A variety of no-nonsense strategies for women who aspire to be leaders in business.
Well-suited to deliver these rules of the game, Packard began her career in HBO’s sales division, then joined NBC to help launch the cable-programming sector, including CNBC. She is the co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive and the former COO of HGTV. In this book, the author outlines the rules of gamesmanship. Ambition rests easier on men than women, she writes, citing a study showing that “competent” women are often “perceived as unlikeable.” While being bossy is acceptable for men, it’s considered a negative for women. Early in her career, Packard blanched when a neighbor called her ambitious, but she learned to embrace the word. Women, she writes, bring plenty of advantages to the game—among others, intuitive brains, interpersonal skills, strong team management skills and observational listening skills. However, they need to build competitive muscle to succeed in business. (Message to mothers who want their daughters to grow up to be CEOs: High school and college sports are a great training ground for business success.) The author examines the skills, behaviors and strategies of gamesmanship in corporate settings, including mastering the brinksmanship to close or walk away from a deal, building rapport with your colleagues and keeping your cool. While the advice is not groundbreaking, Packard provides useful examples from her experiences and those of other female executives. Her concise book offers ways to level the playing field. If winning were the only theme, the book’s appeal would be limited, but Packard presents her ideas in the context of treating people, including competitors, fairly and respectfully. Great leaders, she writes, demonstrate good sportsmanship whether they win or lose, have the grit to move on from mistakes and defeats, and build a team with shared values.
A straightforward guide to success that deserves a prime spot on the bookshelves of career women aspiring to reach the highest corporate ranks.