Kel Landis III wrote his new book about getting things done in about six months, but the ideas behind it have “been cooking for 10 years.”
The co-founder of Plexus Capital, former CEO of RBC Centura, and Raleigh community leader has been known for – and proud of – his ability to “do” since he became an Eagle Scout at 15 in his hometown of Rocky Mount.
“I started thinking about the two-letter word ‘do’ ” he says. “The golden rule has it: ‘Do unto others.’ JFK said: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ Even Yoda: ‘Do or do not, there is no try.’ ”
Landis believes that it’s the doing, not the achieving, that matters most. “Every morning we wake up with a chance to do what matters,” Landis says. “By doing, we become.”
Landis decided to put the power of “doing” to work himself by distilling its message. For months, he researched and wrote at 4 or 5 a.m. before his workday began.
His motivation? To describe how success begins with active decisions, how to zero in on which goals to pursue, and how power is within each of us. The resulting book, The Little Book of Do, is a quick, inspiring read. Quotes from diverse sources – yes, from Yoda, but also Henry Ford, Ben Franklin, and Calvin Coolidge – introduce each chapter.
He hopes the book’s message will reach people in all stages of life. “I wish I’d known this in my 20s,” he says. “I want to help young people.”
To that end, Landis says he will donate all profits from the book, which he published himself, to a foundation he’s creating to fund nonprofits and leaders who embody its message.
The Little Book of Do is sold at Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books and other retailers. Landis will read from the book at Quail Ridge Books Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.