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LEAD

HOW WOMEN IN CHARGE CLAIM THEIR AUTHORITY

A solid and insightful guide to succeeding as a woman in business.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

A veteran coach offers guidance to women in corporate roles.

In this debut business book, Snee draws on her doctoral research in psychology, her work as the founder and principal of a woman-focused consulting firm, and her years on the staff of a large corporation—in addition to her 18 years as a Roman Catholic nun—to provide advice to women who aspire to professional leadership roles. The volume takes readers through the process of understanding their own interests, motivations, and abilities; addresses specific skills like resilience and financial literacy that are crucial for leaders; advises readers to develop and strengthen strategic relationships within their organizations, throughout their broader networks, and with female subordinates; and explores what the concept of “executive presence” means when the executive is a woman. The narrative is a blend of general observations, insights from Snee’s personal and professional experiences—a lengthy digression into what her research revealed about women and speech patterns is particularly intriguing—and anecdotes from many of the women she has advised. These clients learned to claim responsibility for their own accomplishments, oversee projects that are relevant to their balance sheets, and communicate effectively at all levels. Each chapter ends with a summary of key points and a list of action items, both for self-reflecting and for implementing the book's advice in the workplace (“Pay attention when your inner-critic voice appears, and process it in writing after the fact”).

Snee writes that women need a “cheering section” to remind them of their accomplishments and push them into new and challenging roles. Through this book, she serves as a cheering section for readers, explaining how women can take ownership of their interactions and career trajectories and achieve their goals while emphasizing the work they need to do to reach them. The volume is wide-ranging despite its brevity and does an excellent job of explaining concepts without belaboring them. The writing is solid, and the narrative is cohesive. The author’s experience with a religious vocation gives her a unique perspective (for instance, her guidance on self-awareness is shaped by her training in St. Ignatius Loyola’s practice of discernment), but her overall approach is secular. While the general thrust of the book is similar to many other works on women’s leadership, Snee’s insights into minor but significant topics like word choice and hierarchical relationships distinguish the volume from its peers. The manual is strengthened by the author’s acknowledgement of its limitations. She notes in the introduction that as a White woman whose clients are mostly White, her knowledge of the particular challenges women of color face in pursuing leadership roles is more theoretical than practical. Still, when she returns to the topic in detail toward the end of the volume, she is both thoughtful and informed on the subject. The book focuses on women pursuing corporate careers, though most of Snee’s counsel is broadly applicable to other fields as well.

A solid and insightful guide to succeeding as a woman in business.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64-742070-3

Page Count: 184

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

THE CULTURE MAP

BREAKING THROUGH THE INVISIBLE BOUNDARIES OF GLOBAL BUSINESS

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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