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Former Ferris Student-Athlete Hill Writes Book: 'Contagious Leadership'

Contagious Leadership CoverIt’s not every day that a Ferris State University alumnus has a book published – particularly an inspiring written piece that focuses on leadership and the value of education.

Donté Hill, CEO and head leadership consultant for King of the Court Leadership International, has taken his experiences growing up in the small northern Michigan community of Baldwin to a national audience through his recently-published book, “Contagious Leadership: 13 Principles to Spreading a Winning Culture.” Hill explained that his book was developed to inspire and motivate people from “any arena” to become leaders and achieve goals.

Ferris Roots

Hill earned an associate degree in Pre-Teaching Secondary Education at Ferris in 2001 and later was awarded a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Brewton-Parker University in Mount Vernon, Ga. Hill reflected on how his Michigan years influenced his career. He fondly recalled his time at Ferris and how the university helped get him started on his career path. Hill, who played guard for the Bulldogs as a member of the men’s basketball team during his time in Big Rapids, believes Ferris’ education model worked for him and continues to work for others.

“I think Ferris has always had a recipe for success. Being a college environment, it helps shape you as far as being an effective communicator in a diverse environment. Being a Ferris Bulldog was a great way for me to impact the Ferris community,” Hill said. “As far as Baldwin, located in Michigan’s poorest county, I would love for people to know that you can accomplish your goals. Go for your dreams. There is a saying that, ‘If you shoot for the moon you’ll fall among the stars.’”

Life After College

After college, Hill played professional basketball for the Continental Basketball Association in Canada, Michigan and Mexico. He coached professionally for the Florida Mackos in the American Basketball Association. Today, Hill serves as a scout for the ABA’s Jacksonville Giants; a franchise based in Jacksonville, Fla. He also is the color commentator for the Giants’ televised games.

Hill believes that sports teach lessons such as how to work well with others to achieve a common goal through communication, sacrifice and teamwork. That mindset helped Hill in the corporate world where he noted that he was a top-ranked sales manager at nine different locations in telecommunications prior to a decision to follow his passion to impact organizations from a different perspective. Hill hopes to share his experiences with entrepreneurs, professionals and students through his new book. His goal is to help others learn from self-imposed barriers such as procrastination.

“Some kids don’t know what it’s going to take to be successful. By being a student-athlete, and knowing what success looks like, I can teach them,” Hill said. “My vision for ‘Contagious Leadership’ is to inspire readers to stand up and actively lead, encourage others around them and understand ways to create a contagious environment.”

Hill said that writing the book gave him an opportunity to “tap into so many different circles” and to share his love for people and helping others achieve success.

“My book is designed to give the ingredients that help people to be infectious and spread positive energy. I also think leadership is an endangered species,” he said. “It’s a popular topic, but there are not a lot of leaders. Before you can be a great leader for others, you have to be a leader for yourself.”

Accomplishing Goals

Hill believes that if an individual wants to accomplish goals, then the individual must first write down those goals and develop a plan of action. One of the first questions he urges people to ask themselves is: “What do you want to accomplish?” Another question he encourages people to ask is: “What are you most passionate about?” From there, he challenges people to develop a strategic plan that includes an individual’s passion and talents. Hill believes that the focus should always be in areas of service, including giving back to family and community.

“By focusing your gifts, talent and time in those areas, it allows you to keep in perspective why you go to work every day and why your work is important. … The reason it’s important is because people are depending on you,” Hill said.

King of the Court Leadership International focuses on training and teaching upcoming leaders effective methods of teamwork, leadership, communication and more. Hill said that he hopes the company helps others “Learn how to lead in whatever that arena may be … whether it’s sports, corporately, educational systems, etc. Whether you are on or off the court you should make sure you shoot for success.”

To find out more about Hill’s book, visit, here.