Don’t Give Up

Companies that invest in their employees know personal development translates into organizational success.

Not surprisingly, the list of corporate clients that have turned to longtime management consultant Dr. Kay Potetz for leadership training is vast. Think Cleveland Clinic, Marriott International, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Rubbermaid, Kent State University, the American Lung Association, and more.

After hearing her speak, people within these organizations would ask Kay if she’d written her ideas down. For a long time, the answer was no. Kay had a huge barrier to overcome before she could publish the first two books in her personal leadership trilogy: her own self-described “stinkin’ thinkin.’”

Negative self-talk in the form of “I’m not a writer; how can I do this?” gave her a decade’s worth of trouble. This experience was not merely frustrating, Kay reveals. It was the worst part of crafting and publishing her two books.

Yet Kay persevered. Eventually, like many authors, she found that the process of writing was in fact a creative one. She explains, “Now I’m always interested in seeing what emerges as I write.”

With the aide of a writing coach, Kay published the acclaimed Take It Back: The Personal Power You Give Away Each Day in 2012 and Don’t Ever Let It Go: Hanging on to Your Personal Power in the Turmoil of the Twenty-first Century in 2017. She expects to publish her third book, What’s Your Part in It?, in 2019.

Kay explains that when she published her first book, she had no expectations regarding its impact. She merely wanted to be able to respond affirmatively to those clients who kept asking if she’d written any of her tips and insights down.

What she found was that being a published author promptly gave her presence and authority. She explains, “People think you’re brilliant if you’ve written a book. It gives you an immediate air and makes your business more acceptable.”

Now semi-retired but still in demand for her leadership training seminars and management expertise, Kay finds it convenient to sell her books at conferences and lectures, through her website at, and in eBook form on Kindle and Amazon.

She expects to begin her third book in early 2018, again with the help of her writing coach. She took out an ad in Psychology Today to publicize her first two books. This time, she’s considering hiring a marketing firm to help with promotion.

She muses, “People are thrilled to associate with those who have written a book. That’s why I tell first-time business book authors, ‘Don’t give up. Don’t let your own stinkin’ thinkin’ prevent you from putting your ideas down on paper.” She adds, “Like me, you might be surprised at what a difference it makes in terms of your credibility and in meeting the expectations of your clients.”

Kay’s advice to organizations—“Invest in your employees … Invest in yourself!”—are words she clearly takes to heart.


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