Real Leaders

Contributing Author Guidelines

The Mission

Real Leaders inspires better leaders for a better world. Our content is read by a loyal leadership community that controls 10% of the global economy, with $9 trillion in GDP. We publish solution-driven journalism that outlines a problem and then provides hope and inspiration through insight, research, case studies, and examples of what is working.

Real Leaders curates and facilitates a global conversation with leaders of all ages and nationalities who are transforming businesses, nonprofits, communities, and countries as forces for good through innovative thinking and action. We help the reader see the impact of farsighted, sustainable leadership in finding solutions to social problems. Real Leaders ensures that the next generation of leaders in all spheres of influence are exposed to the best and brightest minds, inspiring them to find sustainable and profitable solutions that benefit humankind. We help position leaders to thrive in the new economy by publishing solutions-driven, uplifting, and positive stories.

The Community

  • Preferred Publication of YPO
  • 29,000 CEOs and C-Suite executives in 130 countries (95% of readership)
  • Monthly online readership: 100,000+ page views
  • Global Newsstands
  • Combined revenue of $9 trillion

The Opportunity

A Real Leaders contributing author is a thought/action leader who offers solutions to one or more of the problems identified by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We also publish thoughtful insights from entrepreneurs, executives, and celebrities who are responding to opportunities and challenges generated by rapid organizational, technological, and societal change. We are committed to diversity and gender balance in our magazine, website, e-newsletters, and videos.

A successful Real Leaders article is innovative and useful to successful leaders, offering practical leadership insights that can be translated into action — ideas, examples, and case studies that individuals and teams can put to work. While we seek story submissions with a wide range of leadership disciplines, we have a particular interest in sustainability and how individuals, communities, and businesses are creating social good in the world and doing well by doing good. We are not looking for charity or philanthropy stories without a business or leadership angle. Instead, we look for thoughtful observations on a current or near-future mainstream trend.

Real Leaders wants to share your insights with the best of the best, so articles must be intelligent, fair, accurate, and well-written. We do not accept articles that promote an individual or a company’s products or services. While your personal experiences may be relevant to the topic at hand, please do not write about your brand in a solicitous way. Such articles will be rejected or edited as needed.

If you need inspiration, write as if you’re trying to convince the world’s CEOs that your idea has merit and should be adopted. For example, in the Summer 2020 edition of Real Leaders magazine, the article titled “Africa Takes Flight with Life-Saving Drones” tells how an international, women-led boutique consultancy saw the potential of drone technology in addressing the problem of thousands of people dying from a lack of basic but essential medical products like blood and oxygen. Working together, the women found the partners and created the alliances necessary to make an impact at scale. The resulting, tech-savvy logistics company has delivered more than 19,000 units of blood to 400 hospitals using high-tech data, AI, and blockchain combined with ubiquitous technology such as mobile phones, drones, and motorcycles and has saved more than 6.500 lives. We seek verifiable facts and figures, with sources, that demonstrate the success of the subjects you are writing about.

The Process

Please submit examples of your published work (below), preferably in a well-respected magazine, journal, or website. Real Leaders does not accept articles from unpublished writers. Please also include your social media links. Unless you have already been assigned a Real Leaders editor, please submit your article idea via the submission form at the bottom of this page. 

Please understand that it may take 2 to 3 weeks to receive a response from us. If you do not receive a response within 3 weeks of submitting your article, please assume that Real Leaders is unable to publish your article. Time does not allow us to respond to authors of articles that we do not publish.

If your article is selected for publication, an editor will be assigned, and you will receive a deadline, word count, and other relevant information.

Our Style

  • Start with a headline and paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention, offers value, and clearly answers the reader’s question: “What’s in it for me?”
  • In general, we use AP Style.
  • Use American spellings (realize vs. realise)
    Use the serial comma: She likes apples, bananas, and grapes.
    especially exotic ones.”)
  • Write for a global audience and leave out colloquial phrases that may be unfamiliar.
    Convey complex issues and ideas in simple words and sentences.
    All acronyms must be preceded at the first mention by the full name written out: the United Nations (UN)
    All facts and figures must indicate a source (e.g. “according to the World Bank”). Avoid generic statements like, “Studies show that…” We need to know what study you are referencing for your article to have credibility.
    Outline the problem, but devote most of the article to the solution.
    Review the UN Sustainable Development Goals and try to address at least one of these issues in your article, if possible.
    Use case studies and reference inspiring, purpose-filled, and accomplished people. Your article can include your opinion, but it should be logical, realistic, and supported.

Our Articles

  • Length: Up to 1,000 words. Longer articles may be edited for length.
  •  Format: Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx files). No PDFs, please.
  • Submit a high-resolution (at least 1 MB) photograph of the author, social media links, and short bio (2-3 sentences).
  • Additional interesting, high-resolution photographs relevant to the story are encouraged.
  • Read, sign, and return the Real Leaders Contributing Author Agreement (that we’ll send you on acceptance) stating that your story has not been published elsewhere and will not be sent to another publication, unless declined by Real Leaders. Remember: A decline may simply be no response after 3 weeks.

Ready to Apply as a Real Leaders Contributor?

We’re always open to single articles or suggestions for an article series from contributing authors. You can submit your article ideas via the form below. Unfortunately, we cannot reply to all submissions. If you haven’t heard back from us within a few weeks, please feel free to submit your article to another publication.