Playboy Model and Baywatch Star Talk Life Lessons and Best-selling Book

Courtesy of Champion’s Mojo, a SwimSwam partner.


Are you looking for a book that blends together great stories, leadership strategies and your love of swimming?  Look no further than Take Your Mark, LEAD! 10 Ways to Lead Yourself and Others Like a Champion.

With a compelling Foreword written by Bob Bowman and endorsements from top champions Take Your Mark, LEAD! is a self-help, go-to guide for people who urgently want to take charge of their lives.  Leader, champion, and survivor Kelly Parker Palace delivers 11 entertaining, informative chapters chocked full of inspiring stories and actionable, practical strategies.  This transformative book will empower you to triumph in all aspects of your life and to champion yourself, your business, and others!

The word “SWIM” is in the book 270 times. The book explores stories full of leadership examples from Olympians, Olympic coaches, professional athletes, Kelly’s executive coaching clients, and her days as a Senior Manager at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.  There are lessons from Kelly’s time as an NCAA D1 Head Coach and swimmer, her experience with 9/11 in NYC, and being a Playboy magazine model–the first “real” athlete to pose.  You’ll be fascinated by how Arctic swimmer Lewis Pugh leads at the United Nations, how Olympic coach David Marsh creates culture for his teams, and how Bob Bowman almost quit coaching.

The book explores what makes the athlete that may not be the physically strongest still take the gold.  And in life, what makes the unlikely person rise to the top of their profession or lead others to victory?

You’ll learn 10 practical ways to help you develop leadership skills, habits, mindsets, and traits of champions—borrowed from the best of the world of athletics, corporate America, and life.  Each chapter first discusses how to lead yourself, and then inevitably—and often equally rewarding—, how to lead others. The bonus chapter, Championing Women Leaders, contains additional motivating stories and strategies.

Praise for Take Your Mark, LEAD!

“Kelly, I peeked at your book during a quick break and an hour later I am still reading!  Captivating stories, well told and brilliantly summarized with practical calls to action!  The book has a brilliant presentation of bite-size, digestible and actionable things ANYONE can do immediately to be, to love, serve and lead better! Your book is a resource I highly recommend to the swimming community at large and beyond, as well as each NY Breaker Athlete!

-Tina Andrew, General Manager, NY Breakers

Take Your Mark, LEAD! is a transformational piece of leadership art that will inspire you to dive boldly towards becoming the best version of yourself.”

-Elizabeth Beisel, Best Selling Author, 3X Olympian & Olympic Team Captain

“Take Your Mark, LEAD! is a powerful addition to your personal improvement library. Kelly Parker Palace has spent a lifetime learning, testing and refining the skills of both individual and group leadership. Her sports, coaching and business success is a natural backdrop for the clearly defined, practical strategies she delivers. This isn’t just a sports book, and learners from all walks of life will gain key insights and enjoy the journey through this inspiring book.”

-Bob Bowman, 4X Olympic Coach, Arizona State University Head Swim Coach

“Kelly is a leader who knows champions and peak performance.”

-Rowdy Gaines, 3X Olympic Champion, NBC Sports Analyst

“Take Your Mark, LEAD! is a book that both athletic and corporate teams can utilize to raise their performance. Its discussion guide in the back of the book is valuable for sparking conversations and creating potential for individual and team growth. If you want to up your game, this is a leadership and performance book to explore.” 

Teri McKeever, Women’s Head Swim Coach University California, Berkeley, 2012 US Olympic Team

“Understanding the mindset of a champion is the most valuable asset an athlete or a coach can possess. Having the ability to learn from masters of our craft is a joyful luxury. This book is exactly that. Kelly’s real life experiences prove dreams come true.

-Cody Miller, Olympic Champion, YouTube Celebrity

“Kelly’s leadership experience from both business and sports, and as someone who’s been bloodied in the ring and triumphed, makes her insights valuable and enlightening. Take Your Mark, LEAD! is informative and motivational with actionable concepts illustrated with fascinating stories. You’ll be inspired by Kelly’s upbeat approach of, ‘Here’s how you get it done, and yes, you can get it done!’ I loved it! Truly.”

-Dr. Kellie McElhaney, Executive Director, Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership, University of California, Berkeley, Business School

Who’s the author? Kelly Parker Palace is a

  • Journalist and Author
  • Host of the Award-Winning Champion’s Mojo Podcast
  • Breast Cancer and 9/11 Survivor
  • Former NCAA D1 Head Coach & All-American
  • World and National Record-Setting Masters Swimmer
  • Former Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Senior Manager
  • Multimillion-Dollar Entrepreneur
  • International Charity Co-Founder
  • Former Playboy Model
  • More on the Kelly and the book at TAKEYOURMARK


Courtesy of Champion’s Mojo, a SwimSwam partner.


Music: Otis McDonald


Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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