Book Interview with Dr. Sam Adeyemi “Dear Leader: Your Flagship Guide to Successful Leadership”

Atlanta-based Dr. Sam Adeyemi is CEO of Sam Adeyemi, GLC, Inc. and founder and executive director of Daystar Leadership Academy (DLA). More than 45,000 alumni have graduated from DLA programs, and more than 3 million CEOs and high performing individuals follow him on top social media sites. Dr. Sam’s new book is “Dear Leader: Your Flagship Guide to Successful Leadership.” He holds a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Virginia’s Regent University, and is a member of the International Leadership Association. He and his wife, Nike (say Nee keh) have three children. Learn more at

Book cover

The Title of Your Book:

Dear Leader: Your Flagship Guide to Successful Leadership

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Why did you write the book?

The COVID pandemic taught the world a very important lesson: leadership matters. When uncertainty was at an all-time high and a host of diverse complications were cropping up on an almost daily basis, only the most successful and empathetic leaders were able to take decisive action and avoid the worst of what was coming. Unfortunately, many leaders found themselves overwhelmed by the novel challenges and expectations of such world-shaking events.

This book is a lesson in the most fundamental traits of every successful leader. It is a toolkit for the world’s executives and CEOs — a toolkit that better prepares them for the pandemics and problems of the future.

What was your biggest surprise or aha moment when writing your book?

Before I wrote a single word of this book, I already knew it needed to provide serious guidance on multigenerational leadership. In my decades as a strategic coach, I had seen firsthand the very real divides that exist between the different age groups working within most every organization. But I don’t think I fully understood the extent of this divide until I did the research and put pen to paper.

Without the right leadership, different generations of workers can quickly start to feel like they are speaking completely separate languages.

This is why multigenerational leadership is quickly becoming so critical. After all, by 2030 Gen Z is going to account for nearly 30% ( of the global talent pool.

Who is your ideal audience for the book?

Everyone is affected by leadership, and everyone reading these words will assume a leadership role, either big or small, at some point in their life. Becoming a more inspiring and effective leader can be a gamechanger for just about anyone, but my message is perhaps most fitting for those ambitious professionals who often find their leadership being tested on a larger scale.

These individuals operate in high stakes situations where their leadership choices have serious consequences across teams, departments, and entire organizations. Their definitions of success and their approach to professional development have a direct impact on their employees. Their ability to support innovation and reward quality work in a consistent and equitable way is paramount to a trusting working culture.

Tell us, how do you deal with fear?

Fear is the death of innovation. Fear must be purged from your workplace if your organization is going to achieve its full potential. A successful leader alleviates fear by showing support for those team members who take risks and even sometimes make mistakes.

This isn’t just a vague sentiment, either. Over 85% of executives think fear stifles innovation and progress at their organization. This is why the best executives are often the most supportive and the most forgiving. They understand that fear and innovation are equally strong powers in shaping your working culture.

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Tell us, how do you deal with rejection?

I’m a bit of a Charlie Brown when it comes to rejection. I welcome it. However, unlike our lovable loser who never quite learns his lesson, I make it a point to evolve in response to each failure.

Elvis was told by a concert hall manager to “go back to driving trucks.” Walt Disney was once fired from his job as a cartoonist for “not being creative enough.” Nintendo’s Virtual Boy was such a commercial and critical failure that it is mocked and ridiculed to this day.

Failure and rejection are a natural part of success. The most inspiring leaders transform these rejections into moments of growth.

Tell us two concepts or ideas you want the reader to takeaway?

For starters, everyone can lead. One of the most destructive and counterproductive thoughts we have about modern leadership is that there is some singular individual chosen or destined to lead the group. Every single member of every single group has the strength and skills necessary to take on the mantle of leadership. Each path to successful leadership might look a bit different, but the path is there — and never impassable.

Why? Because good leadership is no more than a set of learned skills well within reach for everyone: Transparent communication. Active listening. Generational empathy. These are the traits that define the best leaders, and each one is something that can be practiced and perfected over time no matter your professional style or place within your organization.

Name one of the biggest challenges you have faced writing your book and how did you overcome it?

The enormity of what leadership means to people in diverse situations and how it shows up was my biggest challenge I had. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and the organizations they lead are just as diverse as the executives behind the wheel. While there are priceless and universal lessons to be learned from these circumstances, it is often difficult to discern what these instances have in common when their goals, resources, and beliefs are so different.

In my decades as a strategic coach, I’ve offered insight to a wide range of executives from a variety of industries both in developed and developing economies. It is my mission to drill down to the fundamental and shared truths that make these leaders successful, then impart that wisdom to the reader.

What’s a personal self-talk, mantra, affirmation, or self-belief that contributes to your success?

“Connect with people, not the process.”
As leaders, we are often concerned with two basic things: the process and the result. What are the steps we need to take? What’s going to happen if we succeed? To the untrained eye, these are the two major variables that overtly determine success.

That said, your process and your results are all part of a people-driven effort. Everything your organization achieves is accomplished by people, and it can be all too easy for up-and-coming leaders to forget this essential fact in their pursuit of the most efficient process and the most profitable result.

If a leader wants to make substantive, sustainable change, it starts with people, not with the process.

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How can people contact you?

3-4 Keywords or Tags, separated by commas,  you want associated with your book?

Empathetic leadership, multigenerational management, innovative leadership, diverse leadership









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