An award-winning CEO and communications expert shows how authentic leadership eliminates the need for the shortcuts that sabotage success. “Fake it till you make it” just doesn’t work—at least not long enough to build a sustainable business.
Driven to succeed under constant pressure, entrepreneurs and business leaders alike can be tempted to exaggerate their strengths, minimize weaknesses, and bend the truth. Through the twin lenses of running her own national public relations firm and advising thousands of executives for a quarter-century, Sabrina Horn revisits the core of leadership; defines authentic, reality-based business integrity; and shows readers how to attain and maintain it.
With firsthand accounts of sticky situations and painful mistakes, Horn lays out workable strategies, frameworks, and mental maps to help leaders gain the clarity of thought necessary to make sound business decisions, even when there are no right answers. In her straightforward, no-nonsense style, she shares the power of humility and empathy, mentorship and self-assessment, and a strong core value system to build a leader’s confidence and resilience. Horn’s fake-free advice will empower readers to disarm fear, organize risk, manage setbacks and crises, deal with losing and loneliness, and create a culture and brand designed for long-term success.
About the Author
Sabrina Horn is an award-winning C-suite advisor, speaker, and communications expert and the CEO of HORN Strategy. She is the founder of Horn Group (now part of Finn Partners), which received national acclaim as Best US Employer and Best US Tech Agency. Horn has two daughters, Grace and Christina. She splits her time between New York and San Francisco.
Shortlisted for the 2021 Outstanding Works of Literature (OWL) Award in the Leadership category.
“Make It, Don’t Fake It provides a diverse toolbox of strategies and ideas to develop the muscle memory which will prevent you from falling into the trap of faking it by get by.” —Forbes
“...C-suite adviser, entrepreneur, and communications expert Sabrina Horn gives leaders the tools to resist ‘short hacks,’ and the courage to lead with authenticity and integrity.” —INC
“The book's title is a remix of the popular adage ‘Fake it ‘til you make it.’ Through her book, however, Horn challenges entrepreneurs, leaders, and aspiring leaders to answer a higher call of integrity: Make it—don't fake it. Her leadership philosophy is rooted in authenticity, honesty, and reality. She shares useful advice on topics ranging from decision making to building a solid leadership team, and she also discusses the role gender played in her journey to becoming a CEO. According to Horn, the ultimate measure of success has everything to do with how you achieve it.” —TD Magazine
"A serious-minded business leadership guide...Make It, Don't Fake It is candid, accessible, and a welcome contribution to business and leadership collections." —Midwest Book Review
“Make It, Don’t Fake It is an excellent look at starting and leading a company from beginning to end with an integrity-at-all-costs perspective—how to make it without faking it.” —Leadership Now
“…draws on Horn’s 25 years of experience in the field to show readers why a solid foundation in the truth can result in greater rewards for agencies.” —O’Dwyer’s
“Sabrina, an Award-winning CEO, C-suite advisor, entrepreneur, and communications expert, is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to succeeding. Not only was she the CEO of her own highly successful Tech Public Relations Firm, but she has also advised hundreds of C-suite executives for over 20 Years. Now she is taking what she learned and giving leaders the tools to resist ‘short hacks’ and the courage to lead with authenticity and integrity in her new book.” —But First, She Failed Podcast
“Make It, Don’t Fake It is a great read for any founder, CEO, or aspiring entrepreneur considering embarking on the founder's journey!” —Metrics that Measure Up Podcast
“Sabrina shares her insights and wisdom gleaned from years of working with tech executives, venture capitalists, and influencers about how doing the right thing results in the right thing to do. In Make It, Don’t Fake It, Sabrina shows us that faking it is for losers. Learn how to make it with ethics, passion, confidence, pride, and resilience.” —Andy Cunningham, Steve Jobs’s publicist, bestselling author of Get to Aha!, and CEO, Cunningham Collective
“In the 1990s, Sabrina became a valued extension of the PeopleSoft team at a time when core values and beliefs were a novel concept. She kept pace with us as we adopted our core values to navigate PeopleSoft through high growth, bringing a new technology (client/server) to market, and an initial public offering. We could always count on her honesty, candor, and creativity, and, quite simply, we liked and trusted her. This book shows why. She approaches business and life from an integrity-first perspective and ‘keeps things real’—a strategy that I believe is fundamental to building successful and enduring products and companies.” —Dave Duffield, founder of PeopleSoft, Workday, and Ridgeline
“Whether you are a first-time entrepreneur or a seasoned executive, Make It, Don’t Fake It is an essential guide for leading with purpose and integrity. There are no ‘growth hacks’ or shortcuts to success. Sabrina delivers a compelling message at a critical time.” —Jay Fulcher, Chairman and CEO, Zenefits
“This is a no-nonsense, straightforward guide to succeeding in business as well as life. Sabrina’s insightful, commonsense approach to success has led her to it time and time again. Her book is a road map from which all can learn and apply to their lives!” —David J. Moore, founder and CEO, 24/7 Real Media; President, WPP Digital; Chairman, Xaxis and IAB; and cofounder and CEO, BritePool
“Sabrina Horn’s Make It, Don’t Fake It, loaded with gems of leadership and stories of her personal growth as founder and CEO, is a required and meaningful primer for both budding and experienced leaders. Her emphasis on transparency, values, and culture is interwoven throughout. The impact this emphasis had on her decisions when the chips were down or up is as clear a lesson as any leader or CEO should think about and implement. Refreshing to me were the stories of failure, what they meant, and how she rebounded. Her practical advice is first rate and should be taught in business schools everywhere. I’ve known Sabrina for thirty years, and this book is a marvelous testament to her mission and to her life as a successful businesswoman.” —Ray Rothrock, venture capitalist, board member, CEO, and philanthropist
“Sabrina Horn offers up a pragmatic real-world approach for today’s business leaders, which will increase their probability of success in navigating the complex labyrinth that will be required to achieve one’s goals.” —Peter Sobiloff, Managing Director, Insight Partners
“Sabrina Horn delivers much-needed clarity in what seems like an overwhelming space.” —Small Business Trends