Writing a book is a feat many people do not accomplish in a lifetime, but 22-year-old Jerry Palermo managed to do it before graduating college.
Palermo, a fourth-year international business and professional sales major, authored the book, Leadership Overhaul: Discover Yourself, Understand Others, Impact the World, which was released on Amazon in October.
The book explores personality types and traits that comprise a good leader, how to nurture those traits in yourself, and how to apply yourself as a leader in the world.
There are three main points that Palermo said he would want readers to take away from the book: the different types of people and their intelligences, how to make a difference in the lives of others, and that it doesn’t matter where you start as long as you’re motivated to do more. These three points coincide with the three aspects in the title, which Palermo said are all necessary to be a good leader.
Palermo also has a personal mantra, which he emphasizes in the book: “Do something, not be something.”
“I started to make a difference in the lives of others when I started to do things without expecting anything in return, when I set out to do something, not be something,” he said. “A lot of people set out to be president of the United States or CEO of a company, an actor or a model; but the big question is what do you do when you get there?”
Palermo explained that when you set out to be something, you may lose yourself along the way. Rather, setting out to do something allows you to explore what you’re passionate about and makes for a better leader, he said.
That favorite phrase came from one of Palermo’s mentors: U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Palermo said he met Kaptur when he was in high school at an awards program for the Medical Mission Hall of Fame, a foundation that honors individuals for their humanitarian efforts. He asked her how he could help make a difference in the Toledo community.
Kaptur challenged Palermo to “do something, not be something.” She also encouraged him to find some community service projects, which led to the cultivation of the Palermo Foundation.
The foundation started out with a goal to fight hunger and rising food prices by raising money to build agricultural structures in the community. The organization partners with interested businesses to place the structures on their property, then donates the fresh produce to local food shelters. Its growth continued as it aided businesses with their community outreach and contract work for the federal government.
Its growth continued as it aided businesses with their community outreach and contract work for the federal government.
When asked if he was a natural leader, Palermo said: “I don’t know if there is such a thing as a natural leader. I think you have to be motivated. People might mistake that as a natural leader. You’re always on the go and looking for the next big thing. When I look back on it, I wouldn’t really say that I’ve always had leadership tendencies, but I would say I’ve always had a goal in mind, and I’ve always strived to achieve them.”
As for what’s next, Palermo said he recently accepted a position at 3M, an American multinational conglomerate formerly known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., which he will start after he graduates next August. Moving forward, Palermo hopes to integrate his book into corporate training and development seminars for 3M and other businesses.
The book is available online at amazon.com. For more information, contact Palermo at firstname.lastname@example.org.