Cleo Franklin ’81 will release a book of leadership lessons titled “Coffee with Cleo.” 

Sioux City, IA – Cleo Franklin, Morningside College alumnus and Hall of Fame inductee and Founder, President, and CEO of Franklin Strategic Solutions, will release a book of leadership lessons titled “Coffee with Cleo.”Cleo FranklinCleo Franklin is the author of “Coffee with Cleo” and also serves on the Morningside College Board of Directors. He is an alumnus of Morningside and the Founder, President, and CEO of Franklin Strategic Solutions and Founder of the Morningside College Franklin Leadership Foundation.

Franklin, who also serves on the Board of Directors for Morningside College, is donating 10% of the profits from the sales of “Coffee with Cleo” to the Morningside College Franklin Leadership Foundation. He credits his time at the college with helping him prepare for his personal and professional journey.

“Without a doubt, my Morningside experience shaped, prepared, and propelled me towards a path of success filled with lessons learned across the globe,” said Franklin. “It also helped me understand that learning is not a destination, but a journey fueled by curiosity to seek the best of life everywhere it takes you as ‘life is a continuous wonder poured into a cup that can never be filled.’”

“Morningside is fortunate to have many generous alumni and donors who go above and beyond to provide opportunities for our students,” said Kari Winklepleck, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Morningside College. “The Franklin Leadership Foundation is truly a testament to Cleo Franklin’s commitment to empowering future leaders at Morningside, and we are grateful for his continued support of our students.” 

“Coffee with Cleo” is a collection of 10 leadership lessons and personal stories of inspiration, self-reflection, and teaching moments from Franklin’s 32 years as an executive with iconic global brands John Deere, Case-New Holland, and Mahindra. Franklin describes “Coffee with Cleo” as a modern-day “Aesop’s Fables.” The book offers lessons for anyone looking for strategies and tips on improving their lives and livelihoods through the lens of Franklin’s personal and global executive business journey.

The book’s foreword was written by Anand G. Mahindra, Executive Chairman of the Mahindra Group and Executive Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. “A good story requires a good storyteller…As ‘Coffee with Cleo’ demonstrates, Cleo Franklin is up there among the best,” writes Mahindra. “Through artful storytelling, Cleo offers valuable leadership lessons for any aspiring leader or start-up business team seeking guidance and a framework to help develop and improve their leadership skills and sage advice to anyone who is searching for wisdom from someone who has learned and is still learning.”

To learn more and purchase “Coffee with Cleo,” visit

About the Author

Cleo Franklin graduated from Morningside College in 1981, and he is passionate about providing opportunities and resources to inspire and support the next generation of leaders. He is the Founder of the Morningside College Franklin Leadership Foundation and the Founder, President, and CEO of Franklin Strategic Solutions, a global consultant and leadership development business specializing in global strategic planning, marketing, business development, organizational development, brand strategy, executive coaching and keynote speaking for all industries. Franklin believes in maintaining a positive mindset, creating partnerships with a purpose, and always striving for significant outcomes.

The Morningside College Franklin Leadership Foundation is a social nonprofit platform that focuses on preparing students today to become the next generation of future leaders by providing opportunities to engage with successful global business leaders to develop a career path with passion and purpose through mentorships, scholarships, internships, and externships. The Foundation brings together multiple leadership and career development resources for students, businesses, and nonprofit community entities through a dynamic and customized platform designed to encourage engagement, collaboration, and partnerships. Learn more at

Morningside College Franklin Leadership Foundation