From the first words we exchanged, Loren Reno sounded like a man with a plan—a guy who understood the art of leading from personal experience. As we talked about his past and his path to writing his first book, 10 Leadership Maneuvers, my first impression grew stronger. Loren Reno spent 38 years in the United States Air Force, with ten of those as a general. During this time, the first seeds of Reno’s book were sown. Reno’s Rules While in the military, Reno spent time talking to people in leadership and mentoring new leaders coming up the ranks. “I crafted stories around leadership, using my own war stories as examples. Eventually, folks called them ‘Reno’s Rules,’ and my friends and family said I should write them down,” he explains. That was his first clue that these stories might someday become the basis of a book. Of course, the schedule of a general doesn’t leave much room for writing. But when Reno got out of the military in 2012, he put his military work ethic and ability to work with 14-hour writing sessions. “I crafted stories around leadership, using my own war stories as examples. Eventually, folks called them ‘Reno’s Rules,’ and my friends and family said I should write them down.” —Loren Reno “When you’re at war, you work till midnight and you’re back by 6 a.m. That’s how it was during the Iraqi War,” he says. Although, even accounting for this staggering work ethic, it is still impressive that he completed his first draft of 10 Leadership Maneuvers in just a little over a week. “My wife did the cookin’ and I did the eatin’ and the writin’,” he says in his Ohio accent with a laugh. “The military teaches you to be succinct, organized, and structured.” Part of the reason Reno believes the writing came so easily is that he’d been drafting this book verbally for years. He simply wrote the stories down and added in scriptural references. “I worked from sunup to sundown,” he says. Reno credits well-structured approach for his writing ease too. And although his book fits into a specific nonfiction genre, this structural approach has a lesson for any writer:.knowing where you’re going can make everything go more smoothly. From Navigating Publishing to Maneuvering through Titles With his manuscript complete, Reno started looking for a publisher. The expertise and poise of Deep River Books’ Bill Carmichael struck a chord with him. “Bill knows the industry back to front, has a team of experts—with senses of humor, I might add—in his company, and contracts only with the best for the tasks he doesn’t do in house,” says Reno. “I’d tell any budding author looking to get published to go with Deep River Books first.” After signing on with Deep River Books, Reno was an active participant in the development of his project. The title process really stuck with Reno. “Originally, I thought the title would be ‘Reno’s Rules,’ but changed it to ‘Navigating Leadership’ when I submitted it to Deep River Books,” says Reno. When it came time for title and cover discussions, though, Andy Carmichael, the point man for this department, called Reno up. “He said, ‘We’re thinking in a different direction. What do you think about ‘Leadership Maneuvers?’” says Reno. “I said, ‘Andy, you’re the expert,’ and we went with that title.”.Reno enjoyed the preserved double meaning of “maneuvers” that he’d been going for with “navigating.” “He said, ‘We’re thinking in a different direction. What do you think about ‘Leadership Maneuvers?’” Reno also found much value in the editing process, another aspect that he actively engaged with. “I just outright accepted about 80% of the editor’s comments, we dialogued on about 10% of them until I understood the changes, and about 10% of them until he understood my intention.”.Working with a professional in this department was something Reno appreciated. Loren Reno Now Although Loren Reno retired from the military, he still leads in many capacities. He spent two years as the dean of business at Cedarville University (in his hometown), and is now VP of academic affairs and chief officer of academics. Reno also serves on three different boards with wide ranges of industry from IT to Engineering to Aerospace Jet Engines. He has three children and three grandchildren. It appears he won’t slow down any time soon. From Reno’s story, there are important takeaways for any author:. 1) pre-writing (even verbally) is as important as pen-to-paper drafting, and 2) structure can simplify any piece you’re tackling. And if you want to learn ten more valuable things, check out his book, 10 Leadership Maneuvers, today.