligned to build your platform to market your work through a website, social media presence, speaking engagements, by connecting your work with your audience. The right professional publishing company can prepare you for success and significantly impact your launch day.

Finally, writing a thought-provoking leadership trade book is like digging deep into the earth for diamonds. In an aerial view of one of the most popular diamond mines, you will see more than one crater unearthed for some of the most expensive treasures in today's jewelry stores. The leadership trends are different from those of yesteryear due to technological advances. You are on the right path to continue the conversations, sharing insightful perspectives and evolving various subjects and wisdom gained through experience. Nevertheless, sharing your leadership in a trade book will continue to inspire change and leave a lasting impact on your audience. Let your rare diamonds shine for all to read!



1 Official, A. (2023, May 8). The History and Significance of a “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Medium.com. Retrieved from
2 Intelligent Relations Team. (2023, October 11). 6 Thought Leaders Topics Trending in 2024. [Ideas + Examples]. IntelligentRelations.com.
Retrieved from https://intelligentrelations.com/insights/thought-leadership-topics/
3 Spirit Filled-Life Bible. 3 rd Ed. (2018). The Holy Bible. New King James Version. Thomas Nelson.
4 Berkun, S. (2010). The Myths of Innovation. O’Reilly.
5 Kane, B. (2020). Hook Point. How to Stand Out In A 3-Second World. Brendan Kane.