Author Interview ~ Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D

Featured Interview with Professor M. S. Rao Ph.D.

So, Professor Rao, where do you call home?
I live in India.

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?
I am a fulltime author. I deliver keynotes and training programs upon request.

What is your family like?
I have a wife and two sons.

If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
It was a hut. I hailed from a poor family background. I rose from humble origins.

It’s impressive that coming from such a poor background, you’ve been able to do so much with your own success. Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?
I go to the gym every day because I am a fitness freak.

That’s great. Like most people, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to get into the gym more. I’d love to just be passionate about working out like you. So, tell me, what is your greatest dream?
To become the President of India.

WOW, those are so high expectations. Obviously, you feel you are the right kind of person for that job. So, what kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
I want to become a global ambassador for peace and prosperity. It is always the external challenges that prevent me from accomplishing my goals.

Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love?
My first love is reading books.

Well stated. What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Many terrible things happened to me since childhood.

I can understand if you don’t wish to go into detail, I will respect your privacy on that one. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
My passion to share knowledge with the world free inspires me to write. I became an author from the year 2010.

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
I had a dream to serve my nation since my childhood and I served in the Indian Air Force.

Who is your role model?
No role model but Abraham Lincoln is my inspiration since my childhood.

That’s very interesting. You don’t hear a lot of people name Abraham Lincoln as their inspiration. What is your greatest fear?
Most times, things don’t happen the way I want. My life is full of struggles and sufferings.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and more often than not things don’t turn out how we hope they will. So, as a reader, do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?

Have you ever read a book more than once?
Sometimes I read books a second time if I don’t understand the essence or if the book is very good.

What is your opinion of novellas?
No opinion.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?

What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Management, Leadership, and Self-Help.

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
My award-winning book, ‘21 Success Sutras for CEOs’ URL:

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Work is Love Made Visible by Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Sarah McArthur. Hard copy.

If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and Barack Obama because they inspired the world.

Four amazing choices, thank you.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
“Soft Leadership: An Innovative Leadership Style to Resolve Conflicts Amicably through Soft Skills and Negotiation Skills to Achieve Global Stability, Peace and Prosperity” URL: This book introduces and explores soft leadership to achieve global stability, security, peace, and prosperity. It explains the causes, effects, and remedies for global conflicts and wars. It draws a blueprint to resolve conflicts amicably. It offers innovative negotiation tools and techniques for soft leaders to resolve conflicts amicably. It illustrates with inspiring examples of great global leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. It emphasizes Mahatma Gandhi’s twin principles of truth and non-violence. It implores to replace religion with love to build a better world. It implores to love your mother but don’t hate another person’s mother.

perf6.000x9.000.inddIs the above book part of a series?
It is exploration of ‘Soft Leadership’ from the perspective of global peace and prosperity.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?
The publisher designed it.

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?
I write books when there is peace and tranquillity.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
It is based on the content in the book and search engine optimization.

What first gave you the idea for your latest book?
I wrote articles on global peace and prosperity. Since I am known globally as the father of “Soft Leadership” I applied this innovative leadership perspective to achieve global peace and prosperity.

That is interesting that you are known globally as the father of “Soft Leadership”. You must be a renowned expert in your field. What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
A plotter. I create a tentative outline of the book and write. I take deviations during the process of writing and retitle the book accordingly after completion of the book.

Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time?
Publishing books is a big challenge as I have to search for publishers. Getting timely endorsements and forewords from apt celebrities globally is another major challenge.

Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?
Traditional publishing company.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
I have not received any advice from others to write books. However, I advise upcoming authors as follows: Be passionate about writing. Be patient and persistent. You cannot expect results overnight. It takes years of efforts and energies to excel as an author.

That is excellent advice, thank you for sharing it with our readers. If my reads are interested in following you, where can they find you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.
I am very active on social media platforms. I share lots of articles on my LinkedIn and my blog ‘Vision 2030’ freely without any charge. When you google my name as ‘Professor M S Rao’ you will find my social media platforms. You can follow and read free articles. My books are also available on Amazon. Here are the links of my social media platforms to join and share with your connections.
Vision 2030:
Facebook Page:
Google Plus:
Soft Leadership:

Can you explain your Vision 2030: One Million Global Leaders?
I served in the Indian Air Force due to love toward my nation and passion for the uniform. I served for some years and acquired several qualifications including DME, BSc, MA, PGDCLL, PGDBM, and MBA. After I left the Indian Air Force, I pursued research and earned a Ph.D. in Soft Skills in 2011. I led a painful life both in defense and civil as I was born into a poor family and encountered innumerable challenges in my personal, professional and social life. Additionally, I encountered some rogue relatives who were responsible for financial challenges to me, my wife and two sons. While serving in the Indian Air Force I acquired knowledge on leadership as military makes the best leaders due to the kind of tough training soldiers receive and the kind of unique challenges they encounter during war and peace. Hence, I developed a passion for leadership. While serving in the Indian Air Force, I did not appreciate the way things were happening in India due to the unscrupulous politicians dividing society in the name of region, religion, caste, and communities. Additionally, lots of money goes into the private coffers of politicians rather than reaching to the poor people in India. I was very much disturbed with the conditions in the Indian society. In fact, corruption has become cancer to the Indian society. Hence, I thought to train leaders with a global mindset to enable them to develop the nation, promote fraternity and work for global peace and prosperity.

I entered into the teaching profession as educational institutions are the ideal places to shape students and equip them with leadership skills and abilities. Second, I focused on students as they are in teenage, and they can be molded easily as leaders the way military recruits the young cadets and grooms them as soldiers and leaders. I started getting overwhelming support from students as they were inspired during my teaching and training programs in educational institutions. Students loved me and crowned me with a title, ‘Professor M.S. Rao is Born for the Students’ URL:

As a leadership researcher, I do a lot of research on various leadership styles and how leadership can be used for the benefit of global society. During my research I came to know that there is a looming leadership challenge globally due to the retirement of baby boomers (old people) and the Gen Y who is also known with different names including millennials (young people born between 1980 and 2000) are not geared up with global leadership challenges due to lack of effective leadership development training programs. That means when the experienced leaders exit from service there is an alarming leadership vacuum globally as the young inexperienced people are not ready in the leadership pipeline to take up the leadership roles and responsibilities. Although it is a threat globally, I viewed it as an opportunity to contribute my best. I decided to train students as global leaders to enable them to grow with leadership skills and abilities. So far, I have taught and trained more than 35,000 people. I started taking the support of social media to articulate my vision and share my articles and videos regularly URL: on my social media accounts. Since I belong to Gen X (middle age) I can serve as a link between the baby boomers (old people) and the Gen Y (young people) to bridge this global leadership deficit. I considered my age and experience in military and academia, and above all, my interest in leadership and passion for students an opportunity to serve students to groom them as global leaders. Hence, I pray to God to give me health, knowledge, wisdom, strength, and lifespan to build one million students as global leaders by 2030.

authorAuthor Bio:
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. International Leadership Guru
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with 38 years of experience and the author of over 45 books including the award-winning ‘21 Success Sutras for CEOs’ URL: He is a C-Suite advisor and a sought-after keynote speaker globally. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications. His vision is to build one million students as global leaders by 2030 URL: He advocates gender equality globally (#HeForShe). He was honored as an upcoming International Leadership Guru by Global Gurus URL: He serves as an Advisor and Judge for several prestigious international organizations including Global Leadership Awards in Malaysia and Middle East Business Leaders Summits & Awards in Dubai. He coined an innovative teaching tool―Meka’s Method; leadership training tool―11E Leadership Grid; and leadership learning tool―Soft Leadership Grid. He invests his time in authoring books and blogging on executive education, learning and leadership. Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs including He is a prolific author and a dynamic, energetic and inspirational leadership speaker. He can be reached at

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Comment below if you have additional questions for Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.


woman reading book

Photo by Pixabay on


• Cover Design – YES, people do judge books by their covers! The cover is your books first impression, if people don’t like it they aren’t going to pick it up to read the back blurb (2nd impression).

• Detailed Editing – The more editing the better! Readers will give your book on average 1-3 chapters to impress them, often less.

• Strong Story – Some editing issues can be forgiven as long as your story is strong.

• Marketing – You should start marketing your book at least 6 months prior to the actual book release date.

I want to know your thoughts too!!! Comment below and share your suggestions for ensuring a successful book launch and consistent sales after your book has been published!

How do you find a good book?


As an indie-author, I’m interested in how my readers find my books and knowing which of my marketing efforts are effective. On the flip side, I’d like to know how readers, who haven’t yet found my books, find the books they gravitate toward.

I did a little research. Then, I did a little more. What I found was a list of different ways authors can promote their books. I’m not yet doing them all, but I just might need to add a few more to my list.




  • News paper and magazine press releases, advertisements, interviews, etc.
  • Media Appearances (TV or Radio interviews)
  • Promotional Items/Giveaways (pens, pads, coffee mugs, free books)
  • Social Networking
    • In person book signings
    • Store events
    • Trade shows
    • School speaking engagements


  • Online press releases, advertisements, interviews, etc. 
  • Author website or blog
  • Blog tours
  • Social media direct marketing sales
  • Social networking
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • LinkedIn
    • Pintrest 

I’m pretty sure this list isn’t complete, but it’s a start.  And no, I’m not yet doing all of these things just yet, but I have begun the plans to expand my marketing reach. 

It only makes sense that the more marketing you do, the more prospective readers you’re likely to reach. So, in theory, by using a variety of these methods an author would have a more effective marketing strategy. Which, if done correctly, should increase the overall number of sales in a given year.

If you’re an author and you’d like to share other ways you like promoting your books PLEASE COMMENT BELOW! 

If you’re a reader and you’d like to share how you discover new books, PLEASE COMMENT BELOW! 

It’s been to long…

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I am NOT a very dedicated blogger. It’s true, I can’t lie and say that I am. The thing is, when I have spear time… time that isn’t already committed to work, dedicated to my family, or taken up by housework, I AM WRITING! 

The proof is in the pudding… or the publication date. lol

I’ve been writing since 2010. My first novel, Awaken, took just under 2 years start to finish. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it, but I learned. It got easier with every book that came after.

I published one novel per year from 2012 – 2014. Three books in three years, and the Blood Angel Series was born. I was more than excited. I had a system. I had dedicated beta readers, an awesome cover design artist, and an editor that understood my writing style.

In 2015 I was able to publish the first two books in the SECTOR C Series. This story just poured out of me. I fell in love with the characters, the strange world they lived in, and I was emotionally invested in their journey.


Published October 2016

In 2016, at the request of my readers, I went back to the Blood Angel Series to tell the story of Phoebe… She was an exciting, strong, independent female character who demanded my attention. For almost a year, she took me across the country and showed me the world through her eyes. 

I spent most of 2017 writing the third and final novel in the SECTOR C Series, but I’ll get to that in a minute. 2017 was also the year I decided to use my experiences to help others. After attending numerous author events, where I am inevitably asked the same questions over and over, I decided to put together 3 guides.

  1. The Invisible You – 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to help you Discover YouThis is a work-book style guide/journal. I use the meditations, the coloring activities, and the writing prompts on a weekly basis to help keep me centered and focused. Since starting this process, years ago, I have been able to more quickly work through, if not avoid all together, the dreaded WRITERS BLOCK!
  2. So You Want To Write A Book – An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel I think this one is pretty self-explanatory… This is the book for all beginner authors, and even those that have been around the block a few times that just need a little extra help getting started or staying focused and organized when writing. 
  3. Multi-Level Network Marketing Business Tracker Not only am I a mom with a full-time job and an author… back in 2015 I started my own business as an independent consultant for the #1 skin care brand in North America. I designed this business tracker to help me, and others within the Network Marketing field, keep track of customers, sales, and business partners. No, it isn’t for everyone, but sometimes our projects are passions and other times they are practical. This project happened to be very practical and has proven extremely useful in growing my business. 

the bridge cover

Like I said, I spent most of 2017 writing the 3rd and final novel in the SECTOR C Series, The Bridge. I love where this series takes the reader, but I’ll admit this story didn’t go where I thought it would go. I usually have a clear picture in my mind, when I start a story line, of where it will end. This series was no different, but as the story unfolded I was excited to find that it continued to surprise me. Having just been released yesterday, I am eager and excited to find out what my readers think of where Zelina and the others take us in SECTOR C ~ The Bridge


Honestly, I’m not 100% sure what is next. I have a couple of story ideas I’ve been playing with, but I think I might take a little time off to do some more author events, market the books I’ve already published, and work on my blog a little more. If there are topics you’d like me to discuss, I’d love your feedback. Comment below with blog topic ideas and I’ll get to work! Until then, have a beautiful February!

My Social Media Goals


I recently met with Shayla Lee Raquel of Curiouser Author Network and we talked all about MARKETING. For me, marketing is the BIG BAD. I am not a sales person and I have a hard time talking about myself. However, as an author, especially an indie author, it is very important to be able to sell yourself and your books.

Considering that I published my first novel, Awaken, in 2012, I should be much farther along in the marketing game. So, with the help of Shayla I have made myself some social media marketing goals. In order to keep myself on track and push myself to do better in the upcoming months and years I am going to post my monthly results here for the whole world to see. Call it my accountability system.

Below are the monthly goals I am setting in order to start off on this new social media marketing adventure. I do hope these will increase with time, but I’m aiming for ‘better than current’ right now. I will aim for the stars at a later date.

Monthly Goals:

Blog: Post at least once per week

Writing: Write at least 5,000 words per week (20,000 words per month)

This will change depending on where I am in the writing process. Currently I am finishing up the first draft of my next novel The Hunted (book 2 ~ the SECTOR C Series) When I get into editing the word count will go out the window and the goal will be based on editing revisions

Reading: Read at least 1 book per month and post a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and my blog if appropriate. These reviews will also be included in my new YA Newsletter – sign up to receive the newsletter HERE.

YA Newsletter: My new YA Newsletter will be sent to my mailing list once per month at the beginning of the month, starting in August. You can sign up to receive your copy HERE. This is also where I will hold subscriber only giveaways. Yes, GIVEAWAYS.

Facebook & TwitterPost at least once weekly

TumblrPost daily as part of the Book Photo Challenge by Books & Cupcakes

InstagramGoal not determined yet.

Google+: Goal not determined yet.

What I will post in my Monthly Updates:

  • Number of blog posts;
  • Written word count;
  • Books I’ve read and those I’m still reading;
  • Goodreads and Amazon Stats;
  • Number of followers on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.;
  • Review Quotes; and
  • What you can look forward to in the month(s) to come.