Intimate Conversation with Dawn McCoy

Dawn McCoy, the leadership guru, and is president of Flourish Leadership Group. She a nationally-recognized speaker and author of Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider's Guide to Success. She was among the youngest African-Americans elected to the Sacramento City Unified School Board of Trustees, one the nation’s top fifty largest school systems. She has been legislative aide and nonprofit executive. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and master’s degree from Georgetown University.

BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
My grandmother and my aunts are my mentors. They are the ones who have inspired me to write because of their legacy sewing quilts. For years, I’ve watched them weave together from scrap materials and clothing creative home-spun blankets, quilts, and wall-hangings. From fabric and decorative embellishments, they have created stories that come alive. When I received a quilted square handed down from a great-great aunt, I knew I had obligation to tell a story a story using my creativity.

Leadership Building Blocks came to me as a way to both tell my story about life in public office and the local political landscape. In the process, I shared lessons learned with the intent to help others get in, survive, and manage leadership roles.

BPM: Introduce us to the primary message in your book.
Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success  outlines seven strategies to help ordinary people become extraordinary leaders and achieve success. These seven strategies include vision, balance, courage, dynamic creativity (relationship building), fortitude, and infinite possibilities (legacy). It is an inspirational account based on leadership lessons Dawn McCoy learned as an elected Sacramento City Unified School board trustee. Readers get step-by-step procedures about leadership including pictorial images, leadership self-assessments, and goal-setting worksheets. Purchase at Amazon today!

Leadership Building Blocks includes seven strategies essential to bring about success.  These include Vision, Balance, Courage, Dynamic Creativity, Everything Global, Fortitude, and Legacy.

Also included:
• vision is forecasting,
• balance is maintaining focus between personal and professional worlds,
• courage refers to persevering during difficulties,
• dynamic creativity describes flexibility,
• everything global is about really connecting with people,
• fortitude describes crisis management and communication skills, and finally
• legacy is about gracefully rounding any leadership journey.

BPM: What led you to create this book now?
It was so interesting while writing Leadership Building Blocks to discover how pivotal my service as an elected school board member REALLY was. After serving 52,000 Sacramento students in a school district ranked as one of the top 50 largest in the nation, I felt compelled to help other current and aspiring leaders in a meaningful way.  Even with the high-profile and public school district challenges that I talk about in the book, I wanted to share lessons learned, the inside track per se, about how to manage any leadership journey. Writing Leadership Building Blocks after I did not seek re-election was a cathartic experience. It brought forth this process to help others to courageously face adversity, to build solid relationships, and to maintain their integrity.

BPM: Who did you write this book for? Why?
What’s so unique about Leadership Building Blocks is that it’s a practical resource for everyday people. First, this book is useful for beginners and seasoned veterans alike. This book was written to guide high school and college students who are at the beginning or turning points along their leadership paths. On a practical level, this book is written specifically for nonprofit directors and neighborhood team captains, political leaders and entrepreneurs, and PTA moms and even t-ball dads.

BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
Leadership Building Blocks is an essential guide for how good people in leadership positions become extraordinary leaders. Too often we hear about leaders making bad decisions. This book is the perfect solution to bring integrity back to leadership. It’s based upon my experiences in political office. It is filled with kernels of wisdom, chapter-by-chapter icons, and self-assessments. What makes Leadership Building Blocks so distinct is that it will inspire you to jump in, take on, or tackle any leadership role.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Last fall, I rolled out a new audio CD, Effective Community Engagement: Seven Steps to Make a Real Difference. Included are excerpts from chapter 13 of Leadership Building Blocks and also concrete ways about how to become a better champion for a cause, community group, or faith-based organization. These step-by-step techniques are timeless insights to help people really take action rather than just talk about it.

Right now, I’m excited to be on a national tour for Leadership Building Blocks speaking at conferences and visiting local bookstores and colleges.  This includes lectures and book signings in New York, Baltimore, Richmond, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. It’s really an exciting time!

BPM: How can our readers reach you online?
Readers can reach me on at:

Dawn McCoy, President and CEO Flourish Leadership Group, LLC
Motivational Speaker, Leadership Consultant, and Author of Leadership
Building Blocks: An Insider's Guide to Success
"Empower Effective Leaders for Today and Tomorrow"

Purchase at

Purchase at

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