Twin Cities businesswoman Nancy Dahl ducked out of the C-suite several years ago and began putting her thoughts on leadership into a blog.

The blog turned into a book, which turned into her next chapter: as an author, consultant and speaker on how to be yourself while still being an effective leader.

Students at the University of St. Thomas and South Dakota State University now use her 2017 self-published book, "Grounded: Leading Your Life with Intention," in undergraduate and graduate leadership programs.

And staff at the career office at South Dakota State worked through the book to evaluate the way they work with students, according to Dahl's press agent.

Earlier this month, "Grounded" was recognized by New York City Big Book Award and National Indie Excellence Awards.

Dahl spent more than two decades at Lifetouch where she was the first female president of a major division. She also held executive-level positions at Cambria and Tastefully Simple, and has experience working in five industries.

Her firm IQ Strategic Partners works with individuals, organizations and leadership teams.