Leadership coaches counsel professional women on how to free themselves from unproductive patterns of behavior that sabotage their career advancement.
Helgesen (The Web of Inclusion: Architecture for Building Great Organizations, 2005, etc.) and Goldsmith (Management/Dartmouth Tuck School of Business; Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts—Becoming the Person You Want to Be, 2015, etc.) team up in this self-help guide to getting ahead as a woman in male-dominated executive circles. The authors argue that men and women typically present different self-limiting behaviors in business, with women more likely to take on too much work and take too little credit for their achievements. True to the self-help genre, the work assures its readers that they need no outside help or special skills beyond their eagerness to advance. The practical approach encourages women to develop a greater self-awareness of their worst behaviors and then stop doing them. The list of errors to eradicate range from the predictable (negativity) to the unexpected (“overvaluing expertise”), and the authors emphasize that some of the behaviors, including perfectionism, might have served women well earlier in their careers. Helgesen and Goldsmith’s collective coaching style abounds with positive energy, and the brisk lessons alternate with anonymous anecdotes from real-life clients. Of the 12 bad habits holding women back, they suggest that readers take aim at two or three of their own most damaging tendencies rather than address them all. Stopping short of suggesting how women might proceed differently than men once they become leaders, the authors advise the ambitious to begin with what lies solely under their control, eliminating the negative consequences of habitual, often unconscious behaviors in order to gain the power to affect much larger conversations. They offer the kind of advice that women further along in their careers might wish they had known, from sidestepping the pitfalls of negative office culture to leveraging alliances with co-workers.
A concise, upbeat guide for women who have grown bored or impatient with their positions as well as for those new to the professional world and its leadership roles.