My Book #Shelfie: How Remarkable Women Lead
I was drawn to this book on the basis of some of the obligatory salesy verbiage on the back cover: specifically that the book “reveals what drives and sustains the most successful women in leadership today”. Given that my own network (and ‘networking’ gets visited many times in the book) is more than 50% women, I hoped for a good dose of the inside scoop.
The authors use a five-part ‘centered leadership solution’ which is well-founded in qualitative data from their interviews and case studies. The five parts are meaning, framing, connecting, engaging and energizing. The model probably won’t shake your world, but I loved its logic and simplicity. If you take the time to fully ingest each part, I’m confident you will see that sustainable performance is within your reach. The authors did a great job on this front.
The book didn’t take me on the learning journey that I hoped for, however. Don’t get me wrong, I love the elegant and informative writing of both Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston, but for me there weren’t any ‘a-ha’ moments that I easily recall. I think this is driven by two things.
Firstly, the book is now a little old. With respect to original publication date (almost a decade ago), and the big events that “drive and sustain the most successful women in leadership today.” For example, the attacks on the World Trade Center occurred 16 years ago. Much change in technology and leadership thinking occurs in five years and most of us would agree this change isn’t slowing down. The working environment itself has changed remarkably. The resources available to us these days would be the envy of the 2001 version of ourselves, no?
Secondly, there were numerous occasions that I thought to myself, “what I’m reading is great leadership. It’s not a woman or man thing. It’s just great leadership.” Does this mean I’m dismissing the importance of female leaders? Not at all. It simply means that the insights shared by the women can be leveraged by leaders of both genders. Hey, I’m a coach – so I’m programmed to be forward-looking and action oriented regardless of gender. “What can we learn from this?” is a question that excites great clients and great coaches.